SHAMA, JULY 25 – The United Nations rewards the Italian Army in Lebanon for its efforts for environmental protection. The recognition came after a team of UN experts from the Environmental Management Unit has spent several days at Shama base, the headquarters of the Italian contingent involved in the UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) mission . The base is named “Millevoi” after second lieutenant Andrea Millevoi, Gold Medal of Military Valor, and it is under the command of General Francesco Olla, commander of the Italian “blue helmets”.
The UN report was carried out by evaluating power consumption and analyzing the differentiated waste collection and disposal system of the entire complex, which hosts around one thousand troops coming from more than ten nations. In the monitoring the UN personnel estimated that by installing photovoltaic solar panels and energy-efficient lighting, fuel consumption was reduced of about 35 per cent over the last year. Benefits came also from better water management, that it is crucial in the summer. In addition to these efforts, the Italian contingent improved the logistics and infrastructure management of the local base. The United Nations team was impressed by the achieved results and congratulated the Italians also for the determined support given to the “Greening the Blue” campaign, that aims at spreading good practices and sustainability initiatives globally. The campaign is strongly backed by the United Nations military personnel, the “Blue Helmets”, from all around the globe, with Italy on the frontline.
Along with the local base managed by the Finnish-Irish contingent, the “Millevoi” headquarters was selected and rewarded from the United Nations, proving the perseverant Italian peacekeepers’ engagement in environmental protection. At the end of the award ceremony, General Francesco Olla planted in the main square of the base a cedar tree, symbol of Lebanon and characterizing its national flag, together with the chairman of the UN team.
Since April 27, 2017, the Italian troops join the Joint Task Force – Lebanon with the “Leonte XXII” Operation, with the support of the Brigade “Granatieri di Sardegna”, as part of the tasks assigned by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 of 2006. The Italian armed forces have been acting as peacekeepers since 2006, with several main goals: constantly monitoring the “Blue Line” to ensure the prevention of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel; supporting the local population, by operating through the Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC); and supporting the Lebanese armed forces deployed in the south of the Litani River, by coordinating, planning and implementing joint training activities and operations. (@onuitalia, July 25)
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