Lagos, Nigeria: April 2, 2012: First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc on Saturday, March 31, 2012 joined millions of people all over the world to observe the Earth Hour for the third consecutive year.

FCMB partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature WWF- Earth Hour Global to create awareness on environmental sustainability - the symbolic switching off of all non-essential lights. This is an integral part of the event coupled with the Earth Hour walk and education of school pupils on the environment.

This year’s activity was observed across more than 5,000 cities, heritage sites, royal palaces, schools, cafes and corporations from all over the world, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the organizers of the event. The theme for this year’s Earth Hour in Nigeria was ‘Dare the World to Save the Planet’, and activities marking it, came in the form of three distinct events: the Walk, the Hour of Reflection and, Beyond the Earth Hour.

A press statement signed by the bank’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Kenny Aliu, explained that the Walk Segment took place between 8:00am and 10:00am (during the Lagos State monthly Environmental Sanitation period). Participants walked through Allen Avenue to Marwa Gardens, in the Alausa area of Lagos. This, Kenny Aliu said clearly aligned with the sensitization and advocacy framework of the bank’s Committed-to-Green (C2G) initiative.

Another significant segment was the Hour of Reflection, which featured the symbolic switching off of non-essential lights at the iconic First City Plaza on the Marina, Lagos, between the hours of 8:30pm and 9:30pm, creating a sharp contrast to its usual brilliance as members of the FCMB community gather to reflect on emission reduction and a cleaner, healthier planet. This year however, candles were replaced with hand held solar lamps and torch lights thereby emphasising the importance of renewable fuels in the fight against Global Warming.

During the Hour also, experts engaged participants in a range of topics including; Greenhouse Effects, Desertification, Deforestation, Environmental Degradation, Clean Cook-stoves, Renewable Energy, Social Entrepreneurship and the FCMB Evergreen Initiative.

“FCMB as part of its Committed–to-Green initiative (C2G) has continued to lead the way in bringing attention to the issue of climate change and observing the Earth Hour at the First City Plaza has been a good opportunity for the entire FCMB community which includes staff, customers and friends to come together and contemplate the sustainability of the one thing which supports every known life – our planet Earth,” explained Kenny Aliu.

FCMB has in the recent past, been at the forefront of the sensitisation and advocacy campaign on the issue of climate change. The bank, in partnership with the British Council organised the first ever Climate and Faith Seminar in Africa, which attracted over one hundred traditional, and faith leaders as well as policy makers from UK, Nigeria and all over Sub-Sahara Africa. It has also collaborated with the British Council in the past to train media practitioners on accurate reporting of Climate Change and Environmental Degradation as well as , co-sponsored the Lagos State Summit on Climate Change for two consecutive years.

Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world have since adopted the event.

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