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  • Radio Broadcast 14th December 2017

    ESG Radio Newsletter 141217


    Looking ahead to 2018 the ESG will continue pursuing its aims for a safer and healthier Gibraltar by focusing on all its core objectives set out and available for anyone interested to access on our website, that’s esg-gib.net. Our target areas include: climate change and local actions to address this, pollution from all sources, energy generation, particularly renewable energy, traffic and transport issues, cross border impacts, sewage treatment and infrastructure, development and sustainable planning, port impacts, waste treatment-recycling and litter, tourism and beaches, conservation and the updating of the Environmental Action and Management Plan.


    Yes, it’s a lot of issues but then, the environment includes everything and we are all affected by these too. We believe that our promotion of these issues over the years has raised a lot of awareness among the community as can be increasingly seen during our many recent talks and presentations and by the quality of debates and discussions generally out there.


    Our new home at Wellington Front is starting to take shape and we are confident of developing some exciting ideas in the first quarter of 2018 to engage interested parties in a number of environmental projects. We have faced quite a lot of costs in the move and appeal now for donations, big or small, all welcomed – please get in touch if you would like to help us out with this – email esg@gibtelecom.net. Thanks to those of you who have already stepped forward to help with this.


    The ESG met with the Minister for Transport very recently to raise concerns which are mostly contained within the Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan. This is a key issue for many people and we invite you to go to our news section on our website for more details on that meeting.


    A lengthy meeting also took place with the Minister for the Environment to review key issues on sewage, shipping pollution, development, progress on the new power station and a lot more. The ESG will continue to table these issues to ensure they remain high on the agenda for change. It was very positive to hear about legislative changes to allow individuals to feed back excess energy from renewable sources to the grid. This, along with a move to wider use nationally of renewable energy, has been an important objective for us and we must congratulate the Minister for getting this done. We now want to see protocols, information, guidelines and recommendations provided so the public can take the next step. We also hope that financial assistance packages and incentives will be expanded to incentivise people further.


    There have been a number of positive announcements recently that will help our environment. We hope to see many more including the publication of the new Town and Heritage Acts particularly when planning and development is scheduled to come under immense pressure from the multiple construction projects announced. The ESG has its own views about the rate and pace of development and the need to complete so many projects at the same time. We shall continue to express and communicate these going forward into the new year hoping that necessary regard will be given to important vistas, open spaces, light and need for greenery between so much concrete development.


    On that note, the last 2017 DPC meeting take place tomorrow morning at the John Mackintosh Hall and it promises to be interesting one if you have the chance to attend. Mtg starts at 9.30am.


    So Happy Christmas ! Be mindful of the environment during the coming weeks and also spare a thought for those less fortunate.


    Congratulations also to GBC for another successful Open Day event too.

    See you in 2018!

    ESG welcomes Renewable Energy Feedback to Grid 12/12/17

    The ESG strongly welcomes the excellent news that consumers of the Gibraltar Electricity Authority will soon be able to feed electricity generated at home from renewable sources, back into the grid.


    This objective has been a long-term aim of the group who regard this announcement by Government as very positive indeed.


    The group now awaits confirmation of the amendment to the bill once it has gone through Parliament and will also be seeking a discussion with Government on what protocols, systems and equipment will be favoured or promoted for the public to follow and use to feed back energy to the grid as this information will assist the community in taking the first important steps in setting up green energy at home. The success of this programme will help reduce some of Gibraltar’s carbon emissions and is therefore good news indeed.


    The ESG further hopes that financial incentives will be offered to help more people embark on setting up renewable energy systems in the home or workplace.

    ESG on Transport 12/12/17

                                         ESG Press Release on Transport Issues                              

    The ESG recently held a lengthy meeting with the Minister for Transport and his team and presented concerns and objectives on this issue. The group was grateful to the Minister for the time given and for his consideration of all issues raised.

