• Search
    Latest News
  • ESG Radio Newsletter 18th August 2011

    ESG Radio newsletter 18th August 2011 KEY WORDS : Clean up the World – East Side Bunkering – Professor Cales Linden – Buses Survey Deadline –
    Today the ESG will touch upon various matters to do with our local and regional environment which we hope will be of interest.
    To start with an update on the CUTW Programme which is moving along extremely well as we speak, sites being assessed, teams signing up, and 2011 showing itself to be a high point locally for this global campaign once more.
    Gibraltar’s coastline, a growing number of underwater sites and hard to reach areas will receive attention from our volunteers with positive results for our marine and natural environment. That will be the action. Of the campaign itself, well, we hope it will help create more awareness and civic pride in our community with the ultimate aim of becoming more responsible in “How” we manage our waste in general, at every level.
    The next CUTW planning session will be held on the 7th September at the Charles Hunt Room, John Mackintosh Hall, at 7pm. Hope you can attend especially if you couldn’t make the 1st session. See you there.

    Moving on, you may have seen recent press coverage of widely held concerns of the possible expansion of Bunkering to the East side of Gibraltar. There is a coalition of associations and entities that have specific issues regarding any type of this activity on the East Side. For these details please visit esg-gib.net or gonhs.org for the various papers. The “Coalition” published a joint statement a few days ago outlining the many areas of concern which are shared by all groups – this can also be found on the aforementioned websites. We believe its important that the community knows the detailed concerns these same groups gave the scientists last year who are carrying out an env impact assessment on this proposed activity.
    It is after all, our quality of life, our safety, our marine environment, and natural heritage that is at stake and the coalition representing all these areas presents mature arguments and reasons against any such activity most eloquently. If you do not have access to a computer please contact us at 200-48996 for a copy of the submissions.

    Some of you may have known a colourful and somewhat controversial character by the name of Swedish Professor Claes Linden. Claes was an environmental activist, scientist and farmer and lived in the Campo de Gibraltar region for 28 years. His recent passing has given rise to renewed focus of his efforts to fight for a better environment locally, via his farming methods and concerns of pollution, and globally with his scientific works on climate change and critical need for the protection of rainforests. A year ago, close friends of the ESG organised for Claes Linden to give a presentation of his ideas to a select audience in La Linea. It was clear that while his failing health was a growing issue, his commitment and passion for the battle to save our planet was as strong as ever. We would therefore like to mark his passing with respect and sadness. He has left a legacy though – a farming project in Castellar which he nurtured for over twenty years has now become the focus of a petition which Linden’s friends and colleagues are running to try and preserve the land he occupied as an environmental botanic garden. Mid September will see a meeting take place in Castellar and more information will be provided locally by the ESG. Please do contact us if you knew Professor Linden and would like to assist or learn more about this project.
    A word on the buses and problems so far – do not forget to send your complaints and suggestions to paul.martinez@gibraltar.gov.gi where feedback is being gathered towards a govt survey to address these issues. The ESG will also be issuing its own press release on this matter tomorrow.

    The ESG would also like to thank all those who take time to raise issues or call us for advice on our environment. You can reach us at esg@gibtelecom.net, telephone 200-48996 or mobile: 54960000
    Thanks for listening.

    ESG Radio Broadcast 7th July 2011

    ESG Radio Broadcast 7th July 2011
    Since our last broadcast several environmental developments have taken place so we’ll do our best to highlight those of particular interest:-

    1) With summer upon us and most of us outdoors much of the time, our physical environment and its health, is never more apparent than at present. Therefore issues of sewage, pollution from power stations and bunkering, dust and rubble on our beaches, traffic and noise pollution come to the fore as we receive numerous calls from local residents wondering why we continue to suffer from these problems.

    These problems are actually present all year round and is why the ESG fights its corner as we do to press for change. However as long as highly ranked politicians consider the environment to be a single issue matter, nothing radical is going to change. This is what we, as a community, must address.

