Last night, four Bruneian landmarks went dark for an hour  to mark Earth Hour 2018, honouring this year’s focus on forest and energy conservation, as well as climate change.

“Earth Hour is beyond switching off the lights for one hour. This year, WWF Earth Hour is working with the United Nations,” said Mohd Rimey Hj Osman, Earth Hour Brunei’s country manager.

He said the main goal for Brunei this year is to achieve target one of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The first target is to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and take steps to conserve it and use it sustainably.

Mohd Rimey added Earth Hour Brunei 2018 is aimed at connecting the dots between climate change and biodiversity.

Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas goes dark for Earth Hour. Photo: Ain Bandial/The Scoop

“Earth hour is an [open] campaign so everyone can join… Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, for example, are going towards using paper cups instead of plastic. Meanwhile, the management of Mabohai Shopping Complex are showing their concern for proboscis monkeys by organising a ‘Save the Proboscis Monkey Amazing Race’ in conjunction with Earth Hour.

It is a way to gather people together, to connect to the community and nature.”

He added: “We want people to continue talking about Earth Hour beyond the 60 minutes.”

Members of the public pose with the WWF mascot during Earth Hour on March 24, 2018. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Brunei is among 180 countries participating in the annual event.

Two new landmarks were included in the symbolic ‘lights off’ event  — Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas and the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge, alongside the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Yayasan Complex and the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque — which all turned off their main lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

The SOAS mosque turns off the main lights during Earth Hour on March 24, 2018. Photo: Ain Bandial/The Scoop

Previous landmarks that have participated in Earth Hour over the years include the Kampong Ayer Tourism and Cultural Gallery and Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. Several businesses also took part in Earth Hour last night at their respective premises to show their support.

Earth Hour was first organised in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then, the global campaign amassed support from 180 countries and mobilised millions across the globe to take action to preserve the environment.