The Panama Canal Authority is moving to cut carbon emissions in the environmentally sensitive watershed zone around the canal by encouraging sustainable use of its forests.
It signed a technical cooperation agreement Thursday with Panama’s National Environmental Authority and the German Agency for International Cooperation to apply mechanisms that will reduce emissions.
The agreement is designed to establish the terms and conditions for the design and implementation of a pilot program in the Panama Canal watershed and compensation mechanisms for the sustainable management of forest resources that can be replicated nationwide under the parameters of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, a program known as REDD +.
The REDD + program, which will be applied in Panama for the first time, will encourage the transition from certain activities that affect the forests to others that are sustainable, thus reducing harmful patterns of land use.
The new program is part of the Panama Canal Authority’s efforts to protect the watershed from which it draws the water to raise and lower ships in its locks. The new set of locks that are under construction include huge reservoirs to recycle the fresh water from the watershed for use in the locks.