20 February, 2016

PCA-NATURA-BANISTMO Fund, first projec

Conservation of water resources and biodiversity in the Chagres National Park in the Panama Canal Watershed, benefiting the communities of Quebrada Ancha and San Vicente de la Tranquilla

The communities that benefit from the first project of this Fund currently have environmental problems that have a negative impact on water resources. These environmental problems range from the fragility of the drinking water supply and sanitation systems, to the lack of health education in the population (deficiency in the management of solid waste, in the disposal of its wastewater, weak or collapsed sanitation systems, lack of water supply to meet domestic needs, etc.).

The project consists of carrying out environmental sanitation activities framed in the protection of water sources as well as in the reduction of surface and underground water contamination by contact with domestic wastewater and household solid waste in the lake communities of Quebrada Ancha and San Vicente de la Tranquilla, located on the shore of Lake Alhajuela, in the Panama Canal Watershed.

As eligibility criteria for choosing the beneficiary communities, selection aspects based on similar conditions of water supply and environmental sanitation in both communities and their accessibility were considered. The poor sanitary conditions in which the villagers find themselves as well as the difficulties they are having regarding the access to a water supply due to the bad conditions in which the rural aqueducts are.

Project objectives:

The inhabitants of the communities of San Vicente de la Tranquilla and Quebrada Ancha will benefit from the execution of the project in the following aspects:

  1. It is expected that the practices of domestic sanitation, hygiene and protection of water resources will be improved through the incorporation and strengthening of community-based organizations related to the subject.
  2. If the communities have safe water throughout the year and adequate systems of disposal of excreta, and other solid waste that occurs in the communities, their quality of life will be improved and the incidence of water-borne diseases will be significantly reduced.
  3. Reduce the pollution of water and soil resources, through the implementation of a separation, collection, and classification of household solid waste system.
  4. With the improvement of the conditions of environmental sanitation that are proposed for the communities, the aim is to reduce the contamination of wastewater and solid waste to bodies of surface and groundwater.
  5. In addition, the quality of life of the population of this community will be improved and this is related to the access to potable water and the adequate treatment of wastewater that allows the development of economic activities such as tourism promoted by the Chagres Fund, administered by Fundación NATURA.

The development and implementation of the project in the Chagres National Park has been aimed at achieving the conservation of water resources and the support of economic alternatives that are being developed to avoid pressure on natural resources and the deterioration of water resources.

The project has a component of Volunteering that we are starting at the moment, with the elaboration of a seedbed for the production of 1000 seedlings of native species that will be planted in June by the same volunteers with the community's support.

Fund Precedents

The ACP-NATURA-BANISTMO Fund was established through the Cooperation Framework Agreement for the Development of the Program for the Conservation of Water Resources and Biodiversity in Communities Located in the Panama Canal Watershed, signed on November 18, 2013.

This alliance seeks to respond to the management initiated by the Panama Canal Authority, which promotes the implementation of the Sustainable Development and Integrated Management of Water Resources of the Panama Canal Watershed Plan. It was aimed to have the program's actions framed with the objectives of the Management Plan and the Conservation Plan of the Chagres National Park, of the sustainable development objectives established in the Plan, in addition to the programs contemplated in the Strategic Plan of Fundación NATURA and the strategies established with the different strategic partners that participate in the integrated management of the PCRB, especially in the Chagres-Alhajuela Region.


Promote permissible collaboration in projects or programs for the conservation of water resources and biodiversity in communities located in the PCRB, through the implementation of sanitary solutions and the training of the indicated communities for the proper use of water resources, with emphasis on:

  1. The exchange of experiences, documents, information and results of research or programs carried out by the PCA, NATURA and BANISTMO, as allowed by each institution's regulations, directly related to the conservation and protection of water resources and the sustainable development of the communities located within the Panama Canal Watershed.
  2. The development of technical training programs and projects directly related to the conservation and protection of water resources within the Panama Canal Watershed.
  3. The training of human resources of PCA, NATURA and BANISTMO, in subjects strictly related to the objectives defined in each of the programs or projects agreed to be developed.