Panama, December 1, 2000. In an effort to protect the land tenure rights of Panama Canal Western watershed residents, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and Panama’s Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) signed an agreement to launch a massive land deed allocation program. The program aims to protect Western watershed residents’ land tenant rights and will be overseen by MIDA and funded by the ACP.

The agreement was signed by ACP Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta and MIDA Minister Pedro Adan Gordon. Members of the Interinstitutional Watershed Commission (Comisión Interinstitucional de la Cuenca Hidrográfica, CICH) were invited to witness the act and countersign the document. The CICH was established to integrate resources and conservation efforts of various institutions operating within the Panama Canal watershed, while promoting sustainable development and socio-economic growth in the region.

The ACP is solely responsible for approving policies and programs that may affect the natural resources in the watershed area. In signing this agreement, the ACP reaffirms its solemn commitment to sustainable Canal watershed development, better living conditions for area residents, and the responsible management and conservation of the region’s water resources.

The CICH is composed of Government and Justice Minister Winston Spadafora, Housing Minister Miguel Cardenas, MIDA Minister Pedro Adan Gordon, National Environment Authority Administrator Ricardo Anguizola, Interoceanic Region Authority Administrator Alfredo Arias Grimaldo, and ACP Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta, as well as Oscar McKay, Executive Director of the NATURA Foundation, and Monsignor Laureano Crestar Duran, Executive Director of Caritas Arquidiocesana.