Panama Launches National Plastic Action Platform - Expat Community

Panama Launches National Plastic Action Platform

Oct 20, 2023 | News & Articles, Panama | 0 comments

Panama reaffirms its commitment to environmental conservation and a more sustainable future for future generations, according to MiAmbiente.


The Ministry of Environment (MiAMBIENTE), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), officially launched the National Plastic Action Platform in Panama (NPAP).


In the launch of this significant initiative aimed at combating plastic pollution and promoting a more sustainable and inclusive world, participants included Amelie González, Secretary-General of MiAMBIENTE; María del Carmen Sacasa, Resident Representative of the UNDP; Pedro São Simão, Interim Leader of National Platforms and Climate at the WEF; and Samantha Newell, First Secretary of the British Embassy in Panama.


González, Secretary-General of MiAMBIENTE, stated that the fight against plastic pollution is a shared responsibility requiring collaboration among governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and civil society. “Panama joins this cause with a strong determination to make a difference and lead in the region in the pursuit of sustainable solutions.”


“Through this national launch, Panama reaffirms its commitment to environmental conservation and a more sustainable future for future generations and empowers our communities to be active participants in this fight and collaborate with the GPAP to develop specific strategies and solutions to reduce plastic pollution and promote the circular economy in the country,” González added during her speech.


Sacasa, Resident Representative of UNDP, noted that Panama is among the 169 United Nations member states that, along with hundreds of observers, have contributed to an internationally legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.


She added that an initiative like the National Plastic Action Platform to combat plastics and their pollution with environmental governance mechanisms is essential and involves various sectors, thus providing a multi-systemic approach.


According to Sacasa, data from the United Nations Environment Programme reveals that 3.7 million tons of plastic pollution entered the ocean from Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2020, and recycling rates are still very low. As a result, 90% of the waste generated in the region ends up in landfills, rivers, and oceans.


São Simão, Interim Leader of National Platforms and Climate, mentioned that Panama, in collaboration with WEF, is already working on establishing and implementing the National Plastic Action Platform (NPAP), creating a baseline analysis and scenario modeling with the goal of developing an Action Roadmap to accelerate the transition to a circular plastics economy. This process will be reinforced through workshops to strengthen the national regulatory framework and various national-level behavior change events and campaigns.


As part of the platform launch, a panel discussion was held titled “Taking Action to Limit Pollution.” Jessica Young, Manager of Environment and Climate Change at UNDP, moderated the discussion. Panelists included Digna Barsallo, National Director of Coasts and Seas at MiAMBIENTE; Irene Castillero, Chemistry Coordinator at the University of Panama; Álvaro Quirós, Project Coordinator at Marea Verde; Cristóbal Siu from the Industrial Union of Panama; and Aníbal Cárdenas, Mapping Solutions Manager at UNDP’s Accelerator Lab.


The presentation of the progress and implementation of NPAP in Panama was provided by consultant Alida Spadafora.


Finally, Miguel Flores, National Director of Verification and Environmental Performance at MiAMBIENTE, emphasized that the Panamanian Government is ready to work tirelessly with the World Economic Forum and key stakeholders in building a world where plastic is a valuable resource and not a threat.


Flores highlighted that Panama has focused on promoting measures to safeguard human health and environmental protection, the quality of water sources, biodiversity of flora and fauna, and the reduction of plastic pollution.


ECOtvPanama –

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