Panama, May 7, 2002 – Top Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and National Environmental Authority (ANAM) officials subscribed an annual operations plan that will allow joint monitoring of water and environmental resources within the watershed. The signing ceremony took place during a regular meeting of Panama’s Interagency Watershed Commission (Comisión Interinstitucional de la Cuenca Hidrográfica, CICH).

The plan designates ANAM as responsible for monitoring forestry, water quality and the condition of the water basins, mainly with regards to the soil. The ACP, on the other hand, is responsible for monitoring social and environmental aspects and is in charge of environmental education within the Canal watershed.

Once gathered, field information is analyzed by the Canal Watershed Monitoring Program, and then stored in a new Environmental Information Center for the Watershed, currently being established within CICH. Information related to the latest advances and findings of the watershed will be available to national authorities, non-government organizations and the community at large.

During the meeting, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) presented donations to the ANAM and ACP to strengthen their interagency efforts in the Canal watershed. This will support data gathering and processing activities necessary to sustain the natural resources of the watershed.