DoD Partners in Flight (DoD PIF)

Conservation Panama: Exploring Options for the Future

These proceedings summarize the discussions held at a workshop entitled Conservation Panama: Exploring Options for the Future. The workshop was held in Panama City on February 18-19, 1998. The purpose of the workshop was to highlight resource stewardship of Panama's natural heritage and to promote the concept of conservation across social, political, and economic boundaries. By taking into account social involvement, economic reality, and political linkages, the conservation of vital natural systems becomes an integrated way of living, working, and recreating. By exploring options for obtaining the right balance of conservation and economic sustainability, we can bring together people, their economies, and their government in a non-threatening forum to present shared visions, concepts, and ideas that will shape the future of their country. We believe this workshop has helped create these linkages.

The discussions summarized in these proceedings reflect the growing interest of many people to better understand the interrelationship amongst conservation of resources, the use of these resources, and the politics that lay the foundation for sound management of these resources for current and future generations. They demonstrate that real cooperation between sectors with superficially different interests is both possible and essential. As the year 2000 approaches and Panama again secures management responsibilities for all its land, decisions on how to use the land and for what purpose must be made by well-informed decision makers with an understanding of Panama as a country that forms a critical biological and socio-economic link between the Americas. Panama is well positioned to develop a model for resource-based conservation and management that others could follow. We hope this workshop has given the attendees and others who will shape the future of Panama the foundation upon which to base these critical decisions.

Proceedings Document