Fourteen cities will participate this year in Earth Hour, marked in Israel on Thursday, April 22, concurrently with the 40th worldwide Earth Day. This is the third year that Israeli cities participate in the project, which is aimed at raising awareness to energy preservation and protection of the environment, and is marked by turning off the lights for one hour, between 8 and 9 pm. The largest global project for environmental awareness began four years ago in Australia and expanded to Israel and many other countries in the world. From year to year, it has been expanding even further in Israel. While Tel Aviv was the only Israeli city that participated in the project in the first year, last year five more cities joined and this year 14 cities will take part, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, Kfar Saba, Eilat, Ashkelon, Dimona, Yavne, Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, Ness Ziona, Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion and Ra'anana. Earth Hour is marked around the world at the end of March, and this year millions of people in some 6,000 cities and municipalities participated. This year, as in previous years, Israel chose to move the event to another date and mark it separately. This year the event will coincide with the 40th global Earth Day, as part of the fight against global warming, pollution and damage to the environment around the world. At the center of Earth Hour is the symbolic act of shutting off the lights in all the houses, offices, factories and other structures. Data collected from the electricity company shows that the response to Earth Hour has been increasing in Israel every year. However, energy economizing is not the main objective, but rather the message of partnership and awareness for the cause of energy preservation. Earth Hour will take place, as in previous years, in partnership with Yedioth Ahronot, Ynet and 14 municipalities that will participate in the lights-out. The project is also in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Life and Environment organization, Society for the Protection of Nature, Adam, Teva V'din Foundation, Israel Bike Trail, Israel Electric Corp., and Pais Lottery. The event has been planned in cooperation and coordination with the police, Defense Ministry and the IDF. During Earth Day, numerous events will take place in the participating cities, in cooperation with educational institutions, youth movements and environmental organizations. In the evening, shows will be held on the wall of the Old City in Jerusalem and in Kikar Rabin (Rabin Square) in Tel Aviv.