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    4th October 2012

    The ESG believes that the Thinking Green Conference is a positive step in Gibraltar’s evolution towards a greener and more sustainable environment. Nevertheless a Chronicle article published on the 28th September announcing that sponsorship of this Conference was to be partly covered by Nature Group is not seen as either positive or acceptable by the group.

    Given the circumstances surrounding Nature, the ESG is dismayed at the regrettable decision by Government, as hosts, of allowing such sponsorship to go ahead. Nature locally holds the record for the worst environmental accident in Gibraltar in recent times. The fact that said company is still embroiled locally in court proceedings makes their sponsorship of a major environmental event completely inappropriate.

    The ESG recognises that companies like Nature Group sponsor all manner of events, charities and good causes throughout the world but we cannot accept that its operations in Gibraltar, to date, provide the credentials to be linked to such a high profile environmental event as the Thinking Green Conference.

    The ESG has publicly lobbied against the chronic pollution from this sullage plant for many years leading up to the explosion, because of the widely felt impact from its operations. With Nature investment coming just before the explosion, the plant was set to expand capacity. As would be expected, this chronic and deeply impacting air pollution has disappeared from the area since the explosion and cessation of the treatment of waste oil.

    We are aware of the company’s intentions to resume treatment of waste products in Gibraltar and this is something we shall campaign against as we believe that our homeland is too small and densely populated for this process to be carried out safely, and without adversely affecting the population.

    The sponsorship of the conference is a serious investment by Nature and looks like an attempt to whitewash its sullied reputation. The Government, as hosts of the event, should not have accepted such sponsorship.