    2)The ESG is working hard and in discussion with all political parties pushing for action on these issues. Our comprehensive Wish List has been tabled with all parties and we hope is now adding to the discussions we are hearing in the hot house of political debate taking place this week. It does take considerable energy and political will to implement changes at the core of many of our decision making centres to redress the balance of progress and financial stability with improving our physical environment, and therefore quality of life. Projects like the new power station, sewage plant, and a long hard look at the impacts from bunkering and other oil related industry therefore critical.

    3)Gibraltar continues to wait to hear results of the investigations into the tank fire – how long will this take the ESG asks? In the meantime we hear fragments of information here and there about future plans for the area surrounding the tanks site and hope that Govt will issue a full and detailed report of its thinking on this matter so that the public is informed before major decisions are taken.

    The fire was a major incident and reflected poor decision making and poor regulation. The community deserves to know what Govt understands happened and how it is ensuring that accidents of this type will never recur. We are entitled to such information Under the Freedom of Access to Env Information and simply, because anything that happens in Gibraltar affects us all.

    4) Another eyebrow raising moment was the recent announcement by CEPSA management of the investment it is making at its San Roque plant to radically lower pollution levels – pollution levels by the way, it has NEVER EVER admitted to produce in the first place.

    These toxic emissions are carcinogenic and cause all manner of disease and one has to ask what compensation is morally owing to communities who continue to pay the price of this industry’s growing expansion and profits with their health and many, even, with their lives.

    5) CUTW 2011 is now 10 weeks away! It’s official!! Today CUTW Australian Director Ian Kiernan sent a message to members throughout the world reminding us that it’s only through community involvement at a local level that global changes can be made. If local communities value a healthy environment and conserve its biodiversity exercising civic pride, then success is only a matter of time.

    We therefore will invest considerable energy over the next two months to ensure Gibraltar benefits from this important campaign and hope to get your support too!

    Plse contact us at on tel: 200-48996 or email us on: esg@gibtelecom.net . Donations also welcome. Thank you.

    Gibraltar’s Insight Magazine will run CUTW related articles over the next two months with information and detailed analysis of the issues concerned so make sure you pick up a copy!

    Education/Information/Facilities and Enforcement being key to a cleaner Gibraltar.

    6) Some inspiring news for you is the length some of us will go to to protect natures incredible wildlife with the story of two regular blokes from the UK, Chris and Adam, who two days ago swam 26 miles non-stop across the Strait and back, to raise awareness globally of the need to stop illegal whale hunting and killing of dolphins through pollution and intensive fishing practices.

    We hope you will be hearing directly from the swimmers themselves today whose motivation is to raise funds for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society that actively carry out invaluable work to conserve these magnificent creatures.

    Please therefore, take a moment and go to: http://www.justgiving.com/Swim4Whales. Any donation, large or small will be gratefully rec’d recognising the mammoth effort made by these impressive individuals.

    We leave now with our message to: Stay in touch, enjoy your summer and use the bins – and if you can’t find one, take it home!!

    Thanks for listening!


    Pictures courtesy of Jim Watt.



                                                                                                    8th June 2011


     The Environmental Safety Group today submits a petition to the Chief Minister to present legitimate environmental and public health concerns resulting from the accident which took place at the Western Arm last week at the site of the Waste Oil Treatment Plant.

    Today, also at 6.30pm, environmental group, AGADEN, is holding a protest in Algeciras calling upon all politicians to address and prevent the ongoing problem of oil pollution in the Bay.

