Panama’s Varela moves to protect key coastal habitat

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has signed legislation to protect 85,652 hectares (211,651 acres) of wetlands stretching southeast along the Pacific coast from Panama City to a point just short of the border of Darien Province—an area considered one of the world’s most significant nesting and feeding grounds for migratory birds. “This law marks the accomplishment of one of our goals ... highlighting the environment,” Varela said at a Feb. 2 ceremony to mark the signing of the bill. In that ceremony, he praised civil society groups for their efforts to prevent “the destruction of the internationally important site.” The area, known as the Panama Bay Wildlife Refuge, encompasses mud flats and mangrove forests that play host every fall to an estimated 2 million shorebirds... [Log in to read more]

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