Let the Green Competition Begin

The 2010 environmental competition held by the Ministry of Environmental Protection has begun, its goal to inspire environment friendly behavior in the IDF (Zahal)

Date: 19/10/2010, 9:40 PM     Author: Naama Rak

The Ministry of Environmental Protection’s 2010 competition for IDF (Zahal) units has begun: for the eighth time, the Minister for Environmental Protection, Gilad Erdan, and the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will give the Environmental Protection prize to the units and army personnel who took steps and lead important projects for environmental protection in the IDF (Zahal).

Each year, the competition is designed to spread environmental awareness to the IDF (Zahal)’s values and day-to-day activities, with the hope that adopting initiatives will inspire similar behavior in all of the army as well as other organizations. The final ceremony of the competition is expected to take place in the first half of 2011. Units which have yet to sign up are invited to promptly do so by the end of October.

Environmental awareness has steadily gained popularity in the IDF (Zahal) in the past two years, since the creation of bodies responsible for environmental protection. Now, every IDF (Zahal) unit has its own office responsible for environmental protection along with making efforts to raise awareness among army personnel. Last year, the competition was dedicated to preserving water sources, the Israeli Navy winning with a project to implement an educational program for environmental protection. Another notable project from last year’s competition was the IAF soldiers’ movement to turn off personal computers in their branch. The Transportation Center and the Fuel Center in the Technological and Logistics Directorate mapped out IDF (Zahal) gas stations, shutting down unnecessary ones. And the “Hiyun” company, the ammunition unit of Southern Command maintained the Red Canyon nature reserve.

The competition will be held like those of the last few years. At the end of the sign up process, IDF (Zahal) representatives, the Ministry of Defense and The Ministry of Environmental Protection will choose the most creative, successful projects, visiting the units in order to see projects and their implementation. The visits will take place in November and December after which winners will be chosen.

“We are looking for unique new developments with lots of initiative, lasting improvements with the ability to affect the IDF (Zahal) and the environment. It’s important for us to see that something is really happening out in the field and that the idea is not just an idea,” explained Head of the Education and Inspection in the administration of environmental protection, Capt. Alex Dor.