No.6 Convent Place
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- Department of the Environment
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|Department of the Environment|
Department's Role | Staff | Key Areas of Responsibility | EU Directives | Waste | Land Quality | Energy
Environmental concerns continue to be of increasing importance in all our lives, as evidenced by the amount of media coverage on the environment. A substantial number of EU directives relating to environmental issues continue to be implemented. These deal with setting targets for the control of pollution, depletion of our natural resources, resource management etc. Gibraltar is committed to the EU policy on the preservation, protection and improvement of the environment.
The Department advises on the transposition of EU Directives and the creation of systems to manage the requirements of such directives. Our aim is to ensure that the environment receives the importance and respect it deserves and for the department to fulfil its duties and obligations on matters relating to the environment
Apart from dealing with EU Directives as described above, the Department is also tasked with the monitoring of contracts between Government and service providers which affect the general state of our environment including all environment protection, enforcement and management in areas such as waste, flora (including planted areas) fauna (including the macaques), and any other issues related to biodiversity/conservation management. Additionally it is also responsible for the management of the cemetery.
The Department assesses technical considerations, difficulties in implementation or enforcement, required resources, effects on existing or future installations or processes, benefits, financial implications and draft legislation.
Our objectives consist of:
To contact us;
Department of the Environment
For more information about this service:
The company is contracted to dispose of clinical waste in accordance with EU Directives.
The company is contracted to maintain and beautify a number of planted areas.
Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic
Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic is contracted to look after the health and well being of the Barbary Macaques. Tests must be carried out on a regular basis on the apes for possible infectious diseases.
The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS), is a nongovernmental, membership-based organisation committed to research into and conservation of nature in Gibraltar and the region of the Strait of Gibraltar. They are contracted for the control, upkeep, feeding and general well being of the Barbary Macaques and also to carry out the culling of seagulls
The company is contracted to maintain and beautify a number of planted areas.
The company is contracted to carry out cleaning duties as specified in a programmed schedule of works. Their responsibilities are: the cleansing of public places, highways, streets, roads, upper Rock, beaches and other specific areas, removal of accumulations including bulky items. They are to carry out the servicing of refuse containers, litterbins and bin holding areas. They are tasked to carry out the servicing of parks, playgrounds, and public toilets, the minor maintenance of street furniture and re-sanding of roads and pavements in the newly beautified areas within the city centre.
The company is contracted to dispose of eletrical waste and electronic equipment in accordance with EU Directives.
Monteverde & Sons Ltd
The company is contracted for the disposal of refuse, mattresses and bulky household items in accordance with EU Directives relevant to each type of waste.
Wildlife Gibraltar Ltd
This company is contracted for the upkeep of the Alameda Botanical Gardens. Some of the duties are: the maintenance of the “Dell” (sunken garden, maintenance of greenhouse, maintenance of nursery gardens and the general cleaning of the gardens, in terms of weeding and sweeping
Potable Water Quality
Water Framework Directive
For the full list see guidance documents below.
The WEEE Regulations encompass all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in the above categories with a voltage of up to 1000 volts AC or up to 1500 volts DC.
The Government has set up a temporary facility for the collection and sorting of all WEEE. The facility allows the general public and businesses to dispose of their WEEE at the temporary WEEE Park. It is situated at Buena Vista and operated by Gibraltar Community Projects. This sorting facility is available to the general public Mondays to Fridays 8am to 8pm and Saturdays 8am to 1pm. The facility is not open on Sundays or public holidays.
A copy of the WEEE Regulations 2007 can be viewed at:
Further details on how the WEEE Regulations affect you is found on:
Ozone Depleting Substances
The ozone layer is a layer of gas in the upper atmosphere which protects humans and other living things from the harmful ultraviolet (UV-B) rays of the sun. In the 1970s scientists discovered that certain man-made chemicals could destroy ozone and deplete the ozone layer. Research has found that chemicals like chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) in aerosol sprays, refrigeration, insulation and air conditioning are contributing to the accumulation of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in the atmosphere.
The EU has legislated to ensure ozone depleting substances are phased out and not placed on the EU market. To find out more on the EU policy on ozone depleting substances follow the link: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ozone/
The phasing out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) has helped to fight climate change since many ODS are also powerful greenhouse gases. The Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer applies locally. Ozone depleting substances listed in the Regulation will not be allowed to be imported locally unless accompanied by an EU licence. All local importers or retailers who do not abide by this legislation will face financial penalties.