    Our petition wishes to highlights the following:-

    ●While our immediate thoughts at the time of the accident were with the injured parties and our frontline emergency services, we, along with many others,  were also extremely worried about the danger posed by the persistent raging and toxic fire to the community;

    ●ESG believes that if Gibraltar engages in high risk business such as ship to ship bunkering and waste oil processing, that it needs to step up investment in emergency response and environmental monitoring equipment – ensure best available technology is applied and the precautionary principle adhered to;

    ●We believe that the oil industry is incompatible with the tourist industry in Gibraltar due to our very small size and our inability to have these located at safe distances away from residential areas/schools/hospital/ships/aircraft/etc.;

    ●Despite the Plants relocation from Waterport Road, its activity has regularly affected air quality in the area and people’s quality of life;

    ●That far from recognising or containing the risk to environment and public safety  by this type of plant, we learn in today’s Chronicle that planning permission had been obtained by the company concerned to practically double its capacity to process waste oil material from outside of Gibraltar;

    ● A few years ago and soon after the Sort Plant as it was known then  had relocated to the Western Arm, the ESG were asked to take air samples in the area to determine the smells near the plant. The results as validated by an accredited laboratory revealed several chemicals present which, once identified, led to some modifications to the plant;

    ●In the past few weeks an increase in fumes pervading nearby residential areas had resulted in our corresponding with the Port and Environmental Agency with the ESG being told the origin of much of the smells in that zone were emanating from the waste oil treatment plant. We requested permission to visit the plant with Environmental Agency but this was not deemed possible.  A few days later, the explosion occurred.

     ●That an accident of this proportion needed to take place before our Government addresses any shortcoming of protocols or viability of locating such dirty industries, such as waste oil processing, so close to luxury liners and more importantly, to thousands of local residents, is highly regrettable;

    ●This accident vindicates many of the ESG’s concerns (as highlighted in our Wish list) which indicates the risks posed by oil related activities in Gibraltar which threaten our safety and the living environment;

    ●The clean up operation and oil spills now affecting the Bay are stark reminders of how oil pollution is a long term problem with lasting impacts on the marine environment and human  populations well beyond the time of any incident;

    ●That a cross border agreement as put forward under the Tripartite Dialogue to specifically address environmental and health issues of major proportions be progressed outside of sovereignty implications;

    ●We strongly welcome the statement issued by you/Govt last week that this serious incident has given you an opportunity of rethinking existing practices of processing waste oil material in Gibraltar and location and practice of other oil related activity. The ESG is in full support of this position.

    This petition is therefore intended to send a strong message to the Gibraltar Government that the ESG in campaigning for a clean and healthy environment sees this oil accident as a symptom of poorly controlled and conflicting activity in Gibraltar. We urge Government to evaluate the true benefits of the oil industry to the Gibraltar community, risks to the population and environmental degradation.

                                                    Henry Pinna                                                      Janet Howitt

    ——————————————————————————– ————————–

        Signed on behalf of the Environmental Safety Group on this day:  8th June 2011



    ESG Reacts to Major Port Fire 1st Jun 2011


    The ESG believes Gibraltar needs to take on board lessons from yesterday’s major fire at Western Arm where Nature Port Reception Facility (NPRF) Plant, previously known as SLOP Oil, then Sort Oil, blazed for over 15 hours producing a toxic plume which for the main, was fortunately blown away from residential areas. This is a real blessing. Had the wind blown towards the town area the consequences could have been very different and impacts even more widely felt.

    We would like to thank our emergency services for their incredible efforts in handling the incident. We would also expect that given the scale of oil related activity locally that best possible resources would be available to the services and will wait to hear the official incident report before commenting further on this.

    It is clear to us, however, that all fuel activity whether land or sea based in Gibraltar requires that best practice is applied and the precautionary principle adhered to. However, even with these in place, it is still difficult to provide sufficient safety to the community due to the proximity of such activity to residential areas. This was highlighted most clearly during yesterday’s worrying incident.

