*Earth Hour observed around the country
Qatar pays great attention to protecting the environment, HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi said as organisations and establishments around the country switched off lights on their premises from 8.30pm to 9.30pm to mark this year's Earth Hour.
The minister stressed that some of the country's efforts in the field were related specifically to dealing with climate change, an area where Qatar has shown a commitment to playing a prominent regional and international role, the official Qatar News Agency reported.
This was reflected in the country's constant efforts in supporting global efforts in protecting the environment and stopping the depletion of natural resources, he added.
He made the observations in a speech delivered on the occasion of Earth Hour, which is celebrated by countries around the world on the last Saturday of March.
The goal of the celebration is to raise awareness on climate change and encourage the rationalisation of energy consumption. HE al-Rumaihi said the Ministry of Municipality and Environment's participation in this global event aimed to draw attention to the need to address the phenomenon of climate change.
He said Earth Hour could help promote a culture of preserving the planet just by encouraging people around the world to turn off lights for an hour on one day of the year in a symbolic gesture.
Urging everyone to participate in the event and practise the conservation of energy in their daily lives, the minister called for the preservation of natural resources in support of international efforts to create collective awareness on the importance of protecting the environment from pollution.
He also called upon everyone to work to promote a change in "environmentally-unfriendly behaviours" in a bid to pursue a clean and healthy environment for the future generations.
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