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    ESG Radio Broadcast on 17th January 2013

    • The New Year will hopefully bring greater advances locally for Gibraltar’s environment, and in turn, for our quality of life. As an NGO that has been fighting for such advances for the past 13 years, the palpable improvements of 2012 provide room for optimism. For instance, when one considers Gibraltar’s record on recycling, it’s clear that within a short space of time, you and I are now able to recycle much more of our daily waste than ever before…this is good news.

    • While south and west district residents wait to feel the full benefits of reduced noise and air pollution at night with closure of engines from the OESCO and GIBELEC power stations, they can take heart that steps are finally being taken to address their long-term suffering. The ESG hopes to visit the North Mole site in early February when we hope to learn more about what the temporary generators can deliver and the impact on the surrounding area.

    • Last year was also significant in terms of efforts made to better manage our territorial waters and marine environment with the fresh enforcement of local fishing laws and practices. The ESG believes that if the result leads to greater environmental protection and management of all activity in the Bay then we naturally support these efforts. However, this issue is being driven from one side only and is looking at one of several regional, environmental problems.

    • When the Tripartite Forum was at its peak the environment featured highly on the agenda coinciding as it did with maritime accidents and the strongly supported cross border campaign for a bay-wide epidemiological study. Env NGOs from both sides of the border tabled a number of critical environmental issues that affect Bay citizens and the common environment; for example, the impacts from the Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Industry, and the need for greater cross border co-operation to safely manage the busy Bay and Strait environments. We hope to see a resumption of such talks (Tripartite Forum)

    • For those who think that Spanish environmental NGOs only scream about Gibraltar, we urge you to visit: www.apuntanoticias.com and www.algecirasalminuto.com for online articles on the work carried out by AGADEN, an Algeciras based NGO, to highlight their local environmental issues. These include: sewage contamination, protection of green areas, lack of environmental monitoring in the Campo area due to cutbacks, and also about spills and slicks in the Port of Algeciras area. Contact us for the links and we are happy to forward you these: that’s at email esg@gibtelecom.net or call 200-48996.

    • The trouble, as many of us know, is the censorship within the campo mainstream press of the voices of NGOs and citizen groups especially when it comes to the environment. Its only when such groups criticise Gibraltar that they get mentioned in the mainstream press often making headline news!!

    • Of course some groups are less objective with an article in the Spanish press only this week claiming that Gibraltar is planning to build a new Incinerator!! This was NEWS to us and on verifying the story with the Minister for Health and the Environment, we were immediately reassured that this was totally untrue and not the policy of the current administration.

    • The ESG welcomes the long planned objective currently being discussed by Govt of bringing fuel storage to shore in Gibraltar. We trust, however, that prevailing issues of land and water oil contamination from aging infrastructure linked to the decommissioned Fuel Depot inside the Rock will be fully addressed before any new Depots are considered. We also hope that any such project will carry widespread public consultation.

    • Finally we were interested to hear Government and the Opposition in Parliament discuss particular DPC applications. The new Tank Farm for lubricant oil in the Port area is one such example. The ESG believes that 2012 was a far less stressful year all round because of the major shift in planning policy to hold all DPC meetings in the public domain. We congratulate Government for taking this bold but necessary and democratic step.

    • Happy recycling! And thank you for listening…………………………………………………………………..