The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $10 million loan for a project to modernize and strengthen Panama’s national environmental agency, ANAM.
ANAM is responsible for formulating Panama’s environmental policies and monitoring compliance with environmental standards. It also manages the national system of protected areas and has oversight over the country’s water and forest resources.
The project will build on the achievements and lessons learned from previous programs to strengthen ANAM, which is to play a key role in ensuring the environmental sustainability of Panama’s efforts to boost its competitiveness. These range from implementing free trade agreements to undertaking major infrastructure investments.
“Panama is experiencing accelerated economic growth that needs to be environmentally sustainable, so it is crucial that ANAM and local governments continue to develop and update their environmental management capabilities,” said IDB project team leader Henrik Franklin.
The project will help strengthen ANAM’s institutional capacity to use modern instruments such as strategic environmental evaluations and economic tools such as payments for environmental services. Online systems will also be launched to expedite environmental licensing.
To promote the efficient use of water resources, the project will support the establishment of an information system with hydrometric stations and a network for monitoring water quality. It will also promote participatory formulation of management strategies for key watersheds.
In addition, the project will strengthen ANAM regional offices and local governments to enable them to better monitor and control the use of natural resources, implement land management plans and promote a culture of environmental sustainability at the community level.
The loan is for 20 years, with a five-year grace period and a variable interest rate. Local counterpart funds for the project will total $4 million.
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