- PNUD Panamá
A court in Panama ordered four citizens to reforest part of a forest adjacent to the capital where they were discovered trafficking cocobolo, a protected species highly valued in the markets of Europe, Asia and the United States, the Prosecutor's Office.
The four people, who are not identified, were discovered in July 2017, leaving Soberania National Park, on the east bank of the Panama Canal, "racking cocobolo wood, (Dalbergia retusa), a species that due to its great beauty and high value is endangered," said an official statement.
It was about 57 wood frames that were cut down in that area, with which these persons committed the offense against the environment and territorial ordinance. The accused admitted the offense before the judge and also apologized.
Thus, the court endorsed the suspension of the process and emphasized the repercussions caused by the offense imposed, so they were ordered to "reforest" part of the pillaged area.
"The voluntary work not paid in favor of the State will be executed within the Ministry of Environment, where they (the accused) must work four hours a week," said the Prosecutor, who did not specify the extension of the area where the trees will be planted.
The Public Ministry stressed that the Soberania Park is located 25 kilometers from Panama City and is the habitat of more than 500 birds and 1,300 species of plants. It was declared a protected area in 1980 through an executive decree.