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  • ESG Radio Newsletter December 2018

    ESG Radio Newsletter end of Year 2018


    During these unsettling times of Brexit and the endless rounds of discussions, it is clear that many of us worry about a number of issues affecting our future.


    A most worrying concern is also that because of the lengthy and endless nature of these discussions, that pretty much everything else takes second place despite many of these issues affecting us just as much if not more than Brexit ever could.


    I am talking here about the impacts of global warming and the important Climate Change talks presently underway in Poland, with protests also being held in many parts of the world, mainly led by the youth, shouting ever louder for their future to be better protected by those in authority today.


    Over the past few decades we have both admired and been inspired by Sir David Attenborough who has, through his unique delivery and passion, moved millions to appreciate and also fall in love with the wonderful world of nature. It is sobering then to hear him speak at these climate talks of the imminent and real threat to civilisation and to much of nature, if humanity fails to take action on global warming. The naturalist gave a terrifying picture of the future of humanity that was facing a major threat and that leaders had to drive down harmful emissions if they wanted to preserve the natural world. Let us hope for all our sakes that all those present pay attention to David and that urgent action will follow despite the regrettable rollback taken on this crucial issue by the likes of the USA, Russia and a few other countries.

    Now that would make a wonderful Christmas present to the World!


    As we face the end of 2018 and look ahead to a new year we hope that a lot of the work that we collaborate with to help our local environment will gather strength and deliver ever better results for Gibraltar. We are fast becoming a very busy city environment with all the highs and lows that go with a growing economy and population. This makes environmental impacts difficult to avoid with traffic and development particularly onerous. With regards to current air and noise pollution problems we understand there are some issues at present and are monitoring these to ensure the best results possible. We thank the community for supporting our efforts in the encouragement we receive and in the campaigns we run.


    We will remain vigilant on the repercussions on our cross border environmental campaigns if and when Brexit is achieved in some way, and have read with interest the potential approach for environmental management presented by the Memorandums of Understanding for this sector that looks at practical ways to manage regional environmental issues at a more local level.


    This Christmas we wish you all a peaceful, healthy and hopeful time and urge you to be mindful of reducing your waste, maximising your recycling and spending quality time with your loved ones.


    Have a Happy Green Christmas!!

    ESG Radio Newsletter 15th November 2018

    Key words: Brexit/ Single Use Plastics/ Waste / Pollution / Climate Change / Traffic / 

                             MEP Molly Scott Cato / DPC


    Amidst Brexit news erupting all around us perhaps the environment isn’t making headline news, as has been the case for a while now.

    However, lets visit some green issues and developments.

    This week EU lawmakers (yes I said EU) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a complete ban on several single-use plastics including straws, cutlery and coffee stirrers adding the EU to the growing list of governments committed to helping the world address the plastic problem. This still requires approval with reliable alternatives nevertheless providing a clear path to a transition. We must not ignore the warnings that we face more plastics than fish in our oceans with evidence based research already showing plastics entering the food chain.

    This is an urgent fight. Positive then to also hear New Zealand Prime Minister just announce a phasing out of single use plastic bags nationwide over the next year. New Zealand is one of the highest producers of urban waste per capita in the developed world according to figures from the World Bank. Awareness has really helped create momentum on this issue and we should look to do as much as we can both locally and regionally on this important matter.

    Waste, together with traffic, pollution and Climate Change are among the issues the ESG discusses on a frequent basis with members and the public alike with our revised List of Objectives soon to be published for 2018.

    It was interesting to hear MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, Molly Scott Cato, recently call for civil disobedience and illegal action by communities to press Governments for real action on Climate Change. Indeed we saw one of our own, Reggie Norton, support such action in the UK this week. It is a big question as to what it will take to arrest the relentless growth, development and use of fossil fuels despite glaring scientific and actual evidence and we would be interested to talk to MEP Cato on her thoughts on this most crucial issue facing humanity and the global environment.


    Talking about growth and development the DPC, that’s the development and planning commission, meet twice before the end of November. Agenda for the 20th meeting is already available online and a further date is currently being planned.

    These sessions are held in public and start at 9.30am at the Charles Hunt Room, John Mackintosh Hall.

