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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 271016

     ESG Radio Newsletter 27th October 2016

     Brexit is dominating our lives in ways that few issues have done before and worryingly creating further and frustrating delays in all spheres of society. It also raises questions on how we can ensure environmental standards are protected and adhered to going forward.

    Locally we are concerned that the progress made in recent years on projects such as the new sewage treatment plant will not be blown off course because of Brexit. Another major area is our renewable energy programme, and the need for investment and political will to convert to reality all research undertaken so far by Govt.

    Earlier this month we met with the Minister for the Environment and his team together with the GONHS, to review the potential Brexit impacts on the environment. It is an important platform for us, as NGOs, and the Ministry dedicated to the protection of the environment, to share and hold such discussions, and bring to the table, the critical areas of concern that are under threat by an EU exit from each party’s perspective.

    We hope to be able to contribute to these discussions in areas of local pollution and health, but particularly in the case of the major chemical plants and Oil Refinery in the bay. This where the ESG, supported by Hassan’s Law firm and various MEPs, has sought redress from the EU on environmental breaches for the past 14 years! It is now going to be an even harder challenge, of that there is no doubt.

    Revisiting the Clean up for a moment – just to advise all volunteers that photographs depicting your great efforts over the clean up weekend can be found on our website, available via the Flickr link on the home page that we shall mention at the end of this broadcast. Also you will all be contacted soon as certificates of participation are being drawn up and will be handed out at a special ceremony. A report on the Clean Up, its success and on-going issues will be completed soon and also submitted to authorities and posted on our website. This will include un-tackled areas, bins and more.

    OK, moving on to a few more topics – construction of new developments can cause abject misery to those most affected, and actual medical symptoms in a few. There are regulations in place to ensure that these sites are managed rigorously and dust controlled to a minimum, and failure to do this must be reported either to site manager/details should be posted at site hoarding, OR to the Environmental Agency at 200-70620 if there is no info at site. Please do follow up and do not suffer in silence.

    We have also attended a meeting this week that looked at issues of quayside pollution and onshore power connection that we hope to see regulated in Gibraltar soon. This could remove air and noise pollution currently affecting frontline residents and we shall continue to press for these facilities to be set up.

    Please follow our issues and work by clicking on our website – our Wish List – Core Aims, is posted right on the home page at esg-gib.net and outlines all the areas we follow. You can email us for more information at esg@gibtelecom.net

    CEPSA Fire and Flaring 211016

    This past week has seen a number of incidents at the CEPSA Oil Refinery in San Roque that gives rise for concern.


    A fire occurred at the plant yesterday, and though quickly extinguished, highlights the risks posed by this industry to both people and the environment in the area.


    Although accidents happen, it does not excuse todays prolonged and major flaring episode by the Refinery, which in itself, is poor practice.


    Neighbouring residents have been using social media and press statements to expose the company’s excessive and toxic pollution and demonstrate how alarming it is to have their airspace constantly invaded by this.


    Local citizens have also been contacting the ESG this week concerned to see the regular polluting activity at the Refinery.


    Background chronic emissions produced by the chemical industries located in the Bay are feared to impact heavily on citizens health, with a recent report citing the premature deaths of at least 50 people per year to be linked to one heavily polluting coal fired power station in Los Barrios alone.


    The Refinery and all other heavy industry in the Bay must clean up their act and do much more to contain emissions within their fence line.



    ESG on Dolphin Bar Proposal 17/10/16

    Public Spaces must not be privatised

    Apart from Camp Bay designated a public amenity and leisure area in the Gib Dev Plan, the application to convert the Dolphin Bar Restaurant into an apartment complex with restaurants, should be refused.

    It would set a very bad precedent – to concrete further our coastline which shows off Gibraltar’s natural beauty and synergy with Africa – also very popular with tourists and locals and must not be allowed to happen.

    The kiosk further along at Camp Bay was refused a second floor on application due to the impact this would have on the open panoramic views we all enjoy. To allow 7 floors at this very popular beach would go against all these measures and values and must be stopped.

    Camp Bay is as important to hundreds if not thousands of local families as is, for example, the Caleta, with generation after generation making this their destination of choice every summer and throughout the year, weather permitting. Predictably this application is seeing many objections lodged against it.

