The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) will direct the process of revision and updating of the current plan, which was originally prepared by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI) in 1996. Over the next 18 months a process will be implemented to develop a realistic, modular management plan while promoting improved quality of life for residents of areas within the zone of influence of the park.
The Coiba planning team, at the request of Panama's National Environmental Authority (ANAM), is composed of professional Panamanians who provide expertise in diverse areas such as protected area planning, geographic information systems, terrestrial, marine and fisheries biology, law, architecture and civil engineering. Law 44, which marked the creation of the Park in 2004, stipulates that the team will work closely with ANAM, which manages park operations, and the Panama Maritime Authority which manages the Special Marine Protected Zone in the Park. The choice of a scientific research organization as coordinator of the planning process, as proposed by ANAM, is a significant step toward truly informed conservation and sustainable economic development.
"Coiba is still a truly wild place where we can study migrating marine mammals and coral biodiversity. We want to keep it that way, but without closing it off to fishing, ecotourism and other sustainable activities," explains Dr. Juan Maté, STRI project co
Contact: Dr. Juan L. Mate
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute