Panama Declares State of Environmental Emergency

 
3,648Views 0Comments Posted 31/05/2023

 

 

The Cabinet Council has declared a State of Environmental Emergency throughout the Panamanian territory in the face of prolonged drought because of the climate crisis that is affecting the world.

 The resolution of the Ministry of the Environment warns that the high temperatures, evaporation, and lack of rain are the preamble to the arrival of a possible El Niño Phenomenon, which would reduce the production of water for human consumption and agriculture throughout the country.

In a statement, the Presidency says that the artificial lakes Alajuela and Gatún, which supply water to more than half of the country's population and to the interoceanic highway, have been drastically reduced by the prolongation of the dry season.

The Ministry of Agricultural Development, IDAAN, the Ministry of the Environment, the National Authority of Public Services, and the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama are the entities authorized to carry out the special contracts necessary to deal with the State of Environmental Emergency, according to the resolution.

 Prior to the approval of the State of Environmental Emergency, the presentation to the State ministers of "Climate change scenarios. Vision 2030 2050 and 2070" was made by: Dr. Ligia Castro, director of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Eng. Berta Alicia Olmedo, deputy director of the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology.

 The expert Castro highlighted that these scenarios allow decisions to be made based on science to face the effects of the phenomenon and pointed out that Panama is one of the countries highly vulnerable to climate change despite being one of the three carbon-negative countries in the world.

The Climate Change Scenarios for Panama (2030, 2050, 2070), developed by the Ministry of the Environment, clearly establish that the country's temperatures will increase and rainfall in four climatic regions will decrease;

 The Western region, in the province of Chiriquí, the center of agricultural production in the country, is forecast to decrease rainfall.