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  • ESG Radio Broadcast 260516

    ESG Radio Newsletter 26th May 2016  

    A number of areas to cover today. Firstly a reminder that the Heritage Trust, GONHS and the ESG are inviting members of the public to send feedback on their Views and Vistas document announced earlier this month. The deadline for comments is the end of May. You can send these to heritage@gibraltar.gi or to the esg@gibtelecom.net. The document, collaboration between all three NGOs is proposing for a number of strategic Gibraltar vistas and views to be safeguarded. We truly welcome public participation on this important matter.


    We were also delighted and honoured to have been one of the nominee’s for this year’s Independent Civil Society awards, for roles in the advancement of civil rights and shaping modern Gibraltar. We thank Equality Rights Group Chairman Felix Alvarez and Unite the Union for recognising the ESG and our efforts in helping place environmental issues squarely on the social and political agenda of Gibraltar.


    With warmer weather upon us pollution levels always seem to rise and take longer to disperse. This is particularly significant and worth focusing on further, on a week that we see the DPC discussing and approving an EIA certificate for the new LNG Storage facility for the upcoming and new Power Station, when Gibraltar’s environmental NGOs call for a “remain in” vote on EU membership, and the WHO issues its biennial, that’s every two years report, on air quality data in European cities showing Gibraltar faring poorly on PM10’s and PM2.5’s which are small sized particles produced from diesel combustion and known to have damaging health impacts.


    The three aging power stations we have used in Gibraltar over the past few decades have not been able to meet EU Directives in recent years. The data being quoted by the latest WHO report is demonstrating this fact and we all know how urgently we need to finally and permanently close all three stations. Although Government and technical advisers on the new power station maintain predominant LNG use, the fact is there is a combination of dual and single fuel engines with diesel still being used at the new plant. This is why the ESG called for conditions to be included on the permit for the new plant to ensure that the highest filtering equipment is used, known as electrostatic precipitators, and for stack monitoring to be installed to carefully measure all emissions. Only in this way, do we believe, can Gibraltar’s air quality, from an energy point of view, improve and lift our ratings from its current poor position. Of course, diesel combustion is present all around us and not only in power stations, from our roads and vehicular activity, to the intense shipping activity in our port and harbour, to the Dockyard, airport, border traffic – and then, of course, cross border with a large chemical industry and Oil Refinery setting a toxic backdrop which is simply always there and not being adequately monitored from our side.


    To this end, and as we did back in 2014, when La Linea was being targeted by the WHO as having worst air quality in Spain, we called for and continue to lobby for real-time monitoring in the north-western flank of Gibraltar, home to a growing residential area and increasing industrial activity. We have been discussing this with Government in recent weeks and call for action to be taken soon on the matter. People’s health and quality of life must be protected and we should respond to expert reports, such as that of the WHO, with appropriate and timely action.


    Gibraltar’s Renewable Energy Programme must gather pace over the next year or so with the current launch of the EcoWave pilot study, an indication that such technologies could soon be more prevalent and ease the load on our fossil fuel energy production. The ESG will continue to monitor and lobby for the cleaning up of our environment and welcome enquiries and questions on any of these issues to esg@gibtelecom.net. You can also visit our website esg-gib.net.

    Thanks for listening.

    Joint ESG and GONHS statement re EU Referendum 20-05-16

    GONHS and ESG support Remain In EU Campaign

    Joint Press Release 20th May 2016


    The Environmental Safety Group (ESG) and The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) have for decades lobbied for a clean, healthy and biodiverse environment.

    We fully recognise the importance of our membership of the European Union to the environment, so that our legislature continues to meet the standards set in Brussels.

    Indeed, EU Directives are in many ways considered the gold standard in environmental legislation.

    The EU Habitats and Birds Directives protect our most vulnerable species, habitats and ecological formations. Gibraltar’s extensive network of protected areas is due to the Habitats Directive, whereas European Law protects some of our most emblematic species, from the Barbary Partridge to the Gibraltar Funnel-web Spider.

    The quality of our air and water is monitored regularly and should meet EU standards. The EU aims to ensure that the air that we breathe and the water in which we bathe are healthy and clean. Gibraltar’s intended Sewage Plant is also due to a EU Directive. Its Waste Policy and Legislation provide targets for recycling and waste management that Member States must meet, whilst it’s Renewable Energy Targets compel us to combat human-influenced climate change.

    The EU seeks to tackle the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and it sets an example for the world to follow.

    Gibraltar’s environment does not exist in a bubble. However intractable and politicised environmental issues can become at a transborder level, impacts and solutions can only be addressed via European Directives.

    Our exclusion from the European Union would significantly set back environmental progress and protection at every level, within and beyond our borders.

    GONHS and the ESG therefore strongly support remaining in the EU. In doing so, we join major environmental organisations such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the UK’s own Wildlife Trust in calling for a ‘Remain In’ vote.


    We urge all Gibraltarians to vote ‘IN’ on June the 23rd. Our environment and health demand it.

    ESG Radio Newsletter 120516

    Radio Newsletter 12th May 2016

    Recent activity has been focusing on noise nuisances from harbour area, clean up issues and cross border vigilance and meetings.


    With noise pollution emanating from shipping activity we followed up with all parties concerned regarding the need for onshore power connection and conversion technology and continue to wait for a substantive response. Fortunately the primary cause, the RFA, was remediated with the relocation of the vessel to the South Mole. Should this vessel come in to dry dock for works it is hoped that it will be able to secure onshore power supply to avoid the worst of its impact affecting south district residents, especially at night-time.

    ESG hopes for a long-term solution to this matter which happens all too often at the dockyard and can be remedied with the right investment in available technology.


    In assessing areas for Clean up the World, it is very sad to say that we continue to have littering issues in Gibraltar. The Campaign is working throughout the year by promoting the need for more education; enforcement and improved facilities and maintenance to raise our standards as well as display true civic pride in our hometown.

    Our coastal environment means we have “quite some responsibility” in containing our waste, and we need to improve on this at a holistic level.


    Globally, plastics, the main non-biodegradable offender, is being considered for redefining as “hazardous waste”, such is its impact on the natural world. It is also headlining as carrying increasing threat with projected volumes to be found in our oceans by 2050 to be equal that of fish. Whether this is an accurate prediction or not, we cannot argue the reality facing us today when a fishing fleet publish their recent catch in the Med showing 20kgs of plastic waste for every 80kgs of fish!! This is disturbing and shocking fact but not surprising…a lot more needs to be done by modern communities everywhere to stop this.


    Just take a walk along our coastline, especially on the western part of our coast and you will see what washes up on a regular basis. Of course late night trashing and littering at our beaches compounds this problem, which results in rubbish blown into the sea. More action needs to be taken here and attitudes need to change.

    We hope to join other NGOs around the Med this year carry out a joint coastal clean up, information and awareness campaign under the Clean up Banner and ensure it has year round objectives.


    With the Refinery and associated industry in the campo area polluting steadily we are working hard behind the scenes once more to use the EC to address this blot on our landscape and threat to populations health throughout the bay. One has to ask where we can take our complaints to should Britain pulls out of the EC?


    Re DPC and next mtg – please note this will take place on the 24th May at 9.30am at the John Mackintosh Hall, with the agenda published a week beforehand. Remember meetings are held in public.