Deforestation with Road development in Panama West

Ecologists in Panama have said that a recent road project in Panama West, lacks urban planning, approving development close to the Canal watershed with little investigation.

The Ministry of Public Works (MOP) is putting out to tender on a road project to seeking to connect the Centenario road with the community of Nuevo Emperador, in the district of Arraiján, province of Panamá Oeste.

The project is a 15 kilometers road with a $ 17 million price tag that would cut through a natural area that considered valuable for the biodiversity of its forests and its proximity to the Canal watershed.

According to the MOP,  before the development, an environmental impact study category II was established and the design and construction of steps for the fauna of the place, as well as protection fences for the forested areas were contemplated.

However, environmental organizations such as the Alliance for Conservation and Development have reason to believe that the project should be "better evaluated", due to the type of area where the development is occurring. 

What must be considered is not only the ecological effects but rather an attack on the population’s water security. If development in this vulnerable area negatively affects the functioning of the canal it’s positive impact will surely be seen as negligible. A representative the Alliance for Conservation and Development described the development as  "counterproductive". "It should not be done for all the ecological damage that entails, the attack against the water security of the population and the proper functioning of the Canal."