Panama: Damaris Sánchez
The approval of a US$ 9.9 million Adaptation Fund project in March 2017 developed by NATURA Foundation (Fundación Natura) will build adaptation capacity among vulnerable communities in Panama to strengthen water resources management and food security. The integrity of the project was strengthened through an inclusive stakeholder consultation process, which included governmental institutions and local beneficiaries at public meetings during the development of the project proposal.
“We live in an area of high irrigation, a region that is highly vulnerable to flooding and landslides,”
said Damaris Sánchez, of FUNDICCEP in the Chiriquí Viejo Watershed, during an interview at a public consultation meeting.
“We are surrounded by rivers and areas with bad agricultural practices that cause erosion of high slopes that facilitate at any moment a slip. We have already had losses of life due to this type of natural phenomena and losses in our production. Within this framework, we see that it is important that early warning systems be formed. But that communities, as local entities and as the first affected and also as first respondents to an event of this nature, are prepared with training, equipment and an organization that allows them to efficiently attend any type of emergency and not disassociate from the support and participation of state institutions that have a responsibility to this issue.
It is imperative that communities have greater participation with the necessary training and information to be able to implement more effective, efficient responses in a timely basis or to take preventive measures. Taking efficient action to any phenomena that can happen at any moment is of the utmost importance.”