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Gibraltar joins UN clean seas campaign to #BanPlasticPollution

World Environment Day 05-06-18 (Photo John Bugeja) with the theme Beat Plastic Pollution, if you can't reuse it, refuse it. Opening by Hon Prof. John Cortes with School performances and participating organisations with different activities stall.

The sweet voices of Gibraltar’s schoolchildren filled Commonwealth Park on World Environment Day yesterday, as they took to the stage to sing about the earth, the environment and how important it is to look after it.

The school participation formed part of the daylong event at the park, which was opened by the Minister for Environment Dr John Cortes.

In addition, stalls were set up providing information and bringing awareness of the day’s goal and the social media hashtag to drive home the message: #BanPlasticPollution.

In simple terms, Dr Cortes highlighted the government’s commitment to the environment and revealed that Gibraltar had become the 45th government to join the United Nations Environment Clean Seas Campaign.

Opening the event, Dr Cortes asked the children if they wanted more green areas to play in Gibraltar. They roared back “YES”, to which he replied: “Ok, I will get some more for you.”

He praised the children and their teachers for how “great they are on environment”.

“We do not want plastic out there in the sea, killing turtles, whales and so on, so today I am going to do something very important, I am going to be signing something,” he told the children.

“I am going to be signing something that comes from the United Nations, which is something up in New York which all the countries of the world belong to, and I am going to sign up an agreement on clean seas. So that Gibraltar will pass laws and work very, very hard to stop plastic pollution,” he said, adding this was something he was very proud of.

“I am doing it not for me, but for you in the future, so you have a better world,” he added.

Also speaking at the event was the Chief Executive of the Department of the Environment, Dr Liesl Torres, who reminded everyone that the Government has been marking the day for the past 12 years and every year it embraces the theme.

“Today the most important topic is being discussed worldwide, beating plastic pollution, and I can think of no better way than to have our environment superheroes, the children of Gibraltar, to tell us how to do it,” said Dr Torres.

She also asked parents to pay attention to the message their children have “because the children get it, they know what they need to do.”

Stalls that were on display yesterday include, Department of Environment, Heritage and Climate Change, Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, Monkey Talk, Marine Mammal Information, Research and Conservation, The Nautilus Project, Environmental Safety Group, University of Gibraltar, Plug ‘N’ Go, Ecovibe, Ecotivity, Versatile, Paper Cloud, Gibraltar Museum, Gib-Bats, AquaGib, Sustainable Living, Environment Agency and GONHS.

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