A Panama Canal without water nightmare

DEFORESTATION in the Canal watershed

3,114Views 2Comments Posted 19/06/2019

Despite recent rains, in the record held by the authority of the Panama Canal, the semester between December 2018 and May 2019 has been the driest in its history. Suddenly, Panamanians are confronted with two environmental realities: climate change and water scarcity. These phenomena have not been a surprise since for decades scientists and environmentalists have been warning about these threats. It is time to understand that water needs forests and greater conservation of the vital resource. You cannot be irresponsible in front of the environmental reality that the country is living. It will be useless to have an enlarged Canal if it is still reducing the draft of the ships that can transit it. This is the time for the Government, the private company, and civil society assumes the task of saving the ecosystems that we have left and restore those we have damaged. The political and economic model of Panama produces inequity and environmental loss that affects us all. If we do not change,  a Channel without water, will not be the only nightmare that we will have to face: LA PRENSA, June 19

Comments 2


I expect people from all around the world warned Panama of the dangers of deforestation, but Panamanians appear to be very slow at taking the lessons of the rest of the world seriously. There are so many things that have proven problematic in all countries, but are still being accepted here with wide eyed surprise that the rest of us are horrified. No garbage, particularly plastics can be thrown in the streets. Plastics, batteries, cfl bulbs, tires, batteries, spray cans, cannot be burned. Water cannot be polluted or wasted. Foods, air, and soils cannot be poisoned by agrochemicals, and life cannot adequately be supported on a diet of rice and chicken. The development of a country is not facilitated by corruption, but rather by investment in small business, sustainable practices, and conservation of ecosystems. It is the law that cut trees must be replaced by newly planted trees somewhere. Where are the trees replacing those removed in the photo above? And why hasn't that area been replanted? Is the plan to simply let it sit barren forever? Plans never seem to include the detail work, like highways requiring a 5 km drive to turn towards the direction you want to go, or plumbing with no shut off valves. Panama has the wonderful advantage of information improved by earlier mistakes of developed countries, but it appears to prefer repeating them.

2 years ago

I am sure that during the transition period (1977-20000) that the gringos taught their Panamanian counterparts about the dangers of deforestation and the importance of water to the old canal. I suspect the "worker bees" saw what was transpiring but I also suspect there was corruption at high levels and the concern of the professionals was overridden.

2 years ago
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