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  • 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.

    esg@gibtelecom.net

     



    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!!



    ESG concerned about heavy fly tipping in urban area 16.08.18


    Clean up the World news:  

    Flat Bastion ‘Over the Wall’ site is one of our CUTW’s hotspots which we have tackled every few years. In the past few weeks however the area has seen unprecedented dumping of household furniture and assorted waste to a level not seen before. The ESG welcomes Governments response in both arranging for Master Services to tackle waste removal in what is a very awkward site to clean, and also to install a camera to deter or catch anyone thinking about fly tipping in this area again.

    The site, a vacant Government plot, is a green area visible from various vantage points, with the recent fly tipping eyesore clearly seen by the public and tourists.

    The ESG will be monitoring this and other litter hotspots ahead of September’s CUTW action and hopes such acts of illegal fly tipping do not recur and if they do, that perpetrators will be caught and heavily fined.



    ESG Radio Newsletter 16th August 2018


    ESG Radio Newsletter 16th August 2018  

     

    Hi there. A quick update on issues of interest to the ESG and its members. We start with Clean up the World preparations and can that confirm more and more teams are signing up which demonstrates the interest and concern many of us have for a clean and healthy environment. The date is set for the 29th September – why so late you may ask? While the global date is set earlier National Day and the Music Festival take up the two earlier weekends and so we have chosen the 29th as the clearest weekend for our activity. Please get in touch if you wish to volunteer and or help with preparations by emailing esg@gibtelecom.net . Main planning meeting date will soon be confirmed for the beginning of September.

     

    Have to say that once again sea facing estates are being affected by noxious fumes during the very calm and warm nights with complaints being made either directly to us, or, online. We are following up with the authorities but believe that industry must also realise it needs to change and adopt safer working practices that have less of an environmental impact than currently occurring.

     

    We are referring of course to the Dockyard and to the shipping activity in general and the August climate. Heat and lack of wind exaggerates what are already considerable fumes produced by vessels either receiving bunker, or large-scale works carried out at the dockyard. There are a growing number of voices out there expressing concern and anger about this high impacting pollution and it is time for change.

     

    Must say something positive about how beaches are seen to be cleaner this year. One hopes that a combination of growing international awareness about waste impacts on the marine environment, posters and recycling bins provided by Govt and the dedicated cleaning services are all resulting in more responsible behaviour. This does not apply to all beaches and to all beachgoers – the shame is you only need a handful of people to create an eyesore. We urge everyone to please look after our planet and keep our beaches clean.

     

    Planning issues rumble along and are a real talking point on the Rock. Can’t avoid it as we are a very small land area and there are large projects going on in every corner – so, we are all affected. Despite the obvious gains to most of us regarding new schools, enhanced sports facilities, housing, and new power station, the ESG would like to see holistic planning on a short, medium to long-term basis supported by the community, delivering on our needs while maintaining our special character and vistas. This should not be impossible.

     

    News this week of real-time monitoring at the border by the authorities starting in September is good news and welcomed by the group who would like to see similar assessments carried out at various hotspots on the Rock.

     

    Watch out for next DPC meetings in September, as August will not see any meetings held. For more news and press releases please visit: www.esg-gib.net

     

    Thanks for listening.



    ESG Radio Newsletter 2nd August 2018


    Hi there.

     

    As Europe very worryingly sizzles, we take a quick look at our environment with air pollution, litter, cleanliness issues and cycle lanes very much on people’s minds at present.

     

    We have rec’d a number of complaints of fumes from residents over the past few weeks from different parts of Gibraltar occurring at different times of the day. Investigations have been undertaken and the ESG is following up on reporting protocols it believes need to somehow be improved together with guidelines provided to the public as to how reports should be filed. This for example could include type of smell (as there are a few)/wind direction as well as time of incident. Gibraltar has a number of polluting sources including immediate, offshore and at cross border level and tracing a particular smell can be very challenging, especially as these are airborne. The group recalls its bucket brigade activity some years ago when we distributed forms to hotspot areas outlining typical chemical smells and other details, which advised the citizen how to submit information in a report. This in turn, could help the authorities respond more effectively. More news on this soon.

     

    The ESG understands progress is being made with respect to real-time monitoring and of a mobile nature, which is positive news, and we look forward to enhanced air quality data to be made available soon.

     

    As many of us are spending more time outdoors we can see the impact this is having as cleaning services strain to keep up not only with the overfull bins but carelessly discarded rubbish. Yes we need more hosing down of pavements and yes we need ALL dog owners to use best practice followed by many and flush and remove their animals’ waste. But we also call for citizen pride and care in helping our town in being neat and tidy by using common sense on placing rubbish at the correct times, folding cardboard and other bulky waste, using the recycling bins correctly and generally being more mindful of how we look after our environment. Enforcement is also clearly needed. Clean up the World Campaign which takes place in September 29th will be promoting and highlighting these issues. Please sign up by emailing esg@gibtelecom.net. We have seen the ashtray containers available at the lifeguard posts on the beaches and think this is a great idea – hope all smokers avail themselves of this service – butt ends are toxic for the environment too!!

     

    There has been much discussion out there about the proposed cycle lanes for Main Street and Irish Town. We are slowly seeing the measures being put in place and expect to see clear signage informing visiting cyclists of the rules- this is also crucial for local cyclists and pedestrians from a safety angle. The ESG issued a press release on this issue because we support cycle lanes to encourage more cycling in Gibraltar but think the area available and joint use of space in town raises a number of safety issues, and importantly has to be policed etc. Visit our website for full statement on this issue: esg-gib.net.

     

    Lets take heart however that we are still managing to live our lives in relative peace and comfort as many countries around Europe and further afield are literally burning up as temperatures continue to soar. Action on climate change has never seemed as urgent as it does today….

