Major landmarks to turn off the lights for Earth HourOn March 31 at 8:30pm local time, governments around the world will switch off the lights, plunging some of their countries’ most famous monuments into darkness for 60 minutes for the annual global event Earth Hour, which is designed to raise awareness of climate change and the environmental issues facing the planet.

Earth Hour, organized by environmental group the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), first began in Sydney in 2007 and since then has spread around the world, with more than 135 countries now taking part. Thousands of other events organized by individuals, businesses and local organizations will also be taking place across the globe to mark the event.

Below is a list of some of the key monuments around the world taking part in this year’s event:

Australia: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge

Belarus: National Library of Belarus

Brazil: Christ the Redeemer Statue

Canada: CN Tower

China: Great Wall Of China, Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest)

Croatia: Dubrovnik city walls

Dubai: The Burj Khalifa

England: Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, UK Houses of Parliament, Big Ben

France: Eiffel Tower, The Louvre

Germany: Brandenburg Gate, Allianz Arena

India: Gateway of India

Italy: Tower of Pisa

Japan: Tokyo Tower

Lybia: The Libyan Museum

Nepal: Lumbini Sacred Garden

Singapore: Orchard Road

South Africa: Table Mountain

Taiwan: Taipei 101

United States: Las Vegas Strip, Times Square, Empire State Building

Vatican City: The Cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

A full list of events, including all those organized by independent organizations, can be found on the Earth Hour website at: http://www.earthhour.org/

Following Earth Hour the UN-organized Earth Day on April 22 will once again bring together people from around the world to promote awareness of the world’s climate and the environmental challenges it currently faces; more information about this event can be found at http://www.earthday.org/2012