ESG Radio Newsletter 13th April 2017 There have been a few developments in some of our key campaigns we would like to share with you today.
You may have heard us talk about our new Wish List in the past, recently renamed as our List of Objectives. We have now finalised our 2017 paper and will be presenting this to Ministers and Opposition MPs in the coming weeks. The document will also be published on our website shortly.
We have just received confirmation directly from the European Commission that infringement proceedings against Spain, on the breaking of EU law in respect of illegal sewage discharge at various points around the Bay, including from La Linea into Western Beach waters, have now started against the Spanish Authorities.
It appears that after 7 years of campaigning and lobbying, of calling upon our MEPs to place pressure in Brussels, and more recently of action taken by the Gibraltar Government, we are finally starting to close the circle and see decisive action from the Commission.
Still, during these long campaigns, and in the last year or so, the combined pressure has resulted in a reduction in the volume of sewage discharged into Western beach waters and this is a positive outcome for sure. Pollution levels are still of concern though and relatively consistent meaning that further work must be done to eliminate this altogether. Visit environmental agency.gi, go to monitoring, and then click on bathing water for details on the state of waters at all beaches for more information.
It’s important that the health of Western Beach waters is restored to its pre 2010 conditions and we shall continue to fight for this final outcome. We are in touch with our legal advisers, co-petitioners, and the Gibraltar office in Brussels and are currently preparing a follow up to this latest official response. We shall also contact our MEPs for assistance. The commission have also informed us of advanced plans to take action against the UK on Gibraltar’s lack of sewage treatment facility, which we sincerely hope will be addressed and actioned during 2017.
The big news this week is the launch of the STTP, or the Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan. It’s a comprehensive set of documents that require time to appraise its contents and the ESG is in the process of doing just that. Committee members met with Minister Balban and Cortes and staff in the run up to the launch and placed several questions and concerns, which were discussed at some length at the meeting. The issue for us now is to establish how well the new plan addresses key ESG concerns and where we shall need to continue to direct our efforts. We recognise and welcome the hard work carried out by Minister Balban and all supporting staff to finalise this very important plan that aims to calm Gibraltar’s streets and help reduce air and noise pollution.
We shall shortly be releasing a statement on best available technology and the new Power station as we have held a number of meetings with Govt technical advisers and exchanged correspondence, and as many know, is an issue we have been very vocal on. An update will be published soon.
We also want to confirm that Clean up the World Campaign will this year take place on Saturday 23rd September. With plans for workshops and preparations for an awareness parade soon to get underway look out for details on our website and in the local press. Last week saw a few volunteers from the ESG and the Gibraltar Heritage Trust together clear a beautiful green area, smothered in plastic and take away waste, where we filled close to 30 sacks in just under 2 hours! Our litter problems in nature spots continue -especially in certain hotspots – and the need for our Clean up, and awareness of these issues, as important as ever. Please help and get involved. Email to volunteer at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our website for more news at esg-gib.net.
Thanks for listening!