20.03.2013 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Esplanada dos Ministérios turns blue in celebration of World Water Day


The National Water Agency (ANA), the Government of Distrito Federal (GDF), UNESCO Office in Brazil, WWF Brazil, and Água Brasil Program of Banco do Brasil will decorate with blue lighting the main buildings of Esplanada dos Ministérios (the Ministries Esplanade in Brasilia) next Friday 22 March. It will be in celebration of the Word Water Day, the International Year of Water Cooperation, and to encourage people to join Earth Hour. The goal is to draw society’s attention to matters concerning the use and preservation of water, an escalating challenge.

On Saturday, 23 March , around 8:30 p.m., the blue lights will be turned off at Esplanada as well as on the other public buildings of the district government during the 5th Earth Hour. The lights will be subsequently turned back on in blue colour and will remain so until Sunday 31 March. The buildings to be illuminated in blue are the National Congress, Planalto Palace, Buriti Palace and the Cathedral.

International Year of Water Cooperation

Water is vital for the maintenance of life and wellbeing as well as for economic and social development, but the planet’s resources are limited. In any scenario, dealing with water requires collaboration: it is only through cooperation that we will succeed in managing our finite and feeble water sources in the future, as they are under escalating pressure from the activities of a growing world population that surpasses seven billion people. That is why, in December 2010, the General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation and appointed the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to coordinate the official activities.

World Water Day

Celebrated all over the world since 22 March, 1993, the World Water Day was recommended by the United Nations during the UN Conference on Environment and Development, known as Earth Summit. Since then, celebrations take place all over the world according to a theme defined by the UN, and this year’s is “Water Cooperation”.

Earth Hour

It is a global initiative by the WWF Network in the fight against climate change. On Saturday 23 March, 2013, at 8:30pm, people, businesses, communities and governments are called upon to turn off their lights for one hour to show support to the fight against global warming. During the first edition in 2007 in Australia, two million people turned off their lights. In 2008, over 50 million people all over the world joined the action. In 2009, when WWF Brazil promoted Earth Hour in the country for the first time, almost one billion people all over the world turned off their lights. In 2012, the campaign reached over seven thousand cities in 152 countries.

Cultural acts

In the afternoon of the 22nd, organizers and supporters will promote the Seminar Water, Communication and Society in the International Year of Water Cooperation. The Seminar is open to all interested parties and it will gather specialists and communicators in an open space to share experiences and discussions. The goals are to publicize how Brazil manages water resources, to give visibility to cooperation and mobilization actions toward good management and sustainable use of water as well as to involve society in the debate about the growing challenge of securing good quality and quantity of water for all. Registrations for the Seminar remain open until 20 March at the institutional websites of the event organizers and supporters or directly at http://seminarioagua.ana.gov.br/2013/, featuring the complete schedule.

On Friday (22), starting at 8:30pm, there will be a free concert with percussion group Companhia das Índias and the band Pé de Cerrado, at Museum of the Republic main hall. On Saturday 23, at the Museum’s external area, starting at 8pm, during Earth Hour, the group Patubatê (percussion with instruments made of upcycled material) and Criolina DJs will lead the celebrations.

More information and interviews:

ANA: Cláudia Dianni and Natália Sampaio 
Phone: (61) 2109 5103, E-mail: imprensa(at)ana.gov.br

UNESCO in Brazil:  Ana Lúcia Guimarães and Isabel de Paula
Phones: (61) 2106 3536, 2106 3538, E-mail: gcomunicacao(at)unesco.org.br

Semarh: Raíssa Tomaz
Phone: (61) 3214 5624,  E-mail: assessoriaibram(at)gmail.com; ascommeioambiente(at)gmail.com

WWF: Michel Santos (61) 8210 3668 msantos(at)wwf.org.br

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