    The ESG expressed the need for a bold timeline for implementation of key measures. This it considers a central issue because otherwise there is a danger that proposed measures will take too long to be implemented or might not be acted on at all. It would also provide the community with some indication of the proposed rolling out of significant measures as well as encourage participation and support.

    The issues of idling controls, diesel phase-out and greater incentivisation of electric and hybrid transport were also touched on. Electric buses were also discussed, as were a number of new measures to be introduced soon to promote and further improve the public transport system. Infrastructure for a future growth in electric vehicle ownership was also discussed. Information signs to encourage walking, announced some time ago, still need to be put up, and the ESG understands this is now imminent. The group welcomes the signs on idling at the border.

    The point was raised as to what the Government was going to do to change the “car culture”, via education, something advocated in the STTPP. This is an issue that needs to be seriously addressed if any significant changes are going to be seen in our community’s tendency to be very car-dependent. A promotion campaign in the media would also be useful here.

    The ESG approved the long awaited action finally taken to control deliveries to the town centre and raised teething issues reported to them i.e new commercial loading bays being used by private cars and need for enforcement. This was something that the Ministry was aware of, and planning to address.

    Inevitably, the perennial problem of excess traffic on our roads was raised. The ESG suggested that the ‘Park and Ride’ system that was on the cards years ago, should finally be implemented. This could considerably reduce the number of visiting cars going into the town area. The group also raised concerns about future plans for the new runway tunnel and mobility factors. Clarification was sought on what would happen to pedestrians once the new runway tunnel was operational and expressed the desire to see dedicated shuttles, increased bus services, or even a tram system to mobilise people efficiently.

    A matter that we would also like to see tackled, that is not within the STTP specifically, is the existing situation where second hand buses, which emit harmful pollutants, are still allowed on our roads. Whereas new buses are subjected to very strict polluting laws, buses which have already been imported into the EU, but which no longer comply with existing requirements, are still allowed to operate within the same area. The ESG believes action must be taken by the authorities on this to tackle high levels of roadside pollution even though EU regulations are not being flouted.

    The ESG urges the Government to commit the necessary funds to the implementation of many more of the initiatives suggested in the STTPP, so that they will be in place within the targeted time line.

    The group welcomed the Ministry’s plans to roll out a number of measures that should bring about further improvements soon and agreed to meet more regularly to monitor these more closely.

    Radio Newsletter 23rd November 2017

    Radio Broadcast:

    Key words:

    Lobbying Government/ Seven Sisters Clean up/ Alternatives to plastics/Microbeads/Christmas and Recycling/DPC


    We are busy these weeks tackling various areas of concern and interest to us and holding meetings with Government on traffic, development, pollution and more.

    We shall post updates on progress on our webpage.


    You may have seen some news in the media of a group of ESG volunteers carrying out a clean up at Seven Sisters, now a protected area that collects marine debris with the tides and given its remote location, very difficult to clean on a regular basis. However, with the community support behind CUTW we can and have tackled this site since 2008 removing historic dumping of waste of significant proportions, filling many skips over the years. Today we can confidently predict the task will be somewhat smaller as we deal with the waste that has floated in during the past 12 months. Still, large volumes of plastics of all types and Styrofoam – the packaging material that is so prevalent in every aspect of our lives, is still found there in horrendous quantities, and we filled six 1 ton sacks. The issue of Styrofoam needs exploring further as to how more of this can be removed. This petroleum based plastic material breaks down into very small particles and can be mistaken for food so clearly a threat to nature and the food chain.

    Still, our clean up was a very positive if tiring few hours for our group leaving the site looking a lot better. Thanks to the GDP for boat access and GibDock for eventual lifting up of rubbish collected. Future clean ups will be published and volunteers are welcome.


    While many are rightly concerned about the major issue of plastic pollution there is also a rising tide of solutions, technologies and ideas to deal with this issue. Biodegradable alternatives for all single use plastics should also become enforceable by law and soon.


