rudnik_zrinski_park medvednica.jpg
Photograph: Croq / hr.wikipedia.org

About 300 nature lovers planted 5,000 saplings on Mount Medvednica, overlooking Zagreb, on Saturday as part of this year's global environmental campaign Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is a global project initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the fight against climate change and is marked every year on March 19 by switching lights off around the globe. The afforestation campaign was organised by IKEA Croatia, Medvednica Nature Park and the state-run forest management company Hrvatske Sume.

Medvednica Nature Park director Snjezana Malic-Limari said that last year was the warmest on record. "Over the last few years, the park has been ravaged by eight storms and an ice storm that caused extensive damage to the forest eco-system, especially on the south side of Medvednica," she said, noting that there were many uprooted trees, landslides and damaged infrastructure.

About 95 percent of the area of Medvednica Nature Park affected by natural disasters has been revived.

Sixty-eight Croatian cities are participating in this year's Earth Hour campaign, along with over 7,000 cities in 178 countries across the world. The lights on historic landmarks in Dubrovnik, Split, Varazdin, Vukovar, Osijek, Pula, Zadar, Zagreb and other cities and towns will be switched off at 8.30 pm for an hour to bring public attention to the effects of climate change.

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