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Jun 4 2021

NSPA celebrates World Environment Day

LUXEMBOURG - World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of June since 1974. The date engages governments, organizations and citizens in an effort to raise awareness on environmental issues. The Alliance has also answered to this call for action. The portfolio of NATO activities towards environmental matters has grown stronger in the last decades through the application of relevant Standardization Agreements (STANAGs), the launching of training schemes, the promotion of scientific research and the development and the incorporation of new technologies aimed at gradually reducing the environmental "bootprint".

NATO is adapting to become more resilient in response to the security challenges posed by climate change. 

In March 2021, Allies endorsed NATO's Climate Change and Security Agenda and this June, in conjunction with the month for World Environment Day, NATO Leaders will agree an Action Plan to implement it. 

This motivation to pursue further sustainability, including battling climate change, has been reiterated in the recent NATO "2030 United for a New Era" report.

The Artic Credits: Alfred Wegener Institute/Lianna Nixon

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is also playing its part, by launching and implementing collaborative projects with NATO Allies and Partner Nations and other international organizations to enforce environmentally sound and sustainable development and ensure compliance with national and international environmental regulatory frameworks.

NSPA identifies environmental protection and energy efficiency as critical enablers for military capabilities. In this light, the NSPA General and Cooperative Services Programme has delivered over 30 projects since 2011 for a total value of over €38 Million Euros. NSPA has led numerous environmental monitoring activities (for soil, water and air), waste, air emissions, and end-of-life assets' management, as well as land and seabed reclamation projects, gaining the trust of Nations as a reliable service provider in the environmental protection domain. The NSPA General and Cooperative Services Programme applies an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System for all the activities providing due diligence, environmentally compliant and sustainable services to NATO and its Nations.

NSPA can handle end-of-life assets on behalf of the nations

In addition, through its Demilitarization, Dismantling and Disposal (D3) Support Partnership (SP), NSPA contributes to reducing the environmental impact of military activities by providing consolidated disposal services for equipment from different domains (air, land, and sea), as well as for treatment and disposal of waste, hazardous chemicals and other dangerous substances, enabling nations to benefit from logistics advantages and economies of scale. 

Since D3 SP creation in 2013, NSPA has recovered almost 40,000 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, resulting in significant energy savings, water savings, savings in consumption of raw materials reduction of air and water pollution, and CO2 emissions.

This year's World Environment Day's theme is Ecosystem Restoration, with a view to bolster the recovery of degraded ecosystems and enrich their biodiversity. NSPA is playing its role in helping restore the ecosystem whenever Nations require it. The Agency is currently engaged in three projects in Italy related to restoring the ecosystem.

In La Spezia, NSPA has recently finalised the refurbishment of several backstops dating back to 1922, which had been declared national cultural property. The project is part on an integrated environmental remediation programme, whose main challenge was to recover the structures to their original state using only sustainable materials and methodologies approved by the Italian National Ministry of Culture.

NSPA is also supporting the Italian Air Force in restoring the underwater ecosystem surrounding their Firing Ranges. To date, 1660 targets scattered across 100 hectares of the Mediterranean seabed have been retrieved, ensuring reduced recovery costs while adopting the Circular Economy axioms with respect to maximum environmental protection and recycling.

NSPA is supporting the Italian Air Force in restoring the underwater ecosystem 

Finally, the Agency has developed an integrated environmental remediation plan in Brindisi. The area suffered vast scale bombing during the World War II and, since 2019, NSPA has retrieved 23 inert bombs undersea in line with ISPRA guidelines, and removed 118 inert bombs from land supported by a UXO research service.

Story by NATO Support and Procurement Agency

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