In Panama we are taking action to protect biodiversity in the Panama Bay mangroves and wetlands
The Panama Bay & City Clean-up Plan launched by the Department of Health aims to protect the region's natural environment and to meet the needs of the growing urban population.
Facilitate access to sanitation services and preserve biodiversity in a natural area
Primitive mangrove forests in the zone also prevent damage from erosion, storms, and hurricanes. Panama has already lost 75% of its mangrove forests and can’t afford to lose any more.
Fishing and agriculture are the main human activities in the region, but because of its close proximity to Panama City, pressure from urban development is growing, as is pollution, due to the release of wastewater into the sea. Lots of research on shorebirds has been carried out in the area and it was recently declared a zone of importance for bird conservation.
In 2017, the Department of Health in the Republic of Panama (MINSA in Spanish) awarded SUEZ the contract to extend the wastewater treatment plant (PTAR in Spanish) in Panama City.
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A wastewater treatment plant bolstering the circular economy
The Juan Díaz plant will have water and sludge treatment lines (anaerobic digestion and dehydration). The treated water will be released into Panama Bay in compliance with international standards.
Extending the plant will also:
- Reduce energy consumption by doubling current biogas production,
- Integrate the plant into the natural environment,
- Reduce odour pollution for the surrounding population,
- Optimise consumption of energy generated by power plants: the use of biogas from co-generation will be used to generate electricity.
Societal benefits and cooperation with the AUDUBON Panama and ANCON associations
SUEZ and the association want to coordinate efforts to prepare informative and educational material on the environment for schools, tour operators, and the general public. The campaign will focus on protecting the Panama Bay Ramsar site. Research into observation and protection of birds will also be facilitated in the partnership.
At the end of the contract, SUEZ will contribute to the reforestation activity of ANCON (Asociacion Nacional para la Conservación of the Naturaleza) and will plant two hectares of mangrove trees in the coming 5 years.