UNIFIL Celebrates 2017 World Environment Day

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, and UNIFIL Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Imran Riza, plant an olive tree during the ceremony for 2017 World Environment Day in Naqoura.

UNIFIL peacekeepers gather to commemorate 2017 World Environment Day in south Lebanon. 

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary distributes the first questions for the relay quiz. 

A team of UNIFIL Chinese peacekeepers race to answer the environmental questions in the “Rally Paper” event.

A team of UNIFIL civilian peacekeepers compete to answer the environmental questions alongside a team of UNIFIL Indonesian peacekeepers.

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5 Jun 2017

UNIFIL Celebrates 2017 World Environment Day

UNIFIL joined with hundreds of UN organizations and agencies to celebrate 2017 World Environment Day on 5 June 2017 at an event held in Naqoura, south Lebanon. 

At the event UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary addressed the assembled crowd, “This important day in the organization’s annual calendar has, since 1974, served as the United Nations flagship campaign for raising awareness on worldwide environmental issues, on topics as diverse and important as global warming, sustainable consumption and the preservation of wildlife. The theme of this year’s Day is Connecting people to nature - in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator.” 

He also cautioned, “As a global community however, we cannot take such wonders for granted. They must be protected and cannot be damaged by our day-to-day activities. We all have only one home and we must take care of it. Today gives us all an opportunity to reflect on how we can improve as individuals and as an organization, to ensure that we become advocates for the fragile environment that surrounds us.”

The event coordinated by UNIFIL’s Environmental Management Unit, included senior mission leadership planting an olive tree, the performance of a song written and sung by Monita Youssef, as well as a variety of civilian and military peacekeepers participating in the “Rally Paper” race – a 5-stage relay race, involving nature-related quiz questions.

UNIFIL and its peacekeepers carry out their duties in south Lebanon giving full consideration for the preservation of the Lebanese environment. The mission strives to limit the impact of their environmental footprint in order to “go green” and be sustainable. To date UNIFIL peacekeepers have led with environmental initiatives such as building a greenhouse made entirely of recycled plastic bottles, using renewable solar energy to replace 5% of UNIFIL’s HQ energy consumption, and upholding best practice in water treatment and garbage disposal. 

Article: Aoibheann O’Sullivan 
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze, Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Video Editor: Suzane Baderddine 
Photos: Pascual Gorriz