Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Dr John Cortes was in Cadiz with senior Departmental officials yesterday, visiting the Junta de Andalucia's head of Environment for Cadiz, the Delegado Provincial de Medio Ambiente, Angel Acuña at the Junta de Andalucia's Cadiz headquarters.
Present at the meeting were Dr Liesl Torres, Chief Executive of the Department of the Environment and Climate Change and Stephen Warr, Senior Environment Officer from Gibraltar, and senior environmental scientists from Cadiz, Felipe Oliveros and Ramon Bravo. Also present was Jorge Bezares, president of the management board of the Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales, of which Dr Cortes has been a member in his personal scientific capacity for over fifteen years.
A broad range of environmental issues were discussed and areas of future collaboration were explored. Subjects under discussion included the respective climate change strategies, recycling, waste, habitat restoration, reintroduction of species lost to Gibraltar, marine and terrestrial conservation and many others. Educational exchanges and promotion of knowledge of the natural history of Gibraltar in the surrounding area, and vice versa, were also on the agenda.
This high level meeting will be followed by regular meetings at a technical level with a view to cooperating more closely in environmental work.
Dr Cortes commented, "We were extremely well received and spoke widely about many environmental matters and possibilities for the future. I have worked with many environmental professionals in the Junta over many decades and continue to have excellent personal and professional relationships. These will now be developing into real cooperation across a range of issues, and we are very much looking forward to this."