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Taboga  Mayor island deal hits rough  water


Protesters against oil terminal

Posted 07/04/2019

A deal signed by the Mayor of Taboga allowing an oil terminal on Isla Bona in the Gulf of  Panama has been opposed by citizens, environmental groups and hoteliers.

Now The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)  has said that if the company responsible for developing the terminal does not obtain the required permits from the Ministry of Environment (Miambiente), the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP), among other institutions,  the contract will be terminated.

The statement came on Saturday, April 6 after scientists and conservationists asked for the island to be declared a protected area, under the category of Wildlife Refuge, as it is a home den for birds and dolphin and whale watching.

The MEF note says that the lease a states that "once signed and countersigned the agreement, the lessee is required to begin the study of an environmental impact study (EIA)  "before the start of construction and must submit the information study to  Miambiente.

It must also begin "the legal and administrative procedures before the National Secretariat of Energy and the AMP, to achieve the necessary concessions that are needed for the purpose of the contract".

It adds that  “once the contract has been legally perfected, the lessee must comply with the following obligations: "take all necessary environmental mitigation measures that are established in the EIA approved by the Ministry of Environment"; "to protect at all times during the construction of the different works and in the development of the technical works in the project, the ecology, the environment and observe during the operation the applicable standards in this regard".

The lease agreement for 20 years renewable, was signed between Taboga mayor Ramón Ramos and Bona Pacific Corp., which is interested in building a terminal for storage and dispatch fuel and petroleum derivatives.

The Comptroller General has not endorsed the contract, which was endorsed last year by the National Economic Council (CENA), which is part of the MEF.

The Attorney General of the Administration, Rigoberto González, sent letters two notes, on March 19, to the Director of the Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP),  Zuleika Pinzón and to the Minister of the Environment, Emilio Sempris,   asking them to inform if they are aware of the execution of the lease

He reminded both institutions that the General Law of the Environment) establishes that both ARAP and Environment should "give priority" in their public policies to the "conservation" of marine ecosystems. and of inland waters with high levels of biological diversity.



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A macabre environmental joke


The ousted ,mayor of Taboga still pursues his oil storage dream

Posted 15/05/2019

The Isla Boná theme returns to the headlines for the wrong reasons. When Panamanians already thought that the page had been turned on the imminent threat against the second most important island for the nesting of seabirds in the Gulf of Panama, once again the defeated mayor of Taboga puts this ecological paradise at risk. Again, the business of concessioning the island for a marine fuel tank farm seems to be too attractive, given the reality of protecting our meager ecological heritage. In a country where our natural wealth should be a source of pride and a showcase for science, education, and ecotourism, we Panamanians find ourselves cornered by the greed of some and the irresponsibility of others. Where is the Minister of the Environment? Apparently, the ministry, that was a hope at the beginning of the current government, has ended up turning into a macabre joke. While politicians continue to act negligently with the ecosystems and species of this country, all life is in danger, and we can become a country full of regrets and without a future -  LA PRENSA, May 15.



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ENVIRONMENT: Appeal against protected island set to fail


Posted 04/01/2020

Moves by the Taboga Municipal Council to resuscitate its dream of enabling an oil installation on Isla Bona, which has been declared a protected area are doomed to failure say legal experts.

"The resolutions that create protected areas are not appealable to the Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente)," said Luisa Araúz, advisor to the Minister of Environment.

He said that, although a formal response has not been issued, reconsideration resources against the creation of protected areas are not allowed.

An  appeal against the creation of a reservation is in the Supreme Court of Justice, in the Third Chamber of Administrative Litigation. But “so far the Court has never ruled against the MiAmbiente, ever! It always fails” said Araúz.

The lawyer Alfredo González, on behalf of the Municipal Council of the district of Taboga, filed the appeal alleging that the resolution creating the protected area is illegal because the legal rules established for the creation of protected areas in the country are not met.The interposed appeal says that the opinion of the Taboga people was not taken into account, and citizen consultations were not made as established by the transparency legislation.

”.The Boná, Estivá and neighboring islets, located in the Gulf of Panama, were declared protected areas by the Ministry of Environment at the beginning of December 2019. In a resolution signed by the head of the MiAmbiente, Milciades Concepción, it is emphasized that the objective of the Wildlife Refuge, Boná Island, will be to conserve, protect and restore the terrestrial and marine ecosystems within its limits as marine bird habitats, coral communities, of fish and cetaceans.



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