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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 26th October 2017

    ESG Radio Newsletter 26th October, 2017


    This week we bring you highlights from our CUTW campaign and other developments. We are currently presenting certificates to schools and clubs for all the youngsters who participated in cleaning up Gibraltar. For some this will be combined with talks and workshops and we look forward to a busy autumn of sharing and caring about these issues. Volunteers were pleased to see their efforts recognised a few weeks ago with a reception held by the Chief Minister. After 13 years of clean ups it was welcome to see the campaign thanked by Gibraltar’s highest office.


    Clean up is not over though and there are one or two large challenging sites that could still be tackled this autumn. If you are willing, fit and able send us an email and we shall add you to the list to esg@gibtelecom.net.


    A big part of Clean up the World is to prevent and contain our rubbish and we highlight this alongside our litter problems. This is especially acute given our island environment. As use of plastics grow in modern communities, so do the levels of plastic waste found on our cliffs, beaches, shoreline and green areas.


    It was therefore very positive to see the recent Press Conference take place in Gibraltar this week led by the Minister for the Environment and his team with a number of NGOs. The presentation was all about plastic waste as a major threat and hazard to marine life and seabirds, and ultimately, to us the human species, as microplastics work their way into the food chain. The ESG focused on the major litter and dumping issues in early years of clean ups and how this has generally improved as services and facilities have grown. In its place though we are finding growing amounts of plastic waste of every description from every sector of the community and this is unacceptable. We have much work to do.


    The global plastic issue has now reached crisis proportions and is mentioned with the same frequency as climate change. We commend the efforts being made locally to encourage retailers and consumers to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste they are responsible for. The Nautilus Project and Department of the Environment have been focusing on the single use plastic bag issue recently and the community is responding. We hope all businesses and related associations will get behind this too. The ESG and GONHS have together launched plastic based campaigns in the past such as No2plastic bags and the halting of the mass release of plastic balloons on National Day. However this very direct and combined approach supported by Government to bring retailers on board is great news.


    But you can help too – it only takes a little effort to make a big difference and you can start today by saying no to the plastic bag!

    GBC Rock Explorer programme will be showing footage from CUTW 2017 action next week– this is on Monday 30th October at 9pm and repeated during that week. Spread the word!

     Reminder that the next DPC session takes place on Tuesday, 31st October at 9.30am- you can check agenda online following the town planning website and DPC link.

    For info on other local environmental issues visit www.esg-gib.net.


    See following links for media coverage on plastic bag Press Conference

    Chronicle:-     http://chronicle.gi/2017/10/gib-joins-forces-to-reduce-plastic-use/


    YourGibraltarTV:       https://www.yourgibraltartv.com/politics/15703-oct-24-local-businesses-morisson-s-eroski-and-m-s-commit-to-reducing-plastic-use


    GBC:      http://www.gbc.gi/news/morrisons-eroski-and-ms-commit-banning-plastic-bags



    ESG Radio Newsletter 12th October, 2017


    Civic Pride  –  Clean up the World  –  Grand Parade Car Park –  Brexit –

    ESG List of Objectives – DPC

    We start this weeks newsletter by celebrating the recent display of civic pride by our nigh on 400 volunteers who gave time and energy during the CUTW campaign to free up multiple green areas and coastal sites from litter. Once again the community pulled together and achieved great results.

    As organisers we thank everyone who helped make this happen. Workshops, talks and presentations are planned for the autumn months and more details will be released very shortly.

    The Clean up is always a mixed experience for our volunteers who derive a sense of fulfilment from the team work and positive impact they have had on any one site; but who are also shocked to see how so many of our beautiful and quiet green areas and seafronts are misused and trashed. As organisers we are hopeful that change is imminent with these areas included under the new contract. But we also believe more needs to be done to encourage persistent litterers to change their behaviour, in whatever way is necessary, and we shall continue to place efforts in this regard also.

    Moving on to other matters the ESG recently issued a press release drawing attention to the Government project proposal to develop Grand Parade into a multi-storey car park. We believe alternatives must be found to retain the open area and hope that Government will reconsider its plans. Please visit our website esg-gib.net for our full release on this and on others you may find of interest.

    With regards to Brexit we hope to meet with the Brexit NGO environmental forum shortly to review all our concerns to ensure that the Gibraltar Government takes these forward when it attends talks with the Brexit team in the UK. For the ESG our continued ability to be able to bring pressure on major polluters such as the CEPSA Oil Refinery with its cross border impact and to apply environmental standards is crucial and we shall continue to follow these matters closely.

    A reminder to all that you can find an overview on all the various environmental areas we study as a local NGO by again, visiting our website, on the home page and clicking on List of Objectives. This is a summary and so does not include all the data and detail contained in earlier versions. Nevertheless it does highlight the broad nature of our work and approach and the extensive experience we have gained from researching and taking all forms of action on these issues over the years.

    The Development and Planning Commission is very busy at present and is currently meeting twice monthly as compared to its usual monthly sessions. This month the dates of note are the 18th and 31st of October. Remember these are public sessions starting at 9.30am and all are welcome. You can find the agenda for the mtgs a week before the session online on the Town Planning, DPC page.


    Thanks for listening and please get in touch if you want any further information. Members will be contacted soon to renew subscriptions and receive updates on the groups 2017-18 mission.

    ESG PR re Grand Parade 06/10/17

    The ESG has met with Government to share its concerns and views regarding the proposed multi-storey car park at Grand Parade. It also aired these views at the last DPC meeting.


    Regretting the loss of open space and evident increase in traffic a multi storey car park would create in this area the ESG would like to make the following comments: –


    1.  it believes the project goes against the spirit of the STTP (Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan) by increasing the volume of cars, instead of investing in improved public transport, and initiatives which will encourage walking and cycling
    2. it believes a review and promotion of a “Park and Ride” initiative is needed to help address the influx of foreign traffic into Gibraltar on a daily basis
    3. that, if parking is to be increased at the Grand Parade site, alternatives to the present project be seriously explored: to go underground or investigate the possibility of utilising part of the Government owned Queens Cinema Complex and combine a new theatre with parking
    4. while Government has affirmed publicly that retaining Grand Parade as an open area, and potentially even a landscaped park, while ideal, is unaffordable and unrealistic, the ESG urges them to give every possible consideration to retaining the open area for present and future generations and organise essential parking requirements via an alternative plan, while also pressing forward the aims behind the STTP


    From conversations we have had with members of the public on this subject, we believe that the ESG opinion resonates with many. We would encourage these citizens to get in touch with us on <esg@gibtelecom.net> so that we can collectively put more emphasis on our concern.