Young Agro-environmentalists Represent Azuero at the 4th National Forum on Sustainable Land Management

The agro-environmental groups of the  Agricultural Institute (I.P.T.A.) of Tonosí (Tonosí Environmental Protection Unit) and the  Agricultural Institute (I.P.T.A.) of Las Minas (Herd of Youth Captains for the Conservation of Flora and Fauna) had the opportunity to participate in the “4th National Forum on Sustainable Land Management” held on August 30 and 31 at the Wyndham Hotel in Albrook Mall, Panama.

Fig. 1. Edward Garcia, from the AEP team, with the young participants of the 4th National Forum on Sustainable Land Management.

Why did they participate in this forum?

This forum highlighted the opportunity that land offers people to build stable, safe and sustainable communities for the future benefit of all. It also promotes the exchange and adoption of transformative initiatives to restore degraded lands in urban areas, cleaner production in and conservation of watersheds through citizen participation. One of the transformational initiatives present in the forum consisted of two groups of agro-environmental youth from rural Azuero watersheds who are committed to conserving them through developing projects such as reforestation and waterway cleanups. This forum was organized by the Panamanian Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). We thank them for supporting this initiative and for sponsoring the participation of these youth groups in the activities.

Fig. 2. The agro-environmental youth groups from Las Minas and Tonosí visit the Chilibre hydroelectric plant during the 4th National Forum on Sustainable Land Management.

Perspectives of the participants

The creation of these two agro-environmental youth groups is geared toward conserving the Tonosí (Tonosí) and Parita (near Las Minas) river basins through sustainable community action. Participation in the Forum exposed youth in the groups to a broader conservation vision and national level discussion on these themes in order to conduct better defined actions and to lead their communities in taking into account both environmental and social values in program planning and implementation. The groups visited the Chilibre water treatment plant, considering it as a case study on how they can improve the treatment of Azuero water sources.

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