The Nature Conservancy has worked in Panama since 1991. Over the years we have built solid partnerships with the public and private sectors, NGOs and community groups to preserve Panama's rich natural heritage.
From brokering innovative conservation strategies (such as debt-for-nature swaps), to strengthening protected areas, to helping communities adopt sustainable practices, the Conservancy has built a substantial track record of conservation successes in Panama.
Some of Our Conservation Milestones
- Brokered two debt-for nature swaps between the United States and Panama in 2003 and 2004. The Conservancy provided $1.6 million for the swap that benefited Chagres National Park, and $1.3 million for the swap that supported Darien National Park. This funding leveraged $21 million in biodiversity conservation investments.
- Supported more than 30 community groups around La Amistad National Park between Costa Rica and Panama in the implementation of ecotourism, wildlife monitoring, and sustainable production projects. Several of these communities are currently producing and selling organic products such as coffee, cocoa and fertilizer. Furthermore, some groups have assumed a more active role in park patrols, fire management, and research activities. These efforts have resulted in a 90% reduction of forest fires within the park.
- Provided scientific support to identify "conservation gaps" through regional and national analyses that included the development of conservation area plans for Chagres, La Amistad, Darien, and Panama's Occidental Pacific. Results are guiding the Panamanian government's conservation decisions.
- With the support of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, we completed a study of the biological composition of Panama's Pacific coral reefs, which resulted in the discovery of more than twelve coral species new to science, more than 40 new registries for Panama, and at least three endemic species.