    Following on from the efforts by Govt, businesses and NGOs recently to highlight the need for action on the elimination of plastic bags, this week’s publication on microbeads legislation by the Gibraltar Government is also welcomed. The world needs more of this action.


    Citizens can all help by using less of these materials where possible. As we now look ahead to Christmas, Black Friday and manic shopping sprees the impact on waste and the environment will also peak – we urge everyone to help by being responsible with their waste and aiming to reduce and recycle as much as possible! We shall be holding an open day on the 6th December mainly aimed at Eco Art but with a Green Christmas theme. More details will be published beforehand.


    Before we go a reminder that the Planning Commission will meet next Tuesday 28th November with the final 2017 session taking pace on the 15th December. You can upload agendas from the Town Planning DPC page and the public are welcome to attend mtgs, which start from 9.30am.

    You can find more information about our general concerns and aims at esg-gib.net. Call us in 200-48996 or email us at esg@gibtelecom.net



    ESG organise another Seven Sisters Clean up 16/11/17

    ESG Press Release 16th November 2017

    Seven Sisters Coastline Cleared of Plastics and harmful waste


    CUTW Campaign continued its work last weekend with a group of volunteers tackling the beautiful coastline known as Seven Sisters. The Gibraltar Defence Police Marine Section helped us on and off the site with the team getting down to an intense period of activity for around 4 hours duration.


    While this area has seen clean ups for the past 9 years, with many skip loads of historic dumping removed, each year sees fresh marine debris brought in with the tide. A lot of this is trapped in the upper reaches of the beach, while some closer to the waters edge is at risk of re-entering the sea during winter storms.


    It is with great satisfaction therefore that the volunteers were able to remove six x 1-ton sacks of non-biodegradable waste, mainly plastics, Styrofoam and a number of large objects, leaving a much cleaner environment in our wake. A full report is being produced and will shortly be submitted to the Ministry for the Environment who has upgraded this zone to protected status in recent years.


    Thanks to all volunteers, to the GDP, to GibDock for assisting with crane removal of the waste, and to the Dept. of the Environment for assistance rendered also.


    You can find out more about this beautiful part of Gibraltar’s coastline by visiting the online real-time underwater footage at:





    Also visit this link for some pictures of the clean up:- 



    ESG Radio Newsletter 9th November 2017

    Radio news broadcast 9th November on Radio Gibraltar


    Key words:     Public debate –    ESG Objectives –    New Power Station and LNG –     Maritime Pollution Transport  –    Construction –    New waste plant –   Sewage Treatment –     Seven Sisters Clean up coming up!


    Hi there  – We would like to provide an update on matters of local environmental issues which we know matter to many. Indeed this week saw a public debate led by an MP on environmental issues.

    Our aims and concerns as a grassroots environmental NGO can be found on our website at esg-gib.net – under objectives, and an easy read of all local and regional environmental issues. We have been lobbying for these since the year 2000 and have called for cross party consensus for environmental action and policy and will continue to work for these objectives.

    Turning to the new power station and LNG plant- new equipment has arrived which includes real-time monitoring systems and we look forward to being able to see these first-hand soon. This measure was a critical factor that gave us some peace of mind knowing that emissions will be transparently monitored with information fed publicly via an online system, much as the existing air monitoring data is at present. More news on this soon.

    We also are working on issues of maritime pollution by following up with the relevant authorities on measures we would like to see in place that will help reduce pollution levels and impacts. This is vitally important to see achieved before the next wave of hot weather is upon us.

     Transport issue is a big concern for everyone including the ESG and we are also following up on this with mtgs with policy makers to present our issues directly and press for the aims set out in the Sustainable Transport and Traffic Plan.

    Construction works and new developments are also being widely felt today and a concern to many. We call for the new Town Act to be published without further delay and for more details to be provided by Government on major developments as well as on their vision for the rest of our homeland.

     As we continue to grow, our basic services must be completed, such as our sewage treatment plant, new power station that will allow feed in from micro renewable energy systems and the new Waste Park, that will manage all our waste to high stds locally and maximise recycling. We continue to monitor these.

