(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), has launched a new initiative titled "Environmental Defense Forces: Commanders Take Responsibility for Their Surroundings." The initiative is designed to encourage IDF officers and soldiers to protect nature as well as the landscapes and heritage surrounding it.
The green projects for 2015 are slated to be revealed at the IDF's Military Colleges Base in Glilot, near Herzliya. They include: repair work to the Tel Kadesh archeological site; "Mountain Guards," assigned to a unit stationed in the middle of a nature preserve on the peak of Mount Meron in northern Israel; "Green Base," assigned to the Ammunitions Center at Camp Namera; restoring the swallows to the IDF's Kirya command center in central Tel Aviv; "Strong Radio," which calls for the Army Radio building to be renovated to accommodate a habitat for animals and plant life indigenous to the Mediterranean coastline on its rooftop and walls; a hiking trail to be constructed at the IDF's instructional base in the Negev; saving the population of small desert birds in the area used by the Artillery School; and "Nature Patrols," to be carried out by the IDF Combat Collection School at Camp Sayerim.
SPNI Executive Director Kosha (Moshe) Pakman said, "We see the contact with the IDF as an important, long-term target for educational work and for teaching [soldiers and officers] to know and love the country."
Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) Director General Shaul Goldstein added, "Cooperation between the INPA, soldiers, and commanders under the auspices of the 'Environmental Defense Forces' is crucial to protecting the values of the nation, strengthening awareness and fostering people's connection to this place."