Forestry Conference on Forest Management in Panama
Monday, March 19 2012 @ 10:59 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
USAID works with the Government of Panama, NGOs and interested citizens in the development of specific actions for the institutional strengthening and the management of Panama’s biodiversity, the proper use of natural resources and its economic impact. The application of practical solutions that allow the reduction and avoidance of threats faced by forests is a challenge, and the reduction of climate change and its relation with forests is one of the environmental topics of most concern to humanity.
Dan Smolka, Director of USAID, said in the conference that ‘We are widening our accomplishments by exchanging valuable information and showing this and neighboring countries that Panama has made significant progress on the management of its forests.’
Various stakeholders from Panama, Guatemala, Bolivia and Costa Rica participated in the conference, and talked about legislation, planning of forest management and the importance of agroforestry systems. The result was an exchange of experiences and conclusion of high impact for the national and international forestry sector. Participants included the Director of USAID in Panama, Daniel Smolka; the CATIE representative, Elvin Britton; National Government authorities and forestry representatives from Panama and guest countries, who contributed to an extensive analysis of Panama’s possibilities and the challenges it faces.
USAID is celebrating 50 years in Panama, and the contributions it has made to the country’s development through infrastructure projects as well as programs in the agricultural, health and education sectors. All of USAID’s development activities have been implemented in collaboration with the Panamanian government, and this successful alliance has improved the lives of millions of Panamanians throughout the country. The current USAID programs continue to deal with the development priorities of Panamanians, including sustainable forestry, the fostering of economic opportunities, the strengthening of civil society and the development of Community Outreach Centers for Panamanian youth. Due to Panama’s impressive accomplishments and robust economic growth, the USAID mission in Panama will phase out this year. However, local institutions and new public-private partnerships will provide continuity to many of the programs. Since 1962, USAID has contributed over a billion dollars for Panama’s development. Even after USAID closes, the U.S. Embassy will continue its commitment to development and cooperation issues and to face these challenges together. (US Embassy Panama Press Release)