     These projects, coupled with a bold transport plan to clear our streets, manage traffic and improve air quality, will take us into a better environmental space. Clearly where and how we develop Gibraltar’s remaining open spaces should be a matter for the whole community and this is under considerable pressure at present and is worthy of greater scrutiny and debate.

    Food for thought indeed.

    This weekend will see our volunteers in action once again removing harmful plastics from a beautiful coastal site known as Seven Sisters that wasn’t tackled at our last clean up. Hope you continue to think plastics too and reduce your own use as much as possible and do your bit on this growing environmental threat.

    Thanks for listening!

    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.

    CUTW 2017 Success!!


    GBC Video links:



    See also:




    CUTW 2017 – 25th September 2017

    The ESG would like to send out thanks to all involved in the Clean up event on Saturday. Over 20 full truckloads and 30 teams of 400 volunteers helped Clean up Gibraltar. A mountain of waste was once again produced and piled up at the Eco Park.

    The action was launched with an energetic Parade supported by schools and a few teams with the Minister for the Environment joining the awareness effort. This concluded at Wellington Front where the ESG now has new premises and a number of activities related to litter and the environment followed.

    The clean up saw several areas around Gibraltar stripped free of waste, mainly plastics, although some bulky items were also picked up. The teamwork witnessed in the Clean up is always inspiring with areas transformed, clearly fulfilling, as reports coming in confirm. This year has also seen a number of new teams and individuals sign up. Volunteers were shocked to see levels of littering at some of the hotspots.

    A full report on all sites will be produced on the littered areas that have benefited from the voluntary effort this weekend.

    Thanks to our sponsors, supporters and especially to the individuals who work tirelessly in the run up to the Clean up to make this large operation happen as smoothly as it does.

    “Our new premises, courtesy of the Culture Ministry, improved our logistics too and will undoubtedly help us run many similar programmes from here”, says organiser.


    The Campaign will continue to work throughout the year for greater civic pride, better facilities, information and enforcement, to continue to reduce the amount of rubbish we find in our target areas every September. ”


    Clean up the World 2017

    Parade and Awareness:

    Bishop Fitzgerald Middle School, St Anne’s Middle School, Loreto Convent School, Bayside Comprehensive School

    Minister for the Environment

    Rotary International

    Eco Art


    Sunbow Projects Ltd

    Royal Gibraltar Police

    Sadie Lucas

    Daniela Pitto


    CUTW Teams:

    ESG, Schools: Prior Park, Bishop Fitzgerald, St Anne’s, Bayside, Westside, St Joseph’s, Loreto Convent; Master Services, Environmental Agency, Dept. of Environment Dive and Land team, Alameda Tenants, Clubhouse Gibraltar, PWC, Laguna Youth Club, Plater Youth Club, Cassava, Team of Individuals, MH Bland, Wake up Gibraltar, GJBS, GSD, Nautilus Project, Gibraltar College, Rotary International, Ofs &Youfra, GibSubAqua, Atlas Recycling, GSLTC, Maroc 4 x 4


    Wildlife Gibraltar, Toyota Gibraltar, Master Services, Eco Park –special thanks to Tom Scott, Jim Howitt, Andrew Abrines, David and his team at Eco Park

    Support also from Department of Environment, Environmental Agency

    Standby support from Gibraltar Community Support Services

    Props and equipment preparation Team:

    Karen Everett, Norah Brown, Ania Maza (Eco Art), Grey, Ania and Stan (Sunbow Projects Ltd), Tim Howitt, Eddie Lucas, Jenny Brown

    Sponsors, Equipment and Support:

    Open Day Trust, Interbuild, Master Services, Ministry for the Environment, 101 Ltd, Morrison’s Gibraltar, AquaGib, Gibtelecom, Hammonds, Ministry of Culture, Royal Gibraltar Police, Land Property Services, Eco Park and the Gibraltar community