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PRESS RELEASEOctober 8, 2022

World Bank supports Panama to increase biodiversity-friendly practices in rural areas

WASHINGTON D.C., October 8, 2022 – The World Bank approved yesterday a US$3.51 million grant from the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund (GEF) to support the Government of Panama’s program to strengthen its capacity for biodiversity conservation and increase the adoption of biodiversity-friendly and inclusive practices in selected rural areas of the country.

Major contributors to Panama’s GDP, including the Canal and tourism, continue to depend on the sustainable management of our rich natural resources and globally significant biodiversity,” said Economy and Finance Minister, Héctor Alexander. Within this Project we have the responsibility to make strategic investments with a long-term perspective and demonstrate our commitment to protecting the country’s biodiversity.”

The Panama Sustainable Rural Development and Biodiversity Conservation Project is organized around two complementary pillars to strengthen biodiversity management:

·  Strengthening institutional capacity for biodiversity conservation through enhancing the management, governance, and knowledge of biodiversity for 12 Protected Areas and 5 Key Biodiversity Areas. An estimated 20,000 rural Panamanians will receive indirect benefits due to improved conservation of biodiversity and enhanced management of natural and productive resources. The Ministry of Environment (MiAMBIENTE) will be responsible for the implementation of activities in coordination with relevant partner institutions. Under this component the Project will also support research, knowledge generation and dissemination about the intrinsic value of biodiversity in Panama.

· Supporting biodiversity-friendly investments, economically viable, and inclusive activities in select National Protected Areas buffer zones and Key Biodiversity Areas. The project will support farmers’ organizations and local communities to implement sustainable economic activities through Productive Alliances. Investment activities will be focused on organic agriculture, agroforestry and silvopastoral systems; ecotourism with practices such as improvement of energy, water and waste systems in visitor facilities; and strengthening of value chains including certification processes of organic and biodiversity-friendly products. To contribute to improved economic inclusion, a minimum level of participation by women (40%) and Indigenous groups (25%) beneficiaries will be targeted.

This Project will have a positive environmental impact both on biodiversity conservation and management around the National Protected and Key Biodiversity Areas of Panama, as well as in the promotion of activities for the generation of income in rural communities and in favor of vulnerable groups, such as Indigenous peoples and afro-descendants who are a fundamental part of our work,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Director for Central America and the Dominican Republic.

The Project will be implemented over a period of four years with a total cost of US$ 10.01 million, including the US$ 3.51 million grant from GEF. Other US$ 6.5 million comes from co-financing, including direct counterpart contributions from MiAMBIENTE, a credit line made available by other financing institutions to beneficiaries implementing subprojects, and beneficiaries’ own contributions.Para más información sobre el trabajo del Banco Mundial en América Latina y el Caribe:

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In Central America
Cynthia Flores Mora
(506) 7298-9160
In Washington, D.C.
Yuri Szabo Yamashita
(202) 948-5341


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