     

    Thanks for listening..



    ESG reacts to Town Cycle Lanes 30th July 2018


    The ESG considers that there are two main issues regarding the introduction of cycle lanes in Main Street and Irish Town:

     

         1. Whether the initiative can be introduced effectively and safely without causing problems for pedestrians;

    1. Whether the initiative will actually have any impact on the reduction of traffic.

     

    The ESG considers that the initiative to open up cycle lanes on Main Street and Irish Town, at prescribed times, will be a welcome step to those who choose the bicycle, rather than a car or motorbike, to get around our heavily congested city. If more people decide to cycle as a result of this concession, it will be a positive thing. Having said this, the ESG has some serious reservations as to the practical applications of this initiative, given how busy both these streets can be, even after 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays and 7pm on weekdays. It is also concerned that some cyclists may not respect the set times.

     

    If these cycle lanes are going to be successfully integrated into our way of circulating, the ESG considers it essential for the police to monitor the system and protocols set and ensure that demarcated spaces are respected by cyclists and pedestrians alike, during the prescribed times. In many cities in the world, pedestrians and cyclists manage to co-exist respectfully. There is no reason why we cannot learn to do the same. However, in Gibraltar we have less space to work with than in most places so in order to avoid accidents we need to get it right from the start.

     

    On the second point, the ESG considers that In order to have a significant impact on reducing car use, which is what is desperately needed in our polluted city, there would need to be dedicated cycle lanes on roads also. This is the only measure that could actually get more people to opt for cycling.

     

     

     

     

     

     



    ESG welcomes Budget on Greening up Transport and action on single use plastics 3rd July 2018


    ESG on Budget Vehicle and Plastic Matters

                                                                

    The various budgetary environmental measures announced by the Chief Minister on greening up Gibraltar’s vehicles, is welcome news to the ESG. We have campaigned for such measures in fuel type used by local vehicles in line with a number of other European cities.

    Industry has been given substantial time to achieve these goals and we welcome and applaud the visionary plan to take our own community towards eventual, fully electrically powered transport.

    We would, however, like to see hybrid and plug-in-hybrid vehicles continue to be strongly incentivised and supported as part of the short to medium term plan given the necessary lead up time to full provision of facilities to power electric-only vehicles.

    The ESG urges Government to rethink this aspect of an otherwise positive and welcomed set of environmental measures announced to green up transport in Gibraltar.

     

    Measures on reducing single use plastics are also strongly welcomed.

     

     

     

     



    ESG Radio Newsletter 28th June 2018


    ESG Radio Newsletter

     

    Key words- Summer temps/floral explosion/pollution rise/shipping activity and protocols/ Litter and civic pride- CUTW / New ESG Objectives List coming soon

     

    Hello there- The summer season has finally arrived and with it major outdoor activity and increased littering, wonderful tree blossom and also amplification of pollution in raised temperatures and calmer wind scenarios.

    We can solve some of our problems, but there are some we cannot tackle ourselves. Using public transport/ disposing of rubbish responsibly/ using less packaging at point of purchase/ encouraging others to do the same; all these actions help. In our annual Clean Up awareness campaign we aim to highlight positive actions and progress as well as actions needed by Govt, businesses and industry for all to play their part in looking after our environment. Our volunteer teams will help clean up nature, coastal and underwater sites as tackled every year.

    Date for this year is 29th September. Campaign will kick off with a March up Main Street as from 11am. and related activity will follow at the John Mackintosh Square for a few hours. Hope you can join us on the day! Plse register by emailing esg@gibtelecom.net as teams are now signing up.

    As an extremely busy Mediterranean Port, Gibraltar’s shipping activity is significant. Despite following strict Codes of Practice monitored by the Port and Maritime Agency, the volume and proximity of the ships mean that pollution will affect us on an on-going basis. There are always some vessels that break the rules and these should be reported – not necessarily via FB, but direct to the Port or Dept. of Environment. Examples could be endless smoke emissions from nearby vessels, which clearly are not circumstances of mere start up of engines.

    Contact us for information on how to make such reports. Another factor is that Gibraltar needs to apply more stringent controls than are required whether by the EU or International conventions – simply because of the proximity of berthing and shipping activity to residential areas. The ESG is following up on all these issues with the authorities as well as seeking provision of onshore electricity connection throughout the Port area.

    Since 2003 the ESG has set out its “Shopping Cart” of Objectives for Gibraltar and the regional environment and we try and update this as frequently as possible.

    Our 2017 List is now being reviewed and will be available online soon. We know from feedback from the community that this resource is very useful to people interested in finding out more about the issues on the ground including students both here and abroad. The 2018 paper will be available online at www.esg-gib.net with issues covered such as : Climate Change, Energy, Waste, Sewage, Pollution, Transport, Cross Border Issues, Govt Environmental Management Plan and many more.

     

    Thank you for listening..!



    ESG, Heritage Trust & GONHS on Grand Parade Car Park May 31st 2018


    JOINT STATEMENT ON GRAND PARADE

     

    The GONHS, Gibraltar Heritage Trust and ESG welcome the exchange in Parliament on the 18th May highlighting a meeting held between the Chief Minister and the three groups in November 2017 to discuss the issue of the Grand Parade Car Parking Project.

     

    The groups were very grateful to be able to present their views and concerns directly, and in some detail, which included viability of going underground, importance for current and future generations of preserving this important open space, and the added advantage this gave of creating an attractively landscaped area for both residents and the many thousands of tourists that will visit the Botanic Gardens and Upper Rock via the Cable Car.

     

    All three NGOs sincerely hope that the outcome of the investigations into the viability of an underground car park facility at this site will be successful.



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