Appeal to observe Earth Hour today

Updated 19 March 2016

Appeal to observe Earth Hour today

RIYADH: The Kingdom will participate in World Earth Hour on Saturday, March 19, said Ajlan Al-Ajlan, the Kingdom’s executive director of World Earth Hour Bureau.

He urged cities, towns, organizations and individuals in the Kingdom to participate in the event by registering on the official website: http://www.60ksa.org.
He said that the day is built on the motto, “Focus on Preserving Energy,” and will be celebrated officially by three municipalities and organizations: Riyadh, Eastern Province and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.
Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet and is organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It has its origins in a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then it has grown to include more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.
The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the larger movement. Earth Hour will be on Saturday between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saudi time. It encourages individuals, communities households and businesses to turn off their non-essential light for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet. It aims to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.
The organizers point out that the first thing anyone must do in order to get involved is to turn off their lights on Saturday, saying that Earth Hour only asks people to turn off non-essential lights for one hour. People are not asked to turn off lights that would affect public safety.
Earth Hour is also a celebration of the planet so it is important to spend the time in a safe environment.
Regarding which lights can be safely switched off, organizers say that is a decision to be made individually but usually the overhead lights in rooms — whether at home or in an office — outdoor lighting that does not affect safety, decorative lights, neon signs for advertising, televisions, desk lamps and so on.
The organizers add that there are a few lights that cannot be turned off, and these include safety lights in public spaces, lights for aviation guidance, traffic lights and security lights. The use of common sense is the best guide.
WWF, the world’s leading conservation organization for more than 50 years, works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a scientific foundation and involves action at every level from local to global, which ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meets the needs of both people and nature.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 42 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

 

— More to follow.