    The ESG would like to see a future Gibraltar less reliant on fuel related economy and based on more sustainable activity for our own benefit and have included such concerns in our published “Wish List 2011” which can be read at www.esg-gib.net


    Contd/.. for info:

    In the context of the major fire we would like to highlight the following:

    1)     Planning issues are at stake here with inappropriate location of industry and residential areas resulting in conflict; berthing cruise liners next to industry is also a serious problem;

    2)     Fuel business in Gibraltar seems to be expanding in every direction even though this represents an associated risk potential – for example: Govt support for possible East Side Bunkering –and – the Nature Oil Treatment Plant planning to import and process waste oil from Ceuta and Malta;

    3)     Ongoing activity at the plant has been impacting the nearby residential areas off and on for a number of years now due to noxious smells. Recent weeks saw a spike in complaints and the ESG was in regular contact with both the Port and the Environmental Agency (EA). Indeed having been informed by the EA that the recent increase in fumes was linked to the Oil treatment Plant led us to request permission to accompany the agency on one of its now regular inspections. This was refused.

    4)     We are concerned that air pollution from the major fire could have had serious adverse effects on people. We must remember that the tanks did not contain pure oil, but waste oil and other chemical waste. The ESG has previously taken air samples in the area and knows this for a fact. Therefore, the persistent, toxic plume containing several chemicals could have provoked widespread respiratory problems had it penetrated the nearby estates. We were told this was a potential concern.

    5)     Marine pollution clearly impacts on wildlife but also on our ability to extract seawater via our water intakes, essential for potable water.

    6)     The rapid manner in which this incident developed, which affected many hundreds of people in the frontline, illustrates how widespread the impacts of such an accident can be. Also saw airport closed for considerable time.

    7)     Finally, the ESG would like to emphasise the need to ensure that sufficient stocks of foam are stocked in Gibraltar to address any future oil related fire, be it land based or out at sea as this is clearly vital in safely extinguishing such dangerous fires.


    RADIO BROADCAST 130511 (delayed)

    ESG Radio Broadcast 13th May 2011

    • Today’s radio broadcast will focus on four separate issues:

    The first is to refer you to this week’s publication of an exciting new report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, otherwise known as the IPCC. The reports authors underline the significant future role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and powering sustainable development using existing renewable energy technologies. A global team of technological experts and scientists studied over 160 scenarios using the potential of six separate renewable energy technologies and the details of their assessments are contained in a thousand page report, the link of which will be posted on the ESG website: www.esg-gib.net.

    In a world where nuclear energy is being pressed forward as the energy of choice to combat climate change, this report is very timely offering in-depth technical and socio economic analysis.  Anyone interested in learning about the actual viability of renewable energy, as opposed to arguments pushed forward by vested interests, will find this new report of great interest. You may be interested to know that the energies being considered by the IPCC are:

    Bio energy, direct solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy

    • The second area of focus is our very own wish list for parties standing for local elections. A very comprehensive 5 page list of measures we believe could greatly enhance both our quality of life and our environment will be published on our website this weekend and sent to our local press as well as directly to all parties over the next few days. The ESG has produced two previous wish lists, our first, in 2003, calling for an environmental policy to be declared by all parties. We believe we have come a long way in achieving the necessary awareness, of course, aided by the evolution of environmental legislation from Europe. However, Gibraltar is unique in many ways, not least in environmental matters and we believe we must go over and above legal limits and requirements in order to safe guard our environment and our families. Measures covered in our wish list address: climate change, energy, pollution, traffic, recycling, bunkering, sewage treatment, conservation, planning, Govts own Env Action and Management Plan, Cross Border issues and Epid Studies

    Watch out for our 2011 wish list and proposed measures!!

    • Getting down to very specific issues, bunkering fumes and other pollution continues to affect the community and the ESG is taking up this issue most vigorously on behalf of all complainants with the relevant agencies and ministries. We repeat our call for the public to report problems as they are occurring especially regarding bunkering related fumes- number to call is 56001652, for other sources you should call 200-70620 during office hours, or 200-72500 and ask for the Environmental officer on Duty.   Please also inform the ESG of your reports as you make them.
    • Finally, we shall be issuing a press release shortly on the Public Health Conference which took place last weekend in Algeciras.  It is always extremely beneficial to listen to Professor Benach share his views and understanding on matters of public health, especially of his concerns about the state of health of communities in the Spanish bay towns. Mr Benach has begun assessing our own Epid Study and we now await a full report which we know will bring his global expertise to better understanding our own problems and needs more fully.


