ISO 14001 Certification Demonstrates the Panama Canal Authority’s Commitment to Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Development
Panama City, Panama, June 6, 2003 – More than 100 people gathered yesterday at the Miraflores Locks as Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance awarded upon the Department of Security and Environment’s Environmental Division of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) the coveted ISO 14001 certification. Juan Héctor Diaz, director of the Department of Security and Environment, accepted the certification at a ceremony at the Miraflores Locks Visitor’s Center. Participants included the Academy for Environmental Education Development (AED), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Panama Ministry of Health (MINSA), Panama National Environment Authority (ANAM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Coinciding with the United Nation’s World Environment Day, yesterday’s announcement reinforced the ACP’s pledge to incorporate and implement environmental policies in its daily business operations and long-term sustainable development goals, particularly with regard to the management of the Panama Canal watershed.
“We at the ACP are fully dedicated to our role as trusted caretakers of the Canal watershed, including its habitats and biodiversity. In our management of the Canal, we adhere to the highest international standards and procedures and actively seek solutions to environmental challenges,” said Director Diaz. “ISO 14001 certification validates our commitment to implementing sustainable development policies for long-term viability – policies that are in the best interests of the people of Panama, Canal customers and environmental conservation.”
Since the U.S. handover of the Canal in 1999, the ACP has made significant progress in preserving the Panama Canal watershed and has spent several years developing and implementing new policies and procedures to introduce “best practices” with regards to environmental compliance and stewardship. Title XIV of the Constitution of the Republic of Panama and the Panama Canal Authority Organic Law places the responsibility of administering, maintaining and conserving the water resources of the Panama Canal watershed with the ACP.
In order to fulfill the Authority’s commitment to the watershed and the environment, the Environmental Management Division at the ACP has adopted a system to design and implement procedures that would meet ACP environmental goals. The establishment of an “environmental policy” that ensures that proper communications and the detection of environmental impacts from operations based on risk and environmental impact assessments were fully integrated in the management of the Canal. Within the Environment Management Division, four sections are designated to ensure the policy is in effect. The sections include Sanitation; Aquatic Vegetation and Oil Pollution Control; Watershed Management; and Environmental Policy and Programs.
About Lloyd’s Register
Lloyd’s Register, and its affiliated companies, has more than 200 offices and over 5,500 employees worldwide. Founded in 1760 to examine merchant ships and ‘classify’ them according to their condition, today the organization’s expertise and activities extend far wider than the shipping field. Lloyd’s Register has operations covering management systems, land-based industries, railways, and oil and gas. The International ISO 14001 certification reports on how management systems control the impact their company has upon its environment.
About the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating, and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the website: www.pancanal.com.