Written by Hunter Kinder
Panama has among the richest biodiversity in Central America; yet it continues to be environmentally problematic. Deforestation is among the problems as it loses more than 1% of its primary forest every year. This is contributed to by many things such as road construction, logging, industrial gold mining, and colonization which leads to clearing even more so for agriculture. Environmentalists are also concerned that road construction and other infrastructure projects in Panama’s Darien Gap will open the area to increased colonization and development by loggers.
Illegal logging has and continues to be another major problem in Panama. The Panamanian government struggles with this issue and calls upon the UN to set up a regime. The UN has tried to get involved with the REDD Program but the indigenous withdrew, claiming, “we ask only that it benefit everyone, and not just big corporations that only want to exploit the resources,” said by The National Coordinating Body of the Indigenous People of Panama (COONAPIP)’s leader, Betanio Chiquidama. He went on to say that they were willing to negotiate but reforms would have to be made from the proposed.