    We look ahead to our next broadcast where we shall share some more news on our environment.   Thanks for listening.

    Concerns over another collision off Gibraltar

    27th May 2011

    “A report in the Gibraltar Chronicle that a minor collision occurred off Gibraltar this week between a Chinese ship and a floating petrol vessel anchored in the bay is of extreme concern to the ESG. This is a grave reminder of the very real threat posed to our environment from existing maritime activity. This “minor” collision reminds us that even with the application of best technology such as Vessel Tracking Systems in place and trained personnel that – accidents do and will continue to happen.

    In a press release issued by the ESG in January 2011 we highlighted this risk in response to the official launch by the Port of Gibraltar of its new VTS monitoring technology. We expressed concerns then that while the VTS would have an immaculate record of what happened, it would not necessarily be able to prevent an incident. This latest collision demonstrates how our concerns have been realised and how important it is for the Gibraltar Government to rethink its planned bunkering expansion to the East Side. The ESG believes that VTS should be used to increase distance between ships and therefore safety, and not to increase shipping density.”


    See below ESG PR Jan 2011 on VTS

    ESG on the VTS (Vessel Tracking System)        13th January 2011

    The ESG welcomes the news of the VTS system finally being introduced in the Port of Gibraltar. The group also expects that the new safety cushion created by the system on the present level of shipping should not once again be eroded by increasing the amount of shipping. This is akin to the refinery reducing air emissions per ton of oil processed but then increasing its capacity to negate this and even add more pollution.

    If traffic is increased so that there is a greater concentration of shipping around Gibraltar this will further reduce the distance between ships and/or the reaction time available to the Port to react to a crisis situation which will make serious shipping incidents very likely.

    The ESG adds that we might have an immaculate record of what happened and how it happened but the incident will not have been avoided.

    The group takes this opportunity of urging the Gibraltar Government to rethink current plans to expand bunkering activity to the eastern side of the Rock



    May 2011

    For the past decade the ESG has campaigned locally, regionally, and at European and global level for a healthy environment pressing for environmental policies to be matched by investment and political will.[1] The following, if adequately addressed, would go a long way towards making the necessary environmental improvements in Gibraltar:


    a) Climate Change Forum to present biannual reports at public meetings to encourage community engagement, participation and awareness of the single most important issue facing humanity today;

    b) NGO participation important – climate change affects everyone and should be cross party and include interested stakeholders such as environmental NGO’s;

    c) This “Think Tank” should look at Gibraltar’s long term sustainability with regards to energy, water, and food, and map out alternative strategies for future secure provision of our basic needs. In the full knowledge that Climate Change and its impacts will have devastating consequences for future generations, it is essential that we take responsibility by launching a well funded research programme and plan of action and not simply expect others to “deal with this” at some future time!


    a) Renewable Energy projects to be launched with short and long-term targets. Modern Power Station using diesel engines could be modified to use biofuel (such as olive oil from Europe, generated as a by product, available regionally) enabling Gibraltar to comply in time with EU Directives.

    b) Meanwhile a sustained programme is needed to modify our grid to allow selling of electricity to the Electricity Authority by private micro generation of electricity. (Solar Water Heating, Photovoltaics, Photovoltaic roof tiles, Micro Wind Turbines, etc.) ;

    c) Government Grants to be set up to encourage approved micro systems for renewable energy for the householder;

    d) Project to reduce our energy use for example only allowing the higher efficiency household items to be imported or highly taxing the less efficient items; (“A” classification items for energy consumption being the best) banning of importation of incandescent light bulbs; replacement of all street lighting for high efficiency LED’s or similar;

