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Panama Seeks to Establish Center for Sustainable Development during the United Nations Summit in Johannesburg

Date: 26-AUG-2002

Panama Canal Authority Assists the Republic of Panama In Establishing Innovative New Center

Johannesburg, South Africa- - The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) today announced that it assisted in conceptualizing and developing the proposal to establish the Panama Center for Sustainable Development. The proposal will be submitted to the United Nations (UN) during the Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 26th - September 4th.

Proposed by the Government of the Republic of Panama, the Center will provide an international information network and institute for the study and promotion of sustainable development. This Center, the first of its kind, should be based in the City of Knowledge, an educational institution in Panama dedicated to promoting knowledge through international cooperation. The Panamanian delegation to the Summit will submit the proposal for accreditation by the UN.

The ACP is a member of the Panamanian delegation to the Summit, and will be represented by Juan Hector Diaz, Director for Security and Environment, who has played an integral part in shaping the proposal. The ACP believes that the creation of this Center will be an important asset in the effort to protect the Panama Canal’s watershed, an area rich in biodiversity.

“Protecting the watershed, its resources and ensuring that the Canal’s operation is in keeping with the principles of sustainable development is of prime importance to the ACP. We are pleased to assist the Government of Panama in creating the Panama Center for Sustainable Development and we look forward to our continued partnership.” said Director Juan H. Diaz.

Local and International Partners Involved

There are over 50 other partners involved in the creation of the Center including prestigious national and international research institutions, education institutions, national and international regional networks and international non-government organizations, among them: the Panama National Environmental Authority, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Cornell University, University of California, Texas A&M, the Earth Council, Partnership for Environment, among others.

Objectives of the Center and Partnerships

The recommendations that were provided by the ACP and the other partners will ensure that the proposal for the Center includes the following objectives:

  • Disseminate and exchange successful experiences in sustainable development programs;
  • Promote and conduct natural, social and economic sciences research into ecosystems management;
  • Educate stakeholders and decision-makers sustainable development issues;
  • Enhance the partnerships between governmental and non-governmental actors regarding sustainable development; and
  • Complement and support education, information and capacity building to communities involved in sustainable development and protection, conservation and management of watersheds in the Americas.

Today’s announcement serves as an example of the ACP’s steadfast commitment to sustainable development through national and international cooperation.

About the City of Knowledge

The City of Knowledge is a unique international institution that promotes the generation, dissemination and use of knowledge for achieving integral human development.

It has a variety of national and international educational, research and development programs. Located on a former U.S. military base near Panama City, the institution has extensive high technology facilities that enable it to work towards establishing a model for sustainable development. For more information, please refer to the City of Knowledge Web site: www.ciudaddelsaber.org.pa.

The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating, and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the website: www.pancanal.com.


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