A COMPLAINT filed with the Ministry of the Environment in Bocas Del Toro about a road construction project led to the discovery that the work was being done by a government body on protected lands.
The complaint was filed on Jan. 12 by Bacilio Ábrego because work was being done on his property to build a road he didn’t know about.
He told officials that the work harmed the water
supply of several families in the area, and had knocked over several trees on his property.
During an inspection, Porfirio Molina of the Environment Ministry discovered various rregularities and violations of regulations regulating the protection of natural resources from the country.
In a report he sent to the Ministry headquarters Molina identified the culprit,The the Ministry of Public Works (MoP), and said the project to build an access road to Cochigró did not have the required environmental studies.
The project needed an environmental study because it impacts the Palo Seco Protected Area,created in 1983.
The Palo Seco Protected Area covers an area of 254,446 hectares and is part of a network of
protected areas that include La Amistad International Park and Volcan Baru National Park.
Susana Serracín, of the Alliance for Conservation and Development, described the situation as
“unfortunate” and said Public Works officials need to be sanctioned.
Isaias Ramos, a biologist at the Center for Environmental Impact, said that all work must be stopped until the project can be studied.
The Ministry of the Environment reported that work has been stopped and an administrative investigation has been opened