BRUNSSUM, the Netherlands – Saturday 19 September the town of Brunssum participated in the annual World Clean-Up Day. JFC Brunssum (JFCBS) personnel and local residents took to the streets to conduct a litter picking campaign of their own. Activities such as this improve our collective impact on the local environment. They facilitate the ecological benefits of a clean and healthy environment and, concomitantly, help foster unity and belief in mutual support and the symbiotic relationship between the base and the local community. It has been a recognised aim of NATO to promote environmental protection and security, for the benefit of both the Alliance and the wider public interest.
The occasion went ahead mindful of the presence of the threat of COVID-19. Thus, social distancing, in keeping with the Netherlands governments' recommendations, was practiced to the letter throughout the day.
The event included visits by the Mayor of Brunssum, Ms Wilma van der Rijt, and the JFCBS Commander, General Jörg Vollmer - a practical demonstration of the commitment and resolve of the local municipality and NATO to the ideals of a greener community. NATO has a vested interest in maintaining an environmentally conscious modus operandi, and has undertaken measures to that effect since 1969 with the establishment of the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society, whose responsibilities are now encompassed within the remit of the NATO Science for Peace and Security programme (SPS). It is to the benefit of the Alliance to constantly act in mind of environmental protection and security.
Note: World Clean-Up Day is coordinated by the Estonian organization Let's Do It! World. The inaugural World Clean-Up Day was 15 September 2018 (WCD18). The goal was to involve 5% of the world's population (or approximately 380 million people). While the effort fell short of the goal, WCD18 directly mobilized 18 million people worldwide. World Clean-Up Day is held over the course of a 24-hour period, on the 3rd Saturday of September annually. World Clean-Up Day aims to raise awareness of the mismanaged waste crisis by mobilizing all spheres of society to participate in cleanup actions. Individuals, governments, corporations and organisations are all encouraged to take part in clean-ups and to find solutions to tackle mismanaged waste.