    Do send us an email for more information at esg@gibtelecom.net or also visit our website at www.esg-gib.net for press releases and other resources.


    Thanks for listening.


    Dust Pollution and Fines 25th October 2018

    Dust Pollution and Fines

     Following reports in the media about fines issued on lack of adequate dust controls practised by GibDock, a major local industry, and a truck for not covering rubble – the ESG feels the fine on GibDock does not go far enough.

    The Dockyard frequently causes noise and air pollution during the course of its works leading to several complaints from residents and the general public.

    The ESG asks if the £4,000 fine will act as a deterrent in eliminating similar practices by GibDock in future? Shouldn’t perhaps the fines be more than the investment needed to apply the best available technology and best practise, for the deterrence to work?

    The group believes that noise control as well as paint and dust containment measures are needed at this facility to improve the environmental conditions for residents living in the area.


    Until such time as these measures are enforced the group fears that air and noise pollution will continue and this is not acceptable.

    Radio Newsletter 25th October 2018

    Keywords:  Clean up the World / Rock Explorer and CUTW /  LNG Bunkering /  Air Pollution / &   DPC

    It’s been some time since our last broadcast however we have been in the news as it has been an exceptionally busy period with our Clean up the World Campaign!

    Gibraltar really turned out in their hundreds to demonstrate its abhorrence about littering and showing true civic pride …not easy when you think about the hard and often disgusting nature of the work involved in picking up rubbish carelessly discarded.

    And yet, and yet, team feedback was very positive about the experience described as “the best day ever” by some youngsters, and “good to know you are giving something back”, by another volunteer. Another positive aspect of the clean up is that most teams will be clearing waste from remote, quiet and often beautiful areas of Gibraltar- areas that are transformed with clear benefits to the environment. Of course, we want to reduce littering and also see these areas cleaned more frequently, better containment and provision for rubbish, etc. and this is where our focus now lies. The concerns about food chain and plastics has now moved on again with scientists reporting micro plastics found in the human gut in several people tested! What a frightening thought….

    So when we read that the EU has just voted overwhelmingly to ban single use plastics by 2021–we celebrate because we know these issues must be tackled at source. You can find a link to the full report on our website and facebook page later today.

    So we would like to thank all volunteers, sponsors and supporters for doing a most important job once again in supporting the clean up campaign. Check our the latest Rock Explorer on GBC for a snippet of our Clean up day of action.

    Those of you following the LNG issue will have seen some exchanges in the media between the ESG and Government over recent public developments regarding LNG bunkering. We were concerned to read and hear initial statements in the local and World Bunkering press, and were therefore reassured when Government broadly clarified their intentions on LNG bunkering. We will, however, continue to follow up on this issue as it is a matter of particular interest to the group.

    Another matter we follow is on noise and air pollution – issues very close to our heart – and we have seen reports in the press about fines issued this week to GibDock and to a truck for dust offences caused.

    The ESG is issuing a separate statement on this later today.

    DPC is round the corner once again with a number of significant developments on the agenda. Do check this out as it is published online at Town Planning Site clicking on DPC. The date for the mtg is the 30th October at 9.30am at the Charles Hunt Room John Mack Hall.

    Thanks for listening.

    ESG on LNG Bunkering in the media 151018

    ESG on recent Government and Port Statements on LNG


     The ESG has been hearing announcements in the local media about LNG developments in Gibraltar. While not surprised that Government is introducing legislation and talking about Gibraltar as an LNG hub, it is a serious concern to the group that even before operations have started at the new Power Station and new LNG Storage Plant, we are now being told the Port is gearing up to allow barge refuelling of LNG from this site also, despite Government assurances repeatedly given that this facility would only service the Power Station.


    Given the intensive year-long assessment made by the HSE and an EIA produced solely on the basis of the storage facility servicing the Power Station, the ESG cannot understand how the Port is already discussing the very real possibility of using this land based storage facility as a future barge refuelling point.


    Additionally the Port has described LNG barge refuelling as pretty much the same as with any other fuel. The ESG refutes this entirely having read and understood the intricate protocols and safety measures that must be applied whenever an LNG shipment to the storage facility takes place, which, according to Power Station needs, would be twice monthly, at night, and under strict controls and conditions.


