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    Today marks World Environment Day, a day typically well supported in Gibraltar. Covid has pressed pause on many things including the public promotion of environmental causes and need for state, private and individual action. We wanted to highlight the importance of this day.

    The global theme this year is Time for Nature – possibly selected because of the pandemic and how many have found solace in our great, natural environments and reminded of how essential these are to our lives. It follows that we must do all we can to protect our wonderful diversity and habitats.

    The ESG carries out ongoing clean ups throughout the year from coastal or green spaces, with only yesterday pulling out coils of oil contaminated rope landing on the shores of Camp Bay. It recognises the sterling work undertaken by The Nautilus Project with its focus on beach litter and the schools.

    The recent uproar over the BBQ debris denounced by our community clearly highlights littering as an ongoing local issue that calls for permits and fines to be energetically applied.  

    In the wider world we have to mention the recent environmental catastrophe in the Arctic region caused by a major oil spill into the remote Russian Taymyr Tundra this week. Over 20,000 tons leaked into rivers and streams causing devastation to the regions’ ecology. It is being compared to the Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska decades ago, which continues to impact species recovery as well as community livelihoods. 

    It is well known that the Taymyr tundra in the region over several years has experienced major warming and that the local permafrost is undergoing unprecedented melting. This has been linked to this week’s catastrophe. The clean up will be complex and difficult to achieve increasing the damage caused.

    A reminder that today, on World Environment Day, all nations must take up meaningful action on Climate Change without further delay, increase protection of our wilderness areas, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and create a safer world for our children and all species who make up this wonderful planet.

    CUTW 2020 set for 19th September with more info to follow soon.