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MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. More than 20 million Russians were expected to join this year’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Earth Hour global event to support action on climate change by voting with their light switch, Russia campaign Director Igor Chestin told a news conference on Wednesday.
“Opinion polls suggest that up to 18 million Russian nationals took part in the action in previous years,” Chestin said. Different events would be organised in Moscow and more than 50 Russian cities on March 29.
“This year, we highlighted five environmental programmes in Earth Hour, suggesting that people cast their votes or donate in favour of one of the following rare species, Far Eastern leopards, Amur tigers, snow leopards, bison or white bears,” Chestin said, adding that about 25,000 people had taken part in a website vote, most of them opting for donations.
Local administrations and ministries have supported the action in dozens of Russian cities on the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula, in the Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Kursk and Nizhny Novgorod regions and the republic of Tatarstan.
A film about the Far Eastern leopard will be shown in the Far East city of Vladivostok as a WWF Earth Hour event. A concert will be organised in Murmansk, a city in north European Russia, and an “ecology conversation” will be held in Arkhangelsk, in northwestern Russia. In St. Petersburg, painters will produce a huge graffiti whale.
At 8.30pm on March 29, people across the globe will switch off all lights and household appliances in their homes to support effforts against climate change in the world's most popular environmental action.
Landmark buildings such as the Eiffel Tour, Big Ben, the Coliseum in Rome, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids will turn their lights off.
A total of two billion people across the globe and about 7,000 participating cities joined the event last year. Russia first took part in Earth Hour in 2008.