Panama City, January 3, 2022. On December 31, 2021, Mr. Moises Montero submitted via email an Environmental Submission to the Secretariat for Environmental Enforcement Matters (SEEM), of the United States – Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (U.S.-Panama TPA), in which the submitter asserts that the Government of the Republic of Panama is failing to effectively enforce certain environmental laws.
In the Submission, identified as No. SALA-CA-PMA/003/2021 and titled "Contamination by agrochemicals. Crops," the submitter asserts that the Government of the Republic of Panama has failed to effectively enforce environmental laws, including: Law 47 of 1996, which establishes Phytosanitary Protection Measures; Law 41 of 1998, General Environmental Law of Panama, which regulates the Performance of Environmental Impact Assessments; and Law 125 of 2020, which approves the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.
Panama City, August 23, 2021. On August 20, 2021, Mr. Ricardo Wong Domínguez in his capacity as president and legal representative of the Foundation for the Protection of the Sea, PRO-MAR, present via email to the Secretariat for Submissions on Environmental Enforcement Matters (SEEM) of the Trade Promotion Agreement (US-Panama TPA), in which he assert that the Republic of Panama is failing to effectively implement its environmental legislation.
In the Submission, identified as No. SALA-CA-PMA/002/2021 and titled "Marine Pollution by Hydrocarbons", the submitter Foundation affirms that the government of the Republic of Panama has failed to comply with environmental legislation with regard to the Protocol of 1978, relative to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and its amendments; Law Decree 7, 1998, article 4, paragraphs 11 and 12; the Single Text of the Environmental General Law 41, 1998, articles 101, 104 and 105; Law 125, 2020, article 5; the Transparency Law, No. 6 January 2002, article 2 and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, Law 38 June 4, 1996, article 194.
In general, the Submission alleges that in July 2020 a fuel spill in the Rodman Port area was reported in the media and that in June 2021 oil pollution was reported by fishermen in Taboga Island area. That on both occasions the Foundation has requested information on the procedures for addressing spills from the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) in the interest of helping to prevent oil pollution in the marine environment and thus preserve the marine environment. The petitioner asserts that these requests for official information, has not received a substantive response from the Panamanian authorities.
Submission concerning the implementation of environmental legislation, pursuant to Article 17.8 of the Trade Promotion Agreement between Panama and the United States, concerning possible non-compliance with Panamanian environmental legislation, with regard to Executive Decree No. 40 of June 24, 1976, which creates Baru Volcano National Park, the Baru Volcano National Park Management Plan, approved by Resolution No. AG-0295-2004 of July 30, 2004, Resolution No. AG-0904-2009 which re-establishes the validity of the Baru Volcano National Park Management Plan and other provisions, Law No. 1 of February 3, 1994, which establishes forestry law in the Republic of Panama and other provisions, Law 41 of 1998, as amended by Law 8 of 2015, General Environmental Law of the Republic of Panama, among others.