To find out more on the type of products which contain ozone depleting substances click on the link below:
In an attempt to protect the land quality in Gibraltar, Government policy states that, in relation to development proposals, any impacts on land quality shall be of prime consideration when determining applications. Similarly, in relation to development on potentially contaminated or contaminated land, Government’s policy is that planning permission will normally be granted provided that it can be demonstrated that measures are taken to satisfactorily overcome any danger to human health, the environment or property.
Each proposal for a development on potentially contaminated land is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Historical land use in Gibraltar has been such that, as with all EU countries, varying degrees of contaminated land exist. The Department of the Environment monitor such cases closely to ensure that any contaminated (or potentially contaminated) material is properly dealt with. The removal and disposal of the contaminated material is considered as a hazardous waste and must be disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner and in accordance with the instructions that the Environmental Agency may issue. If deemed necessary soil samples are taken to assess the degree and extent of contamination of a site. The Government is drafting legislation that focuses on land quality management and enforces the polluter pays principle in respect to the contamination or pollution of land.
In addition to the above, further ways in which the Government works to ensure that Gibraltar’s land area is of the highest quality, ensuring its long-term preservation include:
Soil plays an important role in controlling and mediating pressures on the environment, and as such, must be considered for the protection of water, air and human health. Applicants for planning permission will be expected to make provision for the beneficial re-use of soil removed from the site. Soil preservation is related to the issue of open spaces within urban environments. There are areas of open space of various sizes, forms and character throughout Gibraltar that are considered important for their contribution to the built environment. There will be a presumption against the loss of open spaces that are considered important in terms of their:
The aim is that this will include an assessment of all open spaces, taking into account factors such as nature conservation value, recreational and amenity value and landscape value, which will help in determining the relative importance of these areas.
There are currently three installations in Gibraltar producing energy. Two of these installations namely Waterport and OESCO power stations supply electricity to the civil population and the remaining one supplies electricity to Ministry of Defence establishments and some civilian properties. Waterport Power Station is operated by the Gibraltar Electricity Authority on behalf of the Government of Gibraltar and has a thermal power output of 40 MW whereas the OESCO power station is operated by the Ormrod Electricity Supply Company (private contractor to the Government of Gibraltar) and has a thermal power output of 58.9 MW. The Inter Services Generating Power Station operated by the Ministry of Defence has a thermal power output of 48 MW.
Energy End Use Efficiency Plan
The Government of Gibraltar (GOG) is fully committed to the ideology of generating an increasing proportion of Gibraltar’s electricity from renewable energy sources. It therefore engaged consultants to investigate the feasibility of providing some of Gibraltar’s energy demands from renewable energy sources. EU legislation is increasingly geared towards the supply of energy within the community from renewable energy sources. Gibraltar is unique in its environmental and socio-economic setting, and this will undoubtedly affect our ability to comply with such legislation (see Policy & Legislation).
Conservation management is an important part of Gibraltar’s responsibilities. Centred on the Nature Protection Act 1991, this piece of substantial legislation protects particular species of plants and animals inhabiting the rock including those that are threatened. The Nature Protection Act also includes provisions to protect and conserve some of Gibraltar’s unique habitats such as the Upper Rock Nature Reserve and Windmill Hill Flats. Up to 31% of Gibraltar’s land areas have been protected at EU and local level and it is thus Government’s intention to ensure that these sites are adequately managed. A marine Special Area of Conservation has also been designated with the aim of protecting underwater habitats and key species such as cetaceans. The Government’s objective in relation to conservation and wildlife in Gibraltar is therefore:
The climate change debate is fast becoming the main issue of environmental concern. It has now been established amongst leading international scientists that climate change is occurring. The conclusions arising from the Copenhagen congress on climate change confirm that, given the high rates of observed emissions, the worst-case scenarios projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are being realised. While it is recognised that the earth naturally undergoes cycles of warming and cooling, for many key parameters, the climate system is already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability within which our society and economy have developed and thrived.
