Minister for the Environment, John Cortes this Friday called on the twenty-three member island games delegates visiting Gibraltar to call on their authorities to visit Gibraltar to take part in a Green Island conference to be held before the games in 2019.
During a reception held on Friday, in which the Island Games and Government’s sustainability programme was revealed the Minister said “the Island Games are going to be an example of sustainability to the world.” Highlighting the “importance of the seas to both Gibraltar and other islands”, he called on the member islands to “show the world what small islands like us can do and be an example to the world.”
He also announced that the island games will be plastic-free and will formally not be using single-use plastics. Athletes will be provided with re-useable bottles as part of the programme which he hoped “would be a huge message as being surrounded by the sea we all know how dangerous plastics is to the environment.”
The Government of Gibraltar will now be contacting member islands from the Island games, and other islands who might not be taking part in the games, but might be interested in the environmental issues, to attend a Green Islands conference which will be held the days immediately before the 2019 Island Games. Here, the Minister hopes that islands will sign up to what he called the “Green Island Charter.” The conference he said was expected to centre on discussing issues about “our islands, our contribution and sustainability and how we can be an example to bigger countries around the world. And how to take forward the message of sustainability and plastic-free.”
Minister John Cortes also revealed that the Government had been in contact with the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign who were said to be “excited” about the fact the Island Games was following a “plastics free” policy. This he said had led to interest from Sky in looking at how to cover the games and the build up to the games. Although this he acknowledge was as yet not finalised.
It was also revealed that talks of having the Plastica whale to Gibraltar was also under discussions with Lewis Pugh expected to complete an endurance swim in Gibraltar waters during the Island Games.