    The ESG values our quality of life and natural environment and believes that building private apartments in such valued, open public locations is unacceptable and that this application should be refused.

    Brexit and the Environment 18th October 2016

    The ESG wishes to highlight the following press release from the Gibraltar Ministry of Health, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change:-



    No: 581/2016

    Date: 18th October 2016



    Brexit and the Environment


    Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Dr John Cortes last week chaired a meeting with NGOs and Department officials to study the impact of Brexit on the environment. Both the Environmental Safety Group (ESG) and the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) were represented at the meeting.

    Discussions dealt with a large range of matters, including the implication of possible eventual non-application of environmental Directives in Gibraltar and the possible effects of difficulties at the border.

    It was agreed to keep meeting regularly in order to identify risks to to the environment in more detail and to set out a roadmap to ensure that Brexit does not result in the Gibraltar environment being compromised.

    Dr John Cortes commented, “In addition to the single market and freedom of movement, the environment is one of the key elements that the EU has improved throughout the Union. In the same way that Gibraltar has to be prepared to tackle the economic and political effects of Brexit, we must be ready to ensure that our environmental status continues to improve. I am very pleased indeed that the Government’s Department of the Environment and Climate Change, GONHS and the ESG will be working together towards this common aim. This is an example of how all of Gibraltar has to pull together to make a success of any uncertainty that may await.”


    end of Press Release

    ESG Radio Newsletter 6th October 2016

    ESG Radio Newsletter 6th October 2016

     Key words: Clean up the World – Eco Park – Wish List – DPC

    Hello to all. We start by referring to our most recent major event, which is of course, the Clean up the World Campaign. We held an Awareness Event at Casemates the week before the clean up with information stalls about litter issues and impacts and saw much interest from the public as well as from St Mary’s First School and St. Anne’s Middle School. Pupils helped decorate large banners on site with messages about litter and also created some lovely artwork on the environment and how we should be protecting it. Thanks to the teachers who supported the event and to the ESG team who made it possible. We would also like to thank the Youth Service and Dept of Environment for helping with some equipment needed. Special thanks to Ania for her beautiful and eye-catching murals and to Gamma Concepts for the clever use of past Clean up pictures built into a Rock of Gibraltar Mosaic.


    The Clean up saw great efforts from volunteers, combined with resources from various bodies and entities throughout Gibraltar, result in a major win for our natural environment that we should all be proud of. A full report on actions taken and feedback from teams will be published and made available to the Ministry for the Environment and Litter Committee. Of course we hope that recurrent hotspots can be eliminated and we shall be striving to achieve that also. But transformations also took place at very awkward spots such as rocky revetments and slopes, hard to access beaches and on underwater dives- all of which have benefitted from this community clean up and thanks go to all who made this possible. That’s close to 30 teams and support from a dozen other entities! A special thanks to the logistics team that put in many hours before the clean up to ensure it all happened as smoothly as possible. Final thanks to the Open Day Trust for their donation, which ensures we can continue updating and replacing essential equipment.


    The ESG website will carry footage of all the action and teams on our Flickr site accessible on our home page at esg-gib.net as from next week.


    We wanted to promote the Eco Park based at Flint Road, off Devil’s Tower Road, as this facility has been developing and expanding in the last year. Known better as a car scrap yard the site is undergoing a transformation with huge piles of different waste streams prepared for export. You can take all your recyclable waste there – open all week, checking times at 200-75108. Even take your polystyrene, which has only very recently been accepted at the Park for onward recycling!


    The ESG now looks ahead to autumn with plans to revise its Wish List and core aims and bring this up to speed. We hope to have this in place by the end of October. Issues of energy, planning and traffic, among several others, will be reviewed and updated. Meanwhile we continue to hold meetings with Government and other bodies following up on a number of pressing environmental matters.


    The DPC will meet end of October with potentially a number of large schemes on the agenda. We urge the public to visit egov.gi and then Town Planning to read through live applications that could be included in the next agenda. Of course simply appearing on the Application site does not mean inclusion in the next agenda. That will be confirmed and published a week before the DPC meeting itself. The ESG will also be monitoring particular projects.

    Please contact the ESG if you would like any more information. You can track our press statements on our website- and email us at esg@gibtelecom.net . Thank you for listening.