The predicted effects of climate change in the Western Mediterranean are expected to consist of a rise in temperatures, lower levels of rainfall and a change in the intensity and distribution of the rainfall leading to a subsequent increase in flash floods. A greater degree of unpredictability of extreme weather events, changes in precipitation, drier and hotter summers and heat waves are also expected. Episodes such as drought are not expected to affect the human population in Gibraltar to a very large degree, as our potable drinking water source largely originates from desalination. This, however, may not be the case for the floral and fauna populations on the Rock. These communities are likely to suffer from decreased rainfall.
The Department of the Environment is looking into the effects of climate change both locally and in the region, with a view to further developing its climate change programme for Gibraltar. The possible effects listed above are based on predicted climate scenarios and may not pan out as such, however, awareness of the possible effects allows for precautionary planning. The setting up of a local Climate Change Forum will further help Government in tackling its climate change objectives. The forum acts as a technical advisory group (TAG) to the Government and consists of local professionals, scientists and Government officials alike. TAG provides ongoing technical, scientific and managerial advice on policy development and implementation. It is, essentially, an independent advisory body, who’s recommendations are not obligatory but nevertheless carry substantial weight with decision-makers. It maintains transparency in its processes and establishes and maintains an open working relationship with Government.
The EU has a very prominent view on the environment, incorporating it into the heart of the decision making process. The diversity in environmental legislation, which is incorporated into Gibraltar law, includes subjects such as drinking and bathing water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, control of wastes, solvent use, radiation emergency preparedness, air quality, pollution prevention and control, etc. The origin of these topics in Gibraltar law largely stem from our obligation to transpose applicable EU Directives. There are close to one hundred pieces of legislation transposed or in the process of being transposed into local law, all aimed at increasing levels of environmental protection.
The Public Health Act dates back to 1955. The Act, whilst originally dealing with issues of environmental concern, principally focused on health issues and on ensuring that sanitary living conditions were maintained. Since then, what started as a trickle of environmental directives has, since the mid 1980’s, become a steady flow of more stringent, focused and demanding directives, all aimed at improving every aspect of our environment.
One issue of concern for Gibraltar, resulting from our small size and limited resources, is our ability to comply with every aspect of every Directive, as they apply to us. When such provisions are applied to a territory the size of Gibraltar, the resulting technical requirements can often present very complex issues for us to contend with. Implementation costs can also be greatly distorted when compared on a per capita basis to much larger communities. This said, Government aims to ensure that all reasonable, practical and necessary steps are taken to achieve compliance with all relevant environmental EU Directives.
When the EU introduces a new environmental directive, a process is set in motion locally to consider how this affects us, how best to go about its transposition into local law, and what systems exist or need to be put in place to ensure our compliance, including the establishment of monitoring, management and policing arrangements. This process involves consultation, as appropriate, between various government departments and on occasions with non-governmental organisations with whom Government works closely.
Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information
'Information relating to the environment' means any available information in written, visual, aural or data-base form on the state of water, air, soil, fauna, flora, land and natural sites, on activities or measures adversely affecting or likely so to affect these, and on activities or measures designed to protect these (including administrative measures and environmental management programmes).
The purpose of this Directive is to ensure that environmental information is systematically available and distributed to the public. This information includes at least:
Member States must ensure that public authorities make environmental information held by or for them available to any applicant, whether a natural or a legal person, on request and without the applicant having to state an interest.
Member States must ensure that all information held by the public authorities relating to imminent threats to human health or the environment is immediately distributed to the public likely to be affected.
Information must be made available to the applicant not later than one month after receipt of the request. If the volume and complexity of the information is such that this period cannot be complied with, a period of two months from the date of receipt of the request is to be allowed.
The links below explains the legislation further and an explanation of the local system for the public and official alike.
Our air monitoring programme was started in April 2005 with the set up of two air monitoring stations, classified as a roadside and a sub-urban station. The stations were sited at locations recommended by UK air quality consultants from AEA Energy and Environment to ensure that they complied with the EU Air Quality Directives. The Directives establish annual limits or target values regulating specific ambient air pollutants. Its objective is to monitor air pollutants to check that the target levels are being kept and taking action when they are exceeded. In May 2008 a third station was added, specifically to monitor nitrogen dioxide in the south district.