    e) While some reports on renewable energy feasibility for Gibraltar are already available (see MoD report 2005 – contact ESG for info) fresh research and focus into how best to harness energy from the multiple sources open to us needs to be set up with no further delay and for this to be done openly inviting ideas and resources from interested stakeholders;

    f) Gibraltar-wide study to be conducted to assess energy efficiency and consumption to limit unnecessary or wasteful practices;

    g) Vigorously pursue other Govt own stated objectives as set out under its Environmental and Action Management Plan;



    a) It’s important that our three ageing power stations are closed once the new replacement station is built within the expected deadline of end 2012. This would allow us to comply with EU directives on air quality and substantially elevate the quality of life in residential areas around these power stations;

    b) It is essential to place strict environmental controls on all polluting industry in Gibraltar to eliminate effects beyond the fence line e.g. oil treatment, desalination, dockyard, cement factories, refuse storage and transport, petrol stations, etc. Mitigating technologies exist and Government and the private sector should be directed to invest in environmental protection equipment and practice regardless of whether legally required. The absence of safe buffer zones due to our size demands that we do not only settle for compliance on environmental protection standards as do larger countries. It is after all, our own community and hence our own families we are trying to protect;

    c) Ensure the Precautionary Principle is a key factor when assessing impacts and mitigating needs of all industry related activity;

    d) Re-invent the Environment Agency to be target driven and results orientated with a mission to make Gibraltar as pollution free as possible. For this agency to become autonomous and independently enforce environmental and public health laws;

    e) Such targets to include the systematic application of BAT (Best Available Technology) in all industry;


    a) Traffic reduction measures and schemes and new low emission public transport targets to be actively developed;

    b) Free Bus Service for local residents to be introduced without further delay;

    c) Incentives for low emission vehicles over heavily polluting ones to be applied (reward and penalising schemes);

    d) Control and eventual elimination of two-stroke motorbikes as these produce high levels of air and noise pollution;

    e) While welcome to see cycling encouraged on our roads, this cannot take place without accompanying rules and safety guidelines: Cycle lanes to be included in new roads/Warning Signs for motor vehicle drivers to be aware of cyclists/Cyclists to adhere to safe road use- e.g. set up road signs targeting cyclists-indicate, respect lights, etc.

    f) Road surfaces to be maintained year round as pot holes pose a serious danger to cyclists and motorbike riders, raising risk of accident and collision with cars;

    g) Increase road safety by creating more pavements to encourage walking

    g) Consideration of feedback from public consultation exercise on Govt Transport Plan namely ESG’s and ITWMC among others;



    a) Recycling of all our refuse – sustained public awareness and enforcement campaign;

    b) Enforcement of litter and fly tipping laws;

    c) Creation of a dedicated Eco Park to reduce fly tipping and waste piles (eye sores);

    d) Netting enclosure at City Dump to limit spread of lightweight waste onto our roads and green cliffs;

    e) Facilities to be provided at the City Dump to receive paper, plastic and cardboard waste for onward recycling which at present goes to landfill;

    f) Development and promotion of Govt Recycling Policy to ensure that all high waste producers of glass and cans use the recycling services available today. (This to include schools, hospitals, clubs, bars and restaurants);




    a) Freeze and controls imposed on Bunkering activities to include vapour recovery;

    b) Disallow East Side Bunkering as this will increase air pollution problems as well as significantly raise the risks of a serious oil spill with devastating implications for humans, marine and bird life and our economy;

    c) Full disclosure of income evaluation of bunkering and port activity to the public purse, taking into account the degrading impacts this has on quality of life and marine environment, as well as to our tourist product which is sustainable and critically important to our economy;

    d) Elimination of floating petrol stations;

    e) In setting up land based fuel storage alternative, this to be done to the highest standards and using BATS, including full public consultation during planning and construction process. Commercial sensitivities should not be used to withhold information on new, polluting activity;


