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  • ESG Radio Broadcast 28/08/14

    ESG Radio Broadcast:

    Key terms: Balloons – Nuclear Submarines – Bathing Water Quality – Bathing Pavilion – North Gorge – CUTW 2014

    • ON BALLOONS – Further to National Day and the release of thousands of environmentally damaging balloons to demonstrate our national pride in Gibraltar. The ESG reiterates its concerns about the impact of this practice also expressed by the Blue Planet and many of our citizens. The group does not suggest there should be no visual display, rather that alternatives should be found. Gibraltar wants to be seen as a responsible environmental player and releasing thousands of pieces of latex into the surrounding marine environment goes against that aspiration. The group urges Government to act quickly on this issue 
    • ON NUCLEAR SUBMARINES – The ESG would also like to reiterate its opposition to the berthing of nuclear submarines in Gibraltar. The recent increase in submarine visits has prompted a statement by our group which has always maintained that Gibraltar is too small to accommodate such vessels with the potential risk these pose to the safety of our community.
    • ON BATHING QUALITY DATA – August is a month where temperatures soar and many go on vacation. Those that don’t need to cool down, and this happens at our beaches, which are fuller than ever before due to chronic border delays, and many disinclined to visit Spanish beaches.

    The ESG is concerned that there have been large gaps on the environmental agency website on bathing water quality, down, we are told, to the GHA public analyst being away for the whole month on vacation. That although alternate labs are being used in Spain there is additional delay in turning results around.

    There were assurances given by Government at the start of the summer that frequency of sampling would be strictly followed to allow beaches like Western, that can suddenly become very polluted, to remain open. However a visit to the website recently showed a 12 day gap in data, and this during the hottest time of the year. This is simply not good enough and the ESG calls upon Government to rectify this situation without delay.

    • The ESG notes that the new Bathing Pavilion is also now being monitored for water quality. Sampling is being done to check on bacterial contamination such as Total Coliforms, E.Coli and Fecal Streptococci (all sewage contaminants) as is done for all beaches. The group would like to see other contaminants, such as hydrocarbon, monitored in these waters, given the close proximity to industrial activity such as refueling carried out at nearby jetties.


      • NORTH GORGE and other PLANS – The ESG is also concerned about the numerous developments occurring in Gibraltar today. We have been here before:  An escalation of new and proposed developments throughout our small footprint, at the same time, posing significant and accumulative impacts on everyone’s quality of life and the environment. This also stretches supporting services and various human resources. The ESG advocates measured and sustained development carried out in a manner that allows for a good quality of life and where every new development is paced and given the necessary time and consideration. The DPC agenda this week contains several transformational projects such as Mid Town Development, Western Reclamation and North Mole Reclamation. All raise significant issue which need to be very carefully reviewed.
    • We support the call by the GONHS to ensure that the protection and safeguarding of the biodiversity and geology in the site of the North Gorge is prioritised in all proposals coming forward for development in this area. The ESG believes the North Gorge provides a green buffer zone in an area that is seeing major urban spread. It would recommend that it be cleaned up and landscaped with extensive replanting of endemic plant species. The North Gorge could provide a natural park amenity for the community in the south area and a necessary breathing space amidst the growing urbanisation.

    Clean up the World 2014- Finally, a reminder that the main Clean up the World planning meeting will take place on Friday 29th August at 6pm. Location is the Main Guard, Gibraltar Heritage Trust, which is at John Mackintosh Square