‘Crowdfunding' highlights this year's Earth Hour

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Monday, March 31, 2014


‘CROWDFUNDING,’ a new concept in financing a project or other endeavors, took center stage in last Saturday’s observance of the annual Earth Hour.

Aside from minimizing the use of electricity for an hour, this year’s Earth Hour introduced the idea of crowdfunding to the Filipinos.

The Cagayan de Oro City Government, in an e-mailed statement, said that what made this year’s Earth Hour different is the launch of ‘Earth Hour Blue,’ considered the first crowdfunding platform for the planet.

The country is one of the 16 beneficiaries of the Earth Hour Blue.

This action would allow individuals to fund environmental and social projects of their choice through an online donation.

Crowdfunding, as defined in a Wikipedia article, is the collection of finance to sustain an initiative from a large pool of backers—the “crowd”—usually made online by means of a web platform.

This initiative could be a nonprofit campaign (for example, to raise funds for a school or social service organization), a political campaign (to support a candidate or political party), a philanthropic campaign (for example, for emergency funds for an ill person or to produce an emerging artist), a commercial campaign (for example, to create and sell a new product) or a financing campaign for a start-up company.

According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, “this crowdfunding initiative of the World Wide Fund (WWF)-Philippines is encouraging the world to support the project ‘Bancas for the Philippines.’”

Earnings from the crowdfunding project will be used to share and introduce a climate-smart fiberglass boat technology to local fishermen who lost their boats and source of livelihood to super typhoon Yolanda.

Crowdfunding, the article added, has its origins in the concept of crowdsourcing, which is the broader concept of an individual reaching a goal by receiving and leveraging small contributions from many parties.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro observed the Earth Hour by turning off the park lights and streetlights at Plaza Divisoria, the city’s main business hub, last Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The provincial capitol building also turned its lights off including De Lara Park.

Some of the major malls in the city also took part in the Earth Hour.

In his message, City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the turning off or dimming of lights was aimed at taking action on the global warming that continues to threaten the world.

“With the city’s central business district plunged in darkness, the city government is sending a message to the whole city to join this annual global campaign that urges homes, business establishments, public spaces and entire communities to voluntarily turn off electricity for one,” Moreno said.

Earth Hour served as a wake-up call to the threat of climate change as well as a platform to highlight what is being done and what can still be done to address it.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 31, 2014.

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