Publication: Panama : Country Environmental Analysis

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World Bank
Panama is experiencing spectacular economic growth, averaging 7.5 percent during 2004-06; a construction boom; and emerging new opportunities and growing export markets. Despite this impressive growth performance, at the national level poverty remained almost unchanged during 1997-2006 at around 37 percent (masking a decline in rural poverty and an increase in urban and indigenous areas). Key development challenges for Panama include: (a) sustaining its accelerated recent growth performance, and (b) translating growth into poverty reduction. Natural resources and the environment must be key elements of any successful strategy to meet these challenges. The main objective of the Panama Country Environmental Analysis (CEA) is to provide an analytical foundation to enhance the country's capacity to establish and address environmental policy priorities linked to poverty reduction and sustained economic growth. This report covers three main areas. First, the report analyzes the capabilities of Panama's institutions to perform essential tasks to manage the environment and natural resources; namely identifying problems and designing and implementing policies to solve them. The analysis therefore places great emphasis on the clarity of policies; mechanisms for coordination; use of and access to information, participation, and consultation; and, mechanisms to promote compliance with legislation. The premise of the institutional approach is that only strong institutions are able to offer efficient, equitable, and durable solutions to the increasingly complex problems faced by modern societies. Second, the report identifies environmental and natural resource management issues of key sectors, such as mining and tourism, to provide information on strategic synergies and tradeoffs involving the environment, economic growth, and poverty. Finally, the report offers new quantitative estimates in the fields of environmental health and climate change that will help the Government of Panama establish policy priorities.
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World Bank. 2008. Panama : Country Environmental Analysis. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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