Coiba National Park

Actualizado: 10 de jul de 2019

CIAM is questioning government plans to rebuild an airstrip on Coiba island.

Isla Coiba, its surrounding waters and island neighbors have been given a greater degree of protection.

Coiba National Park (Nacional Parque Coiba) is located in the Gulf of Chiriquí. Is a beautiful marine reserve off Panama’s Pacific coast; is comprised of a group of 38 islands including Coiba Island (Isla Coiba) and the waters surrounding them and covers 430,825 acres.

Identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2006, Coiba National Park offers rich and well preserved natural resources. The islands' natural resources have therefore survived untouched and flourished through limited human contact. After its designations as a National Park, Isla Coiba, its surrounding waters and island neighbors have been given a greater degree of protection.

CIAM, the Mar Viva Foundation and the Pro-Defense Committee of Coiba questioned the development proposals promoted by the Ministry of the Environment (Miambiente) for the Coiba National Park, in the province of Veraguas. The organizations rejected the project to build an airstrip in this protected area, and that Miambiente has not included in the plan of public use the recommendations made by ecologists and scientists. CIAM, raised their concern about the multiple threats that have not been adequately addressed by the entity, by virtue of the category of heritage of humanity that has this site. These include the lack of “effective” monitoring and surveillance of fishing activities, the weakening of the governance of the park through modifications to the internal regulations of the Coiba Board of Directors and the absence of an approved biosecurity plan to prevent entry of exotic species to the park. The development of a landing strip must be better evaluated and this process must be carried out with greater transparency. The construction of the runway inside the Coiba National Park would cost an estimated $ 3 million.

CIAM has been defending the Coiba Island with the support of communities and local environmental groups about effects the project might have on the 503-square-kilometer (194-sq-mile) island’s ecosystem. The state of conservation informe from UNESCO "concerns that no significant progress has been achieved in the implementation of a number of key Committee requests, in particular those related to regulations to ensure that no coastal development is permitted within the boundaries of the property and the management of fisheries, and considers that a continued absence of effective regulations and management programmes in that regard would constitute a potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines".

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