A NEW law will make sure future Gibraltar governments keep the environment in mind while shaping policy in all departments.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Change John Cortes called the publishing of the bill by the government an ‘ambitious’ move to give nature a chance.
The Environmental Governance Bill requires the government to set up an Environmental Improvement Plan and creates targets for air quality, resource efficiency, water and biodiversity.
The government’s own 25 year environment plan is now nearly finished, it said in a statement.
Cortes has designed this latest bill to fill the gap left by leaving the EU, which used to set the targets and suggest methods to keep global warming in check locally.
It sets up long-term plans which will require governments to monitor, plan and report on what its departments are doing to improve the environment.
It makes the environment ‘central to policy development’ across the government, the statement said.
The law will ‘review the biggest developments in environmental legislation from around the world every other year and use the findings from that review when considering Gibraltar’s own environmental plans’.
As a result of the law, public bodies will have ‘power and duties’ to protect the environment in all their decisions, helping protect the little nature Gibraltar has left.
It followed the recent naming of Gibraltar’s national park which helps protect the Upper Rock and territorial waters.
The GSLP/Liberal government has radically transformed environmental protection under the guidance of former campaigner Cortes.
The Nature Protection Act and Climate Change Act 2019 have cemented its desire to put the environment first.
“This is an ambitious Bill which enhances the legislative safeguards already in place for the protection of Gibraltar’s natural environment,” Cortes said.
“It will affect the way public authorities carry out their duties, with a focus on safeguarding the environment.
“In doing so, it is our intention that this Bill will ensure that Gibraltar’s natural environment can be enjoyed by our children, and children’s children, for years to come.”
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