Environmental Charter Long Overdue

The Opposition considers that the publication by the Government of an Environmental Charter is long overdue. Although the Government has long been promising the publication of the Charter they have delayed it unnecessarily for reasons which are unclear.

A statement says: It would have been in the interests of the whole of Gibraltar for the Environmental Charter and the commitments that are supposedly entered into it on behalf of the Government, to have been in place before the recent spate of high rise luxury developments got the go ahead. The same is true of the long overdue Gibraltar development plan. The fact is that the GSD has not acted timeously to put in place a Charter that properly addressed issues as to the quality of life of Gibraltar residents.

A true commitment to the improvement of the environment is about more than just an Environmental Charter.


The fact is that the GSD have been in office now for ten years and have done little to show anything other than contempt for environmental issues. The everyday lives for Gibraltarians now, for example in parts of the South District, remain blighted by the GSD?s failure to address the problem with the fumes emitted by bunkering activities relocated to that area by the Government, the statement adds.

The same is true of the problems experienced in the Upper Town with rubbish often strewn about the area.

The failure to progress any positive steps on urban renewal further illustrate the Government?s failures, among many other examples of Government inactivity in improving the living environment of Gibraltarians. When coupled with decisions such as the go-ahead given to the monstrous Mid-Town Development and other developments without ensuring that new buildings comply with energy efficiency criteria, the absence of any real recycling project and the Government not subjecting the Civil Service to a corporate environmental audit, the reality of Government?s environmental credentials can be seen to be paper thin and more a matter of spin then substance.


The opposition adds: To add insult to injury, the process of compiling the terms of the Charter has been said to have been taking so long because Government was consulting widely on it?s terms. Nonetheless, the Charter is an identical copy of those of all the other overseas territories, save for two words, i.e., the word ?sensibly? in point 2 is ?wisely? in all other Charters and the addition of the word ?living? before ?environment? in point 8.

All the other Charters were signed in 2001! Perhaps Government can explain why it took it 5 years to add two words to the Charter it has published in 2006.