GREEN AREAS AND DEVELOPMENT UPDATE 2010 MARCH 2010
It’s clear to anyone entering Gibraltar today that development has gone crazy with a lot of concrete being plastered throughout Gibraltar. This is unfortunately the same for much of the Campo area, and frankly, many other parts of Europe. Essential housing and development is obviously a necessary part of our existence but “measured and sustainable” should be part of the conditions applied to all development projects especially in a place the size of Gibraltar. Greening up of our highly urbanised areas should be prioritised and there are some signs that this may be happening now.
Gibraltar’s Development plan for the next 10 years was finally approved in 2009 and the ESG prepared a comprehensive response which it made public and can be found on our website.
GREEN AREAS 2007
Upper Rock Management Plan-
GONHS was commissioned to produce an Upper Rock Nature Reserve Management and Action Plan which was completed and submitted for consideration in 2005. Measures such as Wardens and Ape management measures contained therein are among several measures which are clearly essential and should be implemented without further delay
-Protection of existing green areas and inclusion of new green areas in heavily concreted areas throughout Gibraltar essential both for our biodiversity as well as quality of life for the resident population
-Enforcement of Nature Protection laws in Gibraltar
-GSD Government had pledged to launch tree replanting schemes which would be extremely welcome.
Short to long-term
Greening up of our urban areas and roads, green buildings, roofs, energy and water conservation measures to be introduced without delay. Public DPC meetings to be introduced, especially for projects over a certain size including Govt projects.
Short to long-term
-Green building measures to be legislated into existing protocols and regulations. We have lost opportunities with the several large constructions currently underway in Gibraltar but could apply these to the Eastside development as well as the new airport, for example as well as all future projects under consideration at present.
-Development plan for Gibraltar. This has been called for by the ESG for many years now and its recent publication is therefore appreciated. However, given that the previous plan was produced in 1991 and that 16 years have since passed – together with the intense level of building and reshaping of Gibraltar’s infrastructure, this development plan is reporting on decisions which have already been taken – not providing much space if any for public participation. Lack of green areas, protection of trees and old buildings, impact on roads, and non-implementation of green building measures by Gibraltar authorities to developers have caused many micro environments around Gibraltar to be radically altered often with little sensitivity. The proposal by ESG and other NGO’s for open DPC meetings could ensure that specific and unpopular developments and major projects would not get the green light.
-Gibraltar’s unique situation requires unique solutions. The community should be involved in all major decisions.
Another important issue is for the need to carry out an EIA for all new developments to check the impact of the “existing environment” on new developments, something not currently required. Some examples: residential developments, schools, playgrounds etc. have been set up in completely inappropriate areas such as next to Dockyard, power stations, airport, waste oil plants and main arterial roads.