    Any change to existing plans must follow an equally rigorous assessment and Government must explain its departure from its original thinking on what this facility was originally designed for and what the public was assured would happen at this site.


    The group plans to follow up on these issues with the relevant departments’.


    Mobile Realtime Air monitors installed 091018

    The ESG has lobbied for mobile real-time air monitoring equipment to be set up in Gibraltar for some years now and since it first started campaigning for a healthy environment.


    “Naturally we welcome the installation of the real-time monitoring equipment. There are, in our view, a number of hotspots in Gibraltar today. The advantage of these widely used mobile units is that they can assess pollution levels at a site before being moved on to other hotspots.


    We shall now wait and see the data produced by these units which we hope will expose problem areas that will require changes in activity and practice and welcome the fact that Government is making data publicly accessible”.


    CUTW 2018 Success well done to all!- Initial Report

    Clean up the World initial Report 1st October 2018


    Clean up the World was launched this weekend with a lively and colourful parade and event at John Mackintosh Square that saw green activities enjoyed by many youngsters.

    The hands on action saw over 500 volunteers and 35 sites targeted. These areas form part of our usual hotspots which are mainly natural habitat, coastal (shores and revetments), underwater and green areas. We were very fortunate this year to also have 2 abseiling teams tackle Upper Rock and coastal areas as well as diving teams and boat support. More details will be released soon on all who participated.

    Feedback from volunteers is one of satisfaction at having restored these areas to their normal healthy state as well as shock at how much litter is obviously and carelessly thrown around Gibraltar in our rather more remote areas. The awareness value of the clean-up was also commented on by many volunteers.

    Organisers wish to thank the steering committee that has planned the Clean up for several months and led to its smooth operation and to all volunteers and supporters who played a part over the weekend.

    With 8 educational establishments, 6 government agencies, 7 private companies, 10 clubs and associations, 4 NGOs, families, and caring individuals, the 2018 clean up was a community wide effort which displays a love for our environment and a genuine desire to help clean up Gibraltar.

    Around 20 truckloads of waste was taken to a designated site and piled up to raise awareness about the amount of non-biodegradable waste recovered from our natural areas. We shall continue to press for greater effort on education, enforcement and facilities on litter and waste matters and to monitor hotspots in the hope that these will be better maintained and cared for by the community. We shall also be meeting with Britannia Management to discuss these areas further.

    1st CUTW 2018 Planning Meeting goes ahead 15th September 2018

    ESG PR re CUTW Team Leaders Planning meeting

    2018 will see Clean up the World Gibraltar take place on the 29th September. This inspiring global campaign has been supported in Gibraltar since 2005.

    We are very pleased to report a great turnout last week for the first planning meeting held with team leaders. A positive evening saw a summary given by key organiser, Janet Howitt, of the campaign aims, status and future plans as well as a more detailed exchange with team leaders of the sites and issues involved.

    Many of these sites are CUTW hotspots and include green areas, coastal and underwater sites and have been targeted under this campaign since we started. Many positive changes have taken place over time regarding waste and litter management but more needs to happen. Please visit our website for details of the aims behind the campaign (esg-gib.net).

    By this hands-on action the Clean up seeks to raise awareness of littering and dumping in our natural environment and also demonstrate that civic pride exists in our community. It also works year round to achieve cleanliness and maintenance of these remote areas targeted by volunteers.

    Supporting the 2018 Clean up will be NGOs, govt. agencies, businesses, clubs and associations, schools, the Gibraltar College and many volunteers from all walks of life. The University of Gibraltar will be joining us for it’s first ever participation in 2018. We welcome and thank them all for the strong community support shown in the registration process thus far.

    Individual volunteers should register no later than the 21st September. Any groups still to confirm their participation are urged to do so by the 17th September.

    The ESG, via the Clean up is also looking ahead to a positive relationship with the new cleaning company Britannia Services, who has already pledged support for our community awareness campaign both on the day and with its overall aims.

    The day of action will see a striking Parade start from Casemates at 11am and finish up at the John Mackintosh Square at approximately 12.30pm. The Parade promises to be energetic and vibrant and will promote environmental issues associated with the clean up. Activity will follow at John Mackintosh Square between 11.15am and 12.30pm which will bring all these issues and what we can do about them to the heart of town.

    Please join us and support the Parade!

    Thanks to our sponsors, supporters, volunteers and dedicated team of volunteers.



    Re Cycling in Town 14th September 2018

    ESG Press Release re Cycling in Main Street and Irish Town

    14th September 2018

    In the light of the recent incident in Main Street, highlighted in a Panorama article, when an elderly man was hit by a cyclist – out of scheduled cycling times – and anecdotal feedback from the general public, on the misuse of the cycle lanes, in both Main Street and Irish Town, the ESG feels that its reservations about this initiative have been proved correct.  It feels that the cycling lanes are curtailing the freedom of the pedestrian, as well as endangering them, and moreover having no impact on reducing traffic – the real problem in Gibraltar which needs to be tackled much more radically.

    The ESG does endorse cycling but not at the expense of pedestrians.

    It is only if cycling becomes a safe option on our roads that more people might choose to leave their motorised vehicles at home. The ESG is aware that there are no easy solutions to the problem but one way to immediately cut down on the amount of traffic would be to resurrect the Park & Ride project at Devil’s Tower Road.  Cars entering Gibraltar would have to be left at this car park and visitors would need to walk or take a bus into Gibraltar. This could help create calmer roads and a more cycle friendly environment.

    The ESG calls upon Government to urgently reassess and reverse its “cycling in town policy” before a more serious accident occurs. 14th

    Radio Newsletter 6th September 2018

    ESG Radio Newsletter 6th September 2018 –

    3 weeks to go for our 14th Major Clean up weekend of action. The date is the 29th September and will see a vibrant and energetic Parade up Main Street as from 11am leading to John Mackintosh Square for activity and discussion on the issues. Teams will tackle green and coastal areas and we anticipate a number of new activities to be added to our campaign this year. This is a last call for teams to register but individual volunteers are welcome to sign up to a week before, ie the 21st. Email us at esg@gibtelecom.net.


    The summer period always highlights on-going issues of dirty streets and litter in our green and coastal areas. Many of these issues exist throughout the year. The ESG also works year round as part of the Litter Committee and separately on CUTW issues to bring about targeted resourcing, better facilities and preventative actions. This encourages action to follow the Clean up event and strengthens our resolve that changes are achievable and of the value of the campaign.


    We cannot forget that Gibraltar was absolutely filthy back in 2005 when we first started our Clean ups removing age old dumps from all over Gibraltar, eliminating very public condoned tipping sites and an abject lack of facilities. Each year more and more is done. Still, problems persist and highlight the need for much more to be done.


    We welcome the start of the new cleaning contract, which has been some time in coming and should improve the overall situation a little more once again. Prevention and Civic pride also needs to grow. We wish Britannia Services well and also thank Master Services Directors and their crew with whom we have worked very closely since 2005 and who have always supported our campaign as best they can.


    Thanks to the steering team, volunteers, sponsors and supporters for helping us put together this ambitious campaign once again.


    Moving on to planning matters. The ESG will now enter a series of discussions of its own on planning as issues continue to headline be it for the tallest building or threat to heritage. So much work and thought goes on behind the scenes and little is seen in the monthly mtgs at DPC where decisions are taken on specific projects. We believe greater awareness of major projects is needed so the public do not simply react to decisions. The rationale behind the pace of development, which will some day include the complete development of the Eastside “mountain” placing the present development projects promised, or threatened, in their true context. Indeed the tallest building in Gibraltar on DTR was checking itself against an existing and future Government project. Hence our call for holistic planning. We believe it is time for transparency in the vision for Gibraltar going forward and taking the people of Gibraltar with this vision in full knowledge and not lurching disappointedly or angrily every time another major building is approved. They call it progress. Watch this space for more on this from the ESG.


    Team leaders are reminded to please attend the main Clean up planning meeting for a full briefing on Tuesday 11th September at 6.30pm. This will be held at our premises in Wellington Front, Vault No, 12.


    With National Day looming a reminder that true civic pride is also about how we treat our environment and our home.       Thanks for listening!!