Panama established today a commission for the formulation and development of a national ocean policy, in order to create guidelines and public and private actions for the first time linked to the reality of the country in the oceanic theme.
The initiative is focused on the need to unify criteria and agree on a strategy taking into account the important role of Panama in the marine sector at international levels.
Its aim is to move towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal, number 14, aimed at conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources.
The Commission, created by Executive Decree 431 of October 2018 and chaired by the vice president and chancellor of Panama, Isabel De Saint Malo del Alvarado, held its first ordinary session with the installation ceremony today.
This Commission comprises the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Security, Environment, Commerce and Industries, Canal Affairs; the Panama Canal Authority, the Panama Maritime Authority, the Aquatic Resources Authority and the Tourism Authority of Panama, and the National Secretariat of Science and Technology.
The Panamanian chancellor said that this is an important step that could not be postponed any more, to create an instrument that allows creating the necessary agreements between the institutions to support the satisfaction of human needs in a sustainable manner while conserving biodiversity and resources seafarers, maintaining the harmony between national interest and global governance.
"For Panama it is a matter of urgency to elaborate this liaison instrument able to create synergies, of working at the level of all institutions with the private sector, in harmony and with a vision of the country and a commitment that gives us that north," said the chancellor.
De Saint Malo highlighted "the certainty we have that a National Oceans Policy is not only timely in this moment, but also necessary to raise this theme to a state vision and not to a government one that is usually changed every 5 years."
The results of the Commission are expected to take about three months, "which is when the work begins," according to De Saint Malo, who clarified that not only is a government job but also must be involved in civil society.
Analuisa Bustamente, in charge of International Economic Relations of the Panamanian Foreign Ministry, said that "the results of this institutional effort will be shared and discussed with civil society, in order to strengthen the national policy and have a true vision of the State."
The chancellor stressed that the first approach to this initiative begins tomorrow, with a three-day workshop for the delegates of the institutions that constitute the Commission.
The workshop will be led by Salvador Vega, head of the Department of Ocean Affairs of the Department of Environment and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, a country that has experience in the development of similar instruments.
Salvador Vega told Acan-Efe that in the workshop he will share the experience of Chile and "how all the work we developed was, a two-year job."
Vega said that what was done in Chile was basically "work this policy and now we are seeing its implementation through an ocean program."
Óscar Vallarino, Vice President of Corporate Affairs of the Panama Canal Authority, told Acan-Efe that the workshop will work on the preparation of an action plan that includes the theme of flagging of ships and everything related to fishing.
Vallarino indicated that it is rather an initiative to propitiate "that we can administer and manage in the best possible way, everything that is the area in which our country has jurisdiction that are its territorial waters".