The instrumentation deployed was selected to meet the data quality objectives within the European Air Quality Directives and national legislation.
The monitoring equipment itself forms only one aspect of the overall Gibraltar Air Monitoring Programme. Appropriate maintenance and support, coupled with a well designed and managed quality control regime ensures that the raw monitoring data obtained are successfully processed, analysed and interpreted in order to provide information and ensure compliance requirements under the Air Quality Framework and Air Quality Daughter Directives.
Gibraltar air pollutant measurements are underpinned by a rigorous quality assurance and control programme.
The non-automatic network consists of a diffusion tube programme for Nitrogen Dioxide and Benzene, Toluene and Xylenes (BTX) as well as three partisol filter (Gravimetric) units which are used to monitor particulate matter (PM10 & PM2.5), Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Nickel and Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (measured as Benzo(a)pyrene).
In addition to meeting the Gibraltar Government’s monitoring obligations, the data itself is disseminated in near real-time on the www.gibraltarairquality.gi web site This web-based dissemination and reporting forms an important tool for delivery of air quality data and provides descriptive statistics to a broad range of end users.
The Barbary Macaque (Macaca Sylvanus), known locally as the Rock Ape, is the only free ranging wild primate in Europe. Its European range is restricted to the Rock of Gibraltar, where they have possibly been present since the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula from 711 AD.
GONHS and Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic are responsible under agreements with the Government of Gibraltar for the management of the Macaques i.e. looking after their well being and general condition as well as monitoring population levels.
It is illegal to feed the macaques and the penalty for such offence is £500.00. It is therefore strongly emphasised that the public do not feed the apes. The food offered by individuals as a treat for the apes disrupts their diet and can cause diseases such as diabetes
The main duties of this unit are the daily monitoring and supervision of the cleansing and other municipal services provided by contractors to the Government throughout Gibraltar. Master Service are contracted by the Government of Gibraltar to provide most of the services and the unit has to ensure that these are delivered in an efficient manner and to the required high standards as specified in the agreements.
The unit is also tasked with the monitoring and supervision of litter Control Areas, concessions / permits for the placing of tables and chairs, unauthorized works etc. Other duties include working in partnership with Government departments, agencies, developers and contractors on matters related to cleansing, refuse collection and other services and facilities provided.
The Superintendent of the Cemetery heads the cemetery. The cemetery staff is comprised of a Keeper of the Cemetery, eight gravediggers and eight maintenance staff.
The North Front Cemetery is the only cemetery still in use for burials in Gibraltar; it was first opened to internments in 1756. North Front Cemetery is also an important military cemetery for members of the Armed Services who died in both World wars.
The cemetery is open to the public daily from 8.00 a.m. till 6.00 p.m.
Cemetery Application Forms
Please note that in order to complete the form, some of the data required (e.g. vault numbers) needs to be obtained from the main office at the cemetery.
Green public procurement is defined by the EU as a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their lifecycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function than would otherwise be procured. Government is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and green procurement is a key part of this process. Consumer demand for products and services help to drive the economy by generating wealth and employment opportunities but simultaneously it must be recognised that the creation and delivery of these products and services take their toll on the natural environment. These negative impacts include climate change, water and air pollution, habitat and species destruction. It is therefore vital that all organisations, both within the public and private sector, start moving towards more green and sustainable purchasing practices. Green procurement is a win-win tool which enables the public sector to obtain the best value for money and procure low-carbon, environmentally friendly goods and services while presenting a business opportunity to suppliers and helping to expand the market for green products and services.
World Environment Day
Newsletters are published on a bi-annual basis. They include information on environmental events as well as general information on the environment and services available to the public.
The reports detail the environmental monitoring results of the previous year and environmental objectives for the following year. All Departmental literature is available to download from the Ministry of the Environment’s webpage
Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise was issued by the European Parliament and Council to provide a common basis for tackling noise problems across the EU. This Directive was transposed into Gibraltar Law on 23rd November 2006 with the publication of the Environmental (Assessment and Management of Noise) Regulations 2006.
The following maps have been produced as a result of the Round 2 Noise mapping exercise. These are available for comment on the Environment Agency Website as part of their consultation process.
Water Framework Directive
Gibraltar River Basin Management Plan Public Consultation