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Education a tool to fight impending Panama forest fires

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Education a tool to fight impending Panama forest fires


Posted 02/02/2020

Education rather than reaction is the strategy of Panama’s  Environment Ministry. Miambiente to reduce forest fires in Azuero this year after at least 3.498 hectares of plant mass were destroyed in 2019.

The district of Ocú, in the province of Herrera, was the most affected with a total of 20 fires. mass.

Helvecia Bonilla, head of Miambiente’s Department of Environmental Disasters, said that every summer the vegetation supports these fires.

Bonilla said that according to calculations of the Department of Hydrometeorology of the Electricity Transmission Company the amount of rainfall last year was reduced between 30% and 40%.

Based on that, the severity of the fires for this year will be high, Bonilla said and they have begun to prepare much better than in other years.

Statistics indicate that last year across Panama, 74,830 hectares of burned plant mass was reported in 1,177 events. and 58 were in protected areas.

Bonilla said that this year the strategy has been changed to  focus on education

"Only education generates environmental awareness" is the motto that will be used this year in the Miambiente campaign in the region, she said.

In Herrera and other regions of the country, drones will be used to identify critical areas.



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