The Cabinet Council declared a State of Environmental Emergency throughout the national territory in the face of prolonged drought as a consequence of the climate crisis affecting the world.
The resolution of the Ministry of the Environment warns that the high temperatures, evaporation and lack of rain are the preamble to the arrival of a possible El Niño Phenomenon, which would reduce the production of water for human consumption and agricultural activity to throughout the entire country.
He points out that the artificial lakes Alhajuela and Gatún, which supply water to more than half of the country’s population and to the interoceanic highway, have been drastically diminished by the prolongation of the dry season.
The Ministry of Agricultural Development, the Institute of National Aqueduct and Sewerage, the Ministry of the Environment, the National Authority of Public Services and the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama are the entities authorized to carry out the special contracts necessary to deal with the State of Environmental Emergency, according to the approved resolution.
Prior to the approval of the State of Environmental Emergency, the presentation to the State ministers of “Climate change scenarios. Vision 2030 2050 and 2070”, by: Dr. Ligia Castro, director of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Eng. Berta Alicia Olmedo, deputy director of the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology.
The expert Castro highlighted that these scenarios allow decisions to be made based on science to face the effects of the phenomenon and pointed out that Panama is one of the countries highly vulnerable to climate change despite being one of the three carbon negative countries in the world. .
The Climate Change Scenarios for Panama (2030, 2050, 2070), developed by the Ministry of the Environment, clearly establish that the country’s temperatures will increase and rainfall in four climatic regions will decrease;
He stressed that the Western region, in the province of Chiriquí, the center of agricultural production in the country, is forecast to decrease rainfall.
Regarding the rise in sea level in 2050, he identified the populations that would be affected on the Panamanian coasts by this phenomenon, but warned that nations like the Netherlands have been able to face this phenomenon without losing part of their territory, for which reason he proposed an agreement with this country to learn more about his experience.
For your part. The eng. Berta Alicia Olmedo made a behavior of the rains in the country highlighting that there is currently an extension of the dry season affecting agricultural production in some regions.
He said that the country registers six months between 2022 and 2023 with a rainfall deficit to which is added the global situation of the El Niño phenomenon, which is the warming of the Pacific waters and the one that keeps the world on watch in case it arrives. to consolidate.
He warned that “we are at the door of the El Niño Phenomenon” with a forecast of 80% of its occurrence by the world’s expert body.