Bay of Panama Protected

We are pleased to report that a fuel pipeline project proposed for construction under the nationally protected Bay of Panama has been shelved!

The project included a fuel pipeline, storage tanks, and other infrastructure that threatened critical wetlands recognized in 2003 by the Ramsar Convention.  

ELAW’s law and science teams worked closely with partners at El Centro de Incidencia Ambiental (CIAM) to protect communities and local ecosystems from the short-sighted project.
Panama’s Supreme Court ruled that the project violated “rights to a healthy environment.” CIAM attorney Luisa Arauz says this sets an important precedent in Panamanian law.

“We worked with CIAM to halt this project for many years,” says Heidi Weiskel, ELAW Staff Scientist. “It was approved, then rejected, then reinstated through a decision from the Third Chamber of Panama’s Supreme Court. In the end, the Supreme Court rejected the project in favor of protecting the internationally significant Bay. This final victory is a double win for the Bay of Panama and the people of Panama, and a testament to CIAM’s tenacity.”

The Bay of Panama Ramsar site features intertidal mudflats divided by estuaries, mangrove forests, swamp forests, and freshwater pools. It is an important stopover for migrating shorebirds and home to giant anteaters, tapirs, crocodiles, and loggerhead turtles.

Congratulations CIAM!

For more information see:

La Prensa, 31 January 2018
Supreme Court Revokes Vertikal Environmental Study

31 January 2018
CIAM press release

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director

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