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  • EARTH HOUR 2012 30th March 2012

    ESG on Earth Hour 30th March 2012

    Each year since 2007, the ESG has drawn attention locally to the global campaign called Earth Hour. This exciting campaign reminds us all of the urgent need for collective action in reducing energy use and improving energy efficiency. The event takes place this Saturday, the 31st March between 8.30pm and 9.30pm and the ESG urges everyone to switch off unnecessary lights between these times.

    What started in 2004 in Australia as a WWF campaign aimed at creating awareness about climate change, has, over the years, become a massively popular campaign which sees around 4,000 cities participate in close to 100 countries. In 2006 and 7, the Al Gore film “An Inconvenient Truth” and the “Stern Report”, galvanised strong public support for community led action on climate change and demands on world leaders to address this critical issue.

    In 2010 the Earth Hour Campaign saw countries step up support with several iconic buildings and landmarks around the planet switching off their lights during the same time period. These actions made the headlines in several mainstream news channels spreading the campaigns message even further.

    This weekend, once again, Gibraltar will join millions of others around the world in calling attention to one of the most serious issues facing humankind, and why both creating awareness of this issue and encouraging individual participation via the switch off, is so important for everyone to support. The ESG has been spreading the word at schools this week encouraging students to tell their friends via social media.

    We also welcome the action taken by the Gibraltar Government once again in going beyond the hour and switching off the lights on local iconic spots like the Moorish Castle, North Face and the Gibraltar Law Courts for the entire weekend. It is also welcome to note that Government is assessing energy use in public buildings throughout Gibraltar with a view to reducing energy consumption and this is a most important development in 2012.

    Visit www.earthhour.org for more information on this enlightening campaign

    ESG congratulates Govt on banning smoking in public places

    The ESG congratulates Government for taking the decision to set a date to ban smoking in all public places. This is long overdue and will bring great benefit to many including those who work in the bar and catering establishments. This is a most welcome step.

    Ban to be enforced as from the 1st October 2012.

    Brussels and illegal seabed raking 15/03/12


    15th March 2012

    The ESG is concerned about a Brussels decision announced by La Junta de Andalucía in February 2012 that will allow fishing fleets in Andalucía to continue seabed raking, an environmentally damaging fishing practice, to be carried out inside the normally forbidden zone of 0.3 miles to shore.

    An article in La Linea Digital (see link at end of press release) advised that La Linea de la Concepcion, Estepona, Velez and Fuengirola have a total of 269 licensed vessels between them for this type of fishing which employs a total of 700 people.

    It is very distressing to read that this unsustainable practice, recognised as disastrous for the survival of coastal marine species, and outlawed elsewhere in Europe, has nevertheless been given a moratorium to operate in these areas which has implications for Gibraltar’s waters.

    Coming at a time that the Gibraltar Government has stated it will stand firmly by the 1991 Nature Protection Act the ESG hopes that the issue of illegal sea bed raking can also come under the spotlight for adequate regulation enforcement within Gibraltar’s protected areas.

    Link at: http://www.lalineadigital.es/2012/02/las-embarcaciones-de-marisqueo-de-la-linea-podran-seguir-faenando-cerca-de-la-orilla/


    9TH March 2012


    ESG is most concerned with news of a massive fuel farm setting up in Algeciras, as confirmed in the Spanish and local media this week. Vopak Terminal has set up a total of 22 tanks with over 4million ton capacity in a bid to “compete” with Gibraltar for bunkering business. This new industry comes at a time when cross border co-operation under the Tripartite Process is at an all time low.

    In 2009, during the 3rd Ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Forum, a communiqué was issued citing the need for greater co-operation at cross border level on matters of environmental protection. This protection was intended to address: “pollution from maritime activity and traffic, bunkering operations, industrial emissions and water discharges, waste disposal and land reclamations, among others. This co-operation was intended to take the form of liaisons, establishment of contact points and urgent means of communication, rehearsed co-operation in co-ordinated incident response, and other means. (see 2nd para, Pt 6 Communique 21.07.09). No such co-operation exists today at a formal level, yet heavy industry continues to grow increasing risk to people and the environment.

    The Vopak fuel depot carries a significant environmental and safety risk, and such a project demands detailed transfer of information at a cross border level – This relates to Environmental Impact Assessments as well as response preparedness in the event of accidents.

    The ESG asks whether the Gibraltar Government has been presented with an Environmental Impact Assessment for this fuel farm and if not that it should demand this information from the Algeciras Authorities, if not directly, then via the European Commission.

    The ESG hopes that the Tripartite framework set up to address critical issues affecting Bay citizens and environment can be taken forward to safeguard our future against the ever increasing and unsustainable petrochemical industry.


    Western Beach sewage levels continue to be high and of concern. Checking out the Environmental Agency website confirms levels of EColi and coliforms to be going through the roof.

    Check out:-

    The ESG understands that the new Government of Gibraltar is addressing this situation. The ESG will also be highlighting the deteriorating water quality to MEP Sir Graham Watson who has worked so hard on this issue on our behalf in Brussels to date.




    To begin with, on International Women’s day, we thought it entirely appropriate to remind listeners of the extraordinary achievements of the late and remarkable woman from Kenya, called Wangari Maathai. Wangari was an activist whose Green Belt movement enabled poor women to plant 30 million trees. In 2004 she was handed the Nobel Peace prize, the first African woman to be so acclaimed for her efforts to combat deforestation and promote women’s rights. A truly incredible role model.

    On another matter the ESG was pleasantly surprised to read in an official European Commission Environmental journal, how environmental citizens movements can be extremely helpful in supporting official data gathering to clean up pollution and the environment. They cited the Bucket Brigade as an example. Well many will be aware that we set up a cross border Bucket Brigade movement in 2004 and collected air samples of Refinery pollution which we presented to the European Commission at the time, in 2005.

    We are now contacting the article’s author to advise him that the bucket technology and citizen campaign is alive and kicking in Europe too. We shall also let Denny Larson know who, we are sure, will be pleased to hear his work is recognised in an official capacity. We shall post more information on this story on our website shortly including a reaction from Denny Larson himself!

    Moving on, we would like to remind listeners that the next DPC meeting will take place on Tuesday 27th March at 9.30am at Charles Hunt Room. Remember to check out the agenda on the Government website in case there is any issue of interest to you.

    We are busy meeting with the new Government and sharing our concerns and information and are hopeful that we shall see some major environmental changes in the not too distant future.

    The ESG has also delivered a series of lectures to schools, Gibraltar college and associations and invite anyone listening who would like to have an environmental talk by our group to please contact us at 200-48996, or 54960000. Also email esg@gibtelecom.net with any enquiries.
    Thanks for listening