Fundacion Natura - Panama

NATURA Foundation has been working through the Ecological Trust Fund of Panama (FIDECO, by its acronym in Spanish), supporting local communities' initiatives in the Panama Canal Watershed, to promote conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources, improving as well life quality for these communities. The FIDECO Fund was established in Panama, with USAID as a principal donor, and also contributions from The Nature Conservancy, that is also the Trustee, and the Government of Panama, that is the Trustor. NATURA Fundation is responsible for the administration of a Grant Program to support environmental initiatives of qualified entities, as entitled by the respective agree...

Fundacion Natura - Panama
Llanos de Curundo, Casa 1992 A-B
Panama, Panama 0816-06822
Panama
(+507) 232 8773
http://www.naturapanama.org

Executive Director

Rosa Montanez

Management Team

Rosa Montanez, Leonor de Fadul, Edgar Arauz

Board of Directors

Alvaro Gonzalez Clare, Ariel Vaccaro, Carla Lopez, Tomas Fernandez, Elena Guardia de Lombardo, Jorge Arosemena, Adolfo Quintero, Silvano Vergara, Lorenzo Hincapie, Rosa Montanez, Leonor de Fadul, Edgar Arauz

Project Leaders

Rosa Montanez

Mission

NATURA Foundation has been working through the Ecological Trust Fund of Panama (FIDECO, by its acronym in Spanish), supporting local communities' initiatives in the Panama Canal Watershed, to promote conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources, improving as well life quality for these communities. The FIDECO Fund was established in Panama, with USAID as a principal donor, and also contributions from The Nature Conservancy, that is also the Trustee, and the Government of Panama, that is the Trustor. NATURA Fundation is responsible for the administration of a Grant Program to support environmental initiatives of qualified entities, as entitled by the respective agreement. Through this Grant Program initiatives related to sustainable production have taken places with several CBOs, some of which have given the opportunity for commercialization. NATURA Foundation has extensive experience in managing national and international funds aimed at the funding of programs, plans and environmental projects to develop civil society organizations, as well as governmental and local authorities, either independently or in coordination with other entities. It works also in strengthening these organizations both in terms of institutional development and technical aspects of implementation, to increase and consolidate their skills.

Programs

Since 1995 until the present, NATURA Foundation becomes the trustee of the Panama Ecological Trust, fund that was created with support from the Government of Panama, USAID and TNC to permanently fund conservation projects, environmental management and sustainable development. FIDECO trust fund has the purpose to allocated 45% of funds for its Protected Areas Program, that annually support national parks and other protected areas; today with these funds, NATURA Foundation with FIDECO supports 22 protected areas in Panama in their activities of operation, maintenance and protection. On the other hand, the other 45% of FIDECO budget is directed annually to fund projects for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, developed by NGOs, community base organizations (CBOs), and/or educational institutions. Under this program, NATURA Foundation has supported over 170 projects to NGOs, and community organizations and the like. During the past years NATURA Foundation, has prioritize its work in key watersheds (Panama Canal Watershed, Santa Maria, and La Villa, mainly), and in coastal and marine areas (Chiriqui Gulf and San Miguel Gulf). In addition, to works with NGO and CBOs, another program is running for Capacity Building supporting small initiatives. And additional 10% of resources are invested for the monitoring program. NATURA Foundation has developed co-financing schemes to expand the availability of funds for various national and international institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Inter-American Foundation, the Agricultural Development Bank and National Bank of Panama and the United Nations Program through the Bio-Darien Project. And also, since 2003 and 2004 until today, NATURA was selected by the governments of Panama and the United States and The Nature Conservancy to be the managing entity of the Fund for the conservation of Chagres Park and Darien respectively. The funds were created as a result of the first and second Debt-for-nature Swap between the governments of Panama and the United States, under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. Additionally, NATURA Foundation has developed key alliances with the private sector, with the purpose to match on going initiatives in the field with community base organizations, developed projects directed to sustainable use of resources and environmental conservations. Today is working under Business Responsibility Social Programs with: Cerveceria Nacional, Telefonica Movistar (one of the bigger communications companies in the country), two banks (BBVA and Banco General). Some of our outputs and outcomes in 20 years of work are 1. Related to our programmatic component on protected areas: Management Plan for protected areas Construction of infrastructure (offices, shelters, visitor center, etc.). Acquisition of equipment (transport, communications, office, environmental education) Enabling public use areas (trails, gazebos, bridges) Boundary demarcation and signaling PA Flights for monitoring, delimitation of boundaries, among others Training for ANAM's staff - conservation activities (nurseries, turtles, others) 2. Related to our programmatic components on watersheds and coastal and marine ecosystems: Management Plans for Watersheds >40,000 direct beneficiaries 3,500 reforested hectares >800 farms and plots Agroecological production - infrastructures and services Environmental sanitation initiatives ~3,000 capacity building activities Environmental education and awareness activities Our contributions has been developed in actions related to: Sustainable agriculture Ecotourism Agro-ecological farming / plots and nurseries for schools in rural areas Production and marketing of medicinal plants Bioprospection in Panama's rainforest Sustainable management of natural forests Control and prevention of forest fires Reduction and Pollution Prevention Conservation of Biodiversity Species Inventories Creation and Management of Protected Areas Watershed Management Plans and Management Plans for Protected Areas Our impacts in terms of sustainable development, conservation and natural resources protection are: Recovery and increase forest cover Conservation and restoration of ecosystems (terrestrial and coastal marine) Food security and nutritional improvement Soil restoration Participatory planning in watershed management Empowerment and community engagement Increasing community participation in PA management Income generation for rural communities Increased participation and leadership of women and youth Improved management and administrative capacity of community organizations Strengthening inter-sector relations Improved inter-agency coordination Increased civil society participation in environmental management

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