This project will help save Bona Island, a pristine marine life sanctuary in Panama from being devastated and converted into a petroleum terminal. CIAM will draft the legislative initiative to promote its "Wildlife Refuge" status. Our project will protect the numerous marine bird species, coral reef communities, sea turtles and humpback whales; but will also work to help the local communities in the area that rely on artisanal fisheries to protect their sources of livelihood.
On February 2019, Bona Pacific Corporation (https://bpc-oil.com/) presented plans to create a petroleum terminal on Bona Island. This project would severely affect the thousands of marine bird species that inhabit the area and threaten species like the humpback whale and hammerhead shark. This project also increases the risk of a petroleum spill which would pose threats to numerous fish species and the health of the local population that depend on these resources for socioeconomic purposes.
CIAM will promote creation of the protected area "Bona Island Wildlife Refuge" through a legislative initiative and ensure the long-term protection of the site's extensive marine life and artisanal fisheries. We will support local congressmen so they are able to present the law while at the same time encourage the president to protect it through an executive order. Simultaneously, we will implement a communications strategy to increase public support and awareness for the issue.
The project will promote the long term protection of the 74-hectare island, thus ensuring the continued existence of the area's pristine biodiversity and fisheries. We will work closely with the local community of Otoque to assess the population's needs and analyze the existing opportunities to create alternate income generating activities.