UNESCO: Italy launches first pool of “green helmets for the environment”

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ROME, JANUARY 28TH- Italy launched today the first unit of “green helmets” for the environment: a pool of experts tasked with the mission of protecting UNESCO’s  natural sites inscribed in the World Heritage lists.

“Identifying a site is not enough, we must also be able to protect it,” said Sergio Costa, the Italian Minister for the Environment, on his Facebook page.

The announcement arrived after the signature of the first Protocol of collaboration, followed by the first ever meeting of the new Italian “green helmets” unit. As explained by the Minister, this experimental program will receive 2 million euros each year, and will be running from 2020 to 2022.

The goal is to safeguard and enhance the over 200 UNESCO natural sites through the establishment of a qualified task force capable of providing support in protected areas and Italian territories recognized internationally.

“Our 22 experts -continued Costa- come from Ispra (the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), but we are also reaching out to universities, to the National Research Council (CNR)” and “to volunteers wishing to work alongside the managing bodies, so to provide them with the experience necessary to safeguard at best our environmental treasures”.

The “green helmets”, explains Costa, “are experts of environmental engineering and biology, but also liberal arts professionals as well as landscape architects whose expertise can provide new management plans for the protection of environmental treasures. This is something that has never been done before. I myself went to negotiate this initiative to the Unesco Director General in Paris who was really impressed by the idea”. (SB@OnuItalia)