    a)Sewage treatment plant to be installed without further delays to eliminate raw sewage disposal to the sea (and if it can be done anaeorobically/ eliminating smells and producing methane as a by product for energy production, all the better);




    a) Expansion of Nature Reserve to include East side sand slopes down to the sea joining it up with marine protected area. (To protect the last bit of natural coastline remaining in Gibraltar);

    b) Major expansion of urban tree numbers and major creation/expansion and up keep of urban green areas;

    c) Due consideration of key areas and recommendations as factored in the Upper Rock Management Plan produced by the GONHS

    d) Upper Rock Authority announced some time back needs re-launching and should include active participation from relevant stakeholders, public discussion and participation in the decision making process;



    a) Complete overhaul of Planning Procedure in Gibraltar;

    b) DPC to have a neutral chair, to be open and transparent with public consultation on all major projects;

    c) EIA’s to include consideration of the existing environment on new development projects as well as impacts from new projects on the environment;

    d) All major projects, including Govt, to undergo EIA’s given the limitations of land space in Gibraltar and need for best assessment ahead of breaking ground;

    e) Adherence to Best Practice in planning to be applied to all Planning Procedures in Gibraltar;

    f) Recommendations made under the Strategic Environmental Plan released alongside Gibraltar’s’ Development Plan to be given open and serious consideration: Most importantly Gibraltar must consider setting limits on levels of development, traffic and pollution to safeguard quality of life;

    g) Gib Dev Plan “green measures” and check-list to be actively applied and reviewed;

    h) Green Building Legislation to be vigorously adhered to as well as developed to retrospectively tackle recent and major new development for improvements in environmental performance;



    EAMP (Environmental and Action Management Plan)-


    a) Urgent Govt wide implementation of its Environmental and Action Management Plan (EAMP –which nevertheless needs improving/expanding to address dockyard and bunkering as well as other impacting  activities on the Rock omitted from the Plan[2]);

    b) EAMP to permeate all Ministries and Departments, Agencies and others to ensure that all decisions reflect genuine environmental considerations as well as economic and technical factors;

    c) EAMP public presentation overdue and anticipated;








    a)      The cross border nature of the Bay’s environment means that achieving progress in environmental issues is often hampered by political issues, even though the solutions require cross border co-operation. Such pressures are once again evident in the impasse facing the Tripartite Process; a dialogue, that for a while, appeared to provide a workable model for co-operation at many levels including the environment.

    b)       A detailed appraisal on key environmental issues was produced by the three Govts involved (Spain, Gibraltar and United Kingdom), pledging to get to grips with cross border issues. A practical and technical approach was being designed at a cross border level that could provide technical and practical support and response to real problems and issues affecting people and the environment.

    c)      A group of 5 NGO’s from Gibraltar and Spain[3] have submitted three dossiers to the Tripartite Forum outlining critical regional environmental issues with potential solutions.   

    Issues include:-

    ● pollution ● health ● land reclamation ● urbanisation ● loss of green spaces & biosphere,

    ● sewage treatment ● industrial expansion ● maritime activity

    d)      Environmental NGO’s have also lobbied and secured their participation within the technical assessments under the Tripartite Process. This, however, has not yet taken place due to the indefinite stalling of the Tripartite Talks themselves. We hope the Government of Gibraltar will continue to seek co-operation at cross border level for environmental and health issues which are urgent in nature with a resumption of the working groups meeting under the Tripartite Forum.


    a)      One of the key and urgent areas to be considered is the true state of public health of Bay communities given their long term and chronic exposure to toxic emissions from poorly regulated heavy industry and the Oil Refinery based in the Spanish town of San Roque. Gibraltar’s first independently commissioned epidemiological study for the Gib population is an important first step but one that needs to be followed by further study to fully understand the state of our health, and the “potential” and “actual” impacts from environmental factors which most affect us including from local sources. Cross border studies are also necessary to gauge how the Bay environment impacts on the health of all Bay communities. The focus should then quickly move to bring all identified causes of ill- health and higher mortality in the area in line with best practice and best available technology within Europe with the aim of improving health prospects and quality of life.

    b)      The ESG and our public health advisers consider more research is required as well as an expansion of the existing air monitoring programme in Gibraltar (also advised by the report issued on the 1st Epid Study in January 2011).


    ESG Election Wish List


    It is hoped this wish list will be considered by all parties standing for 2011 elections. The ESG strongly believes that implementation of these measures would bring enormous benefits to our community and quality of life; offer greater sustainability and improve Gibraltar’s environmental performance.

    ESG Committee:    Contact J Howitt 54960000   H Pinna 200-78067   T Scott 58009259


    Please visit ESG website which carries a rich record of 8 years worth of media releases, reports, photographs, videos, interviews and more:    

    Website: www.esg-gib.net  Email: esg@gibtelecom.net  Tel: 200-48996    

    [1] Locally via various campaigns, lobbying, negotiation, information/ Regionally via cross border coalitions/at a European level via MEPs’ and the European Commission/Globally via the Bucket Brigade and scientific sampling

    [2] See ESG Website : http://www.esg-gib.net/esg-on-govt-action-plan-3-2-11/

    [3] ESG, GONHS, Greenpeace, AGADEN and Verdemar

    ESG Election 2011 Wish List

    ESG Press Release 18th May 2011


     The ESG has published an environmental wish list at every election that has taken place since the group was formed. For the upcoming election we have decided to once again put forward our key areas and recommended solutions on a 2011 Wish List in the hope that all parties standing for election will give this due consideration.

    Headings which form part of our list include:  Climate Change, Energy, Pollution, Traffic, Recycling, Bunkering, Sewage Treatment, Conservation, Planning, EAMP, Cross Border issues and Epidemiological Studies.

    The ESG has sent a copy of the wish list to all political parties and to the local media.

    Should any party wish to meet with us to discuss these issues further we shall be only too pleased to accept.

    ESG Committee May 2011

    ESG on Bank Holiday Fumes


    6th May 2011

    The ESG would like to advise that it received various calls in the run up and during the last holiday weekend from residents in the Western and north Western part of Gibraltar. With a caller praying for a Levanter that could help eliminate the noxious smells present in the newly constructed Waterport Terraces area, the ESG began to plan for possible air sampling- however, unfortunately, we had received the report once the worst of the smells had passed and so no samples were taken at the time.

    A few days before receiving that call, a Harbour Views resident wrote in absolutely fed up with the resumption of air pollution in the area believed to be caused by bunkering activity as the smells were of a rotten egg quality.

    This highlights two important issues which are of deep concern to the ESG, as well as to many others on the Rock.

    • Air pollution seriously affects one’s quality of life, and quite likely impacts on our health. We would like to provide a new number and contact to be called by the public when affected by pollution from what is suspected to be a port related activity – We urge people to call at the time the pollution is at its worst to ensure accurate detection and follow up.

    New Bunkering Superintendent Mr John Ghio/ New Contact Number 56001652

    The ESG also asks the public to copy the report to us either verbally by telephone on 200-48996 or via email on: esg@gibtelecom.net

    • This resurgence in air pollution from bunkering activity, quite common in warmer temperatures, also raises the likely prospect that rather than facing a future of less pollution in Gibraltar, with Govt pledged support for East Side Bunkering, the chances are that fumes will soon be present in our ambient air regardless of wind direction- ie we shall be getting it from both sides. This is the main reason, along with others, why the ESG is totally opposed to the planned bunkering expansion currently undergoing an EIA


    The group calls on the public to please report pollution issues as they are taking place to the relevant numbers provided to illustrate to Government the frequency and range of the existing problems which should be addressed and controlled and not increased.


    Click here for links to GONHS press releases

    GONHS on Initial reaction to EAMP (Environmental Action & Management Plan)

    and on Eastside Bunkering