Tuesday, August 16

Panama seeks new alternatives for charcoal production

The Ministry of the Environment (MiAmbiente) opened a dialogue table with the representatives of the charcoal producers of the Chame community, and in parallel a public consultation has been opened in these communities that will allow knowing specifically how many people obtain their livelihood from the mangrove swamp.

The objective is to stop the logging of the mangroves in Bahía de Chame and help locals have a better quality of life, highlights a press release from MiAmbiente.

Chame Bay was declared a protected area in 2009 and mangrove felling is a typified environmental crime; However, over the years, the area has been affected due to the extraction of mangrove branches for the production of charcoal; main economic activity in the area.

Aware of the importance of enforcing environmental regulations and also that this activity is key to the subsistence of hundreds of families, the entity seeks new alternatives for generating coal, which are not harmful to people and reduce the vulnerabilities of this important protected area.

This evaluation has been developed with a multidisciplinary team led by the Government of Panama Oeste and the Ministry of the Environment, and which has an impact on the communities of El Espavé, Sajalices and Monte Oscuro with the participation of social workers from the Ministry of Education, Housing, Social Development and the National Council for Sustainable Development (Conades)

The environment minister, Milciades Concepción and the entity’s national director of Forestry, Víctor Francisco Cadavid went to the National University of Forestry Sciences (Unacifor) in Honduras, to learn more about new techniques for the production of charcoal and other options for plantation.

Unacifor is considered one of the most prestigious houses of study in forestry and agriculture on the continent. It has production units including a seed bank, nurseries, a sawmill, a carpentry, forest products such as charcoal and training offers through the Forestry Training Center (CICAFOR), addressing issues in forest management, forest industry , environment, watershed management, agroforestry, community development, climate change and renewable energy.

It is expected that this important exchange of experience will serve to lead important changes in the coal production system in Chame and thus, give a new face to the community.

Minister Concepción took the opportunity to share with 10 young Panamanians who received scholarships to study at this important university.

In May of this year, 10 young people from the Emberá, Wounaan and Guna ethnic groups received a full scholarship. The students were selected for their remarkable academic scores.