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  • ESG on Govt Action Plan 3.2.11

    ESG on the publication of EAMP (Environmental Action and Management Plan 2011) 3.2.2011

    “The ESG is very pleased that Government has finally released its Action Plan on managing Gibraltar’s Environment. We have campaigned for such a development for close to a decade and its arrival is overdue and welcome. Because of our genuine interest and concern over environmental issues however, we need to highlight what we believe to be the positive aspects of the Plan and also its shortcomings. We shall briefly outline these here but shall be seeking meetings with Government to discuss these further.


    In 2005, the ESG, and others, were approached by Government in a consultation exercise aimed at getting feedback on environmental issues of concern towards the drafting of the Environmental Charter. The ESG put together a detailed document, attached here[i], which clearly lays out our concerns (in 2005) and highlights areas needing action.

    Looking at the Action Plan with those concerns in mind, we do not think it addresses all core issues with enough urgency, intent, or transparency. While acknowledging the high quality of the document in terms of layout and detail, it fails to address many of the more significant environmental issues affecting Gibraltar’s community and environment. It also fails to transmit a clear message from Government that it plans any real change in the foreseeable future.  

    For example:

    • The serious environmental impacts from our power stations, desalination plants, dockyard, bunkering activities and more  – are only referred to in passing in the Plan and it does not propose that these should be subject to any particular action or mitigation; this refers to noise and air pollution;
    • Renewable Energy research or implementation is only referred to as long-term issues, measured in terms of 3-5 years! 
    • The Plan does not adequately demonstrate application of the Precautionary Principle or Best Available Technology to all activity in Gibraltar so as to limit environmental impact on community and environment;
    • The Plan fails to demonstrate political will in changing the status quo- as it stands there is little prospect of the plan being incorporated into the day-to-day governance of Gibraltar as it is not accompanied by a “statement of intent” by heads of Government undertaking to implement the Plan and acknowledge the need for urgent action on environmental issues at a cross-ministerial level;
    • The timeframes set out are not only non-enforceable by an independent agent, but in the case of the 3/5yr slots not even expected to be met by the next elected Government within their next term of office! This is hardly evidence of a strong commitment to achieving the aims within a short timescale; With all time-frames, especially the longer ones (3/5yrs) it would be preferable to have identified multiple target waypoints in each project so that the community can corroborate that each schedule is on-track;

    All that said, the great effort that has gone into producing such a mature document is commended. We shall campaign for this valuable tool to be expanded to include key areas outlined above and for the Plan itself to be implemented energetically to improve our quality of life as well as Gibraltar’s environmental performance.

    See attached document which is ESG submission on Charter Consultation Process 2005

    [i] ESG Environmental Charter Submission 2005 posted on www.esg-gib.net