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    ESG Press Release 16th September 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:

     

     

    http://www.thinkinggreen.gov.gi/index.php/gib-nature-cams/underwater-camera

     

     



    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


    Keywords:

    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!!


    SEE FLICKR PAGE AS IMAGES START FLOODING IN!

    GBC Video links:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpDSgAOqpcE

    https://www.facebook.com/GBCNewsroom/videos/1679851085360564/

    See also:

     

    www.yourgibraltartv.com/society/15537-sep-26-clean-up-the-world-event-removes-over-20-truckloads-of-rubbish

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    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

    ESG

    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

    Trucks:

    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

     



    Clean up Gibraltar Radio News!!! 21st September


    Thursday 21st saw ESG broadcast news of the upcoming Clean up via our airwaves thanks to Radio Gibraltar.

    Reminders were given to team leaders about final plans and equipment collection as well as news of our Awareness Parade that will launch the event on Saturday.

    We call upon the community to support the Parade that aims to bring to the heart of Gibraltar news of our volunteers working hard to remove dangerous litter from our natural environments.

    Thanks to them, to our supporters and sponsors for making this big day HAPPEN!!



    CUTW 2017 News 19th September


    2017 CLEAN UP THE WORLD IS HERE AGAIN!

     

     

    Organisers of Clean up the World in Gibraltar are pleased to confirm that all plans are now in place for Saturday’s Gibraltar-wide clean-up.

     

    26 Teams will be tackling 24 sites in out of the way, green and marine environments.

     

    In its 13th year running in Gibraltar, the ESG has coordinated this event as part of the inspiring global campaign since 2005. For some years now the theme has been: “Our Place, Our Planet, Our Responsibility”, encouraging personal and community action, displaying civic pride and supporting the agenda for environmental progress in various parts of the world. Gibraltar has also seen this agenda move over the years and we are in a very different place today to where we were when we first began.

     

    Specifically to litter and fly tipping we have seen various old dumps and green areas, saturated with waste, cleared through the extraordinary efforts of volunteers and subsequent follow up and response by authorities.

     

    Areas like Seven Sisters, a hidden jewel located “somewhere behind the dockyard” has seen real hard graft with skip after skip of waste lifted from the enclave by our volunteers with assistance from local agencies and GibDock. It is now a protected site. The Upper Rock has also seen major projects carried out in previous Clean ups in severely degraded hotspots.

     

    More broadly, the campaign pursues a number of objectives to address underlying causes of litter in our community and for the need of better maintenance of our regular sites. Education, Facilities and Enforcement is our focus with the need for a Roving Unit for hotspots on our agenda and for contractors to take greater care when carrying out works and disposing of old or unused materials. After every major clean up fresh reports are submitted to the authorities.

     

    The Campaign has already seen the ESG hold a number of planning meetings engaging the community as well as giving talks at schools. It is an important civic campaign that pulls the community together demonstrating a real love and pride in our natural environment and homeland.

     

    The clean up will be launched by a vibrant Parade departing from Casemates at 11am on Saturday the 23rd September and finishing up at Wellington Front. Some teams will already be out and about tackling various sites around Gibraltar.

     

    The ESG would like to thank its sponsors and supporters in getting the campaign ready to go this year as well as the many volunteers who have signed up once again. It also commends the voluntary efforts being made by individuals, groups and organisations who, year round, are giving their time to look after our natural or historic heritage and hopes this attitude will continue to thrive in our community.

     

    Visit reports and images from past clean ups – click on flickr on our home page



    Algeciras Fuel Farm Pollution and La Junta 010917


    ESG Press Release on La Junta and Fuel Farm Pollution

    1st September 2017

     

    “ESG wishes to comment on recent news in the Spanish press that La Junta is investigating possible solutions to mitigate the unacceptable fumes produced this summer in the Algeciras Port where a major fuel farm facility is located.

    It beggars belief that such a major fuel installation did not appear to apply best practice and best available technology when setting this up in full view of all authority and legislators. Not only was major land reclamation undertaken with further loss of marine habitat, but major expansion of dirty fuel activity also, when existing petrochemical works in the Campo area have caused such wide spread impact on citizens and on the living environment in the Bay for several decades.

    Projects such as these are cross border in nature by virtue of scale and type of activity and in 2013, when this fuel farm was announced, we called for action from the Commission, initially to oppose it, and also to ensure that cross border, environmental protocols were followed by the company concerned. Nothing happened.

    It is clear that polluting impacts from this fuel facility is such that La Junta is being forced to act. Pity it did not seek highest technology and standards when licensing the plant in the first place.

    Companies must not cut corners when dealing in these industrial practices that commonly degrade and impact on the environment and La Junta must tighten up its act on this and on all Campo industry.

     

    The group further notes and regrets that environmental groups, often the first to raise alarms on polluting incidences, are not included in the forum by La Junta to assist in its investigation.”



    ESG Radio Newsletter 170817


    ESG Radio Newsletter 17th August 2017

     

    Hi. Today we would like to focus on the upcoming Clean up the World, taking place in Gibraltar on the 23rd September. This will be the 13th annual event we have organised though there have been many many more spot cleans ups done by volunteers over the years also. You will be able to download a Clean up 2017 poster from our website shortly, details will follow.

     

    This campaign has helped push a number of our objectives on encouraging civic pride – as can be seen by other voluntary efforts on litter, such as the Nautilus Project and others– on improving facilities and enforcement – though its clear that more needs to be done at every level. Obviously we need to be cleaner too and that would prevent a lot of other problems from needing ever more management – be it waste dumping to dog urine, to just day to day careless littering which collectively all adds up to a big problem.

     

    It is a welcome sight to see the new Marine Litter signs at the beaches produced by the Dept. of Environment. They powerfully convey the impacts that careless littering has on bird and marine life and will hopefully encourage more people to be extra careful with their rubbish.

     

    This Tuesday 22nd August at 7pm we are calling upon registered team leaders for the 2017 clean up to attend the first planning meeting at ESG premises on No. 12, Wellington Front. A briefing on on-going issues and campaign successes and continued targets will be discussed as well as looking at hotspots and beginning the task of matching teams to sites. We will be contacting team leaders directly also. A second and final planning meeting will be announced for early September.

     

    Although we were unable to run our energetic and impacting Parade last year we intend to launch this years action with a vibrant display of civic pride in the heart of town showing our community that issues of litter/waste/and our environment matters very much locally too. We expect Schools and CUTW teams to take part in the parade also supported by parents and this time we shall weave our way to our new premises where we will hold a brief event on these issues.

     

    Please get in touch if you would like to help out in any way or register to clean up a site. Call us on 200-48996 or Mob 54960000, email at esg@gibtelecom.net .

     

    We would like to issue a reminder that the Development and Planning Commission will be meeting on the 30th August and while the agenda hasn’t yet been published its likely there will be a number of interesting projects being evaluated. Sessions take place at the John Mackintosh Hall as from 9.30am. You can look at all current applications online at:- egov.gi – go to Town Planning – and then applications.

     

    The ESG has recently issued press releases on south district air pollution which peaked toward end July early August and on recent plans announced by Government regarding doubling parking capacity at the Grand Parade. The group is following up on all these issues with Government.

     

    You can find out more about our aims and objectives by visiting the ESG website at: ww.esg-gib.net. Our 2017 update will be online shortly. It is a summary and we invite those interested to contact us for any more information on any particular issue. Thanks for listening.



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