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Program for Adaptation to Climate Change through Integrated Management of Water Resources in Panama presents impressive results in prioritized basins


The Climate Change Adaptation Program, through the Integrated Management of Water Resources in Panama, has achieved notable results in improving climate resilience and food security in the Chiriquí Viejo (Chiriquí) and Santa María River basins. (Veraguas, Coclé and Herrera).

The program, which had financing of US$9,856,591 from the Adaptation Fund and a counterpart from the executing entities and NGOs of US$1,417,402, benefited more than 116,000 people directly and indirectly in areas vulnerable to climate change.

Panama has a level of vulnerability to “severe” climate change by 2030, making the implementation of adaptation measures that reduce these vulnerabilities inevitable and urgent. In a consultation carried out within the framework of the project, the communities are concerned about the impact, reduction or losses in crops, vulnerability to disasters and extreme events and the lack of water for human consumption (quality / quantity), among others.


The Climate Change Adaptation Program in Panama has been a joint effort between the Natura Foundation as the National Implementing Entity of the Adaptation Fund, the executing entities (Ministry of Agricultural Development, Ministry of Environment, ETESA – IMHPHA, SINAPROC), NGOs and local actors.

“Thanks to this collaboration, a transformation process is being achieved towards a Panama that is more resilient to climate change and variability,” highlighted Rosa Montañez, executive director of Fundación Natura.

Results obtained

Each of the pilot projects that have been developed within the framework of the Adaptation Program in Panama have been replicated for good management practices for adaptation to climate change in various regions of the country.

Outcome 1: Improved climate change resilience for food, water and energy security in prioritized basins.

The program implemented adaptation strategies to climate change and variability on 120 farms with silvopastoral production systems, covering a total of 600 hectares of livestock farms. Agroforestry systems tolerant to the adverse effects of the climate were established on 225 hectares, 50 rainwater harvesting systems were installed, and the production of orchids and naranjillas was promoted in the Santa María River basin. These actions contributed to strengthening the food and energy security of the region. The strengthening of 17 microfinance institutions is highlighted for the design of new financing products for climate adaptation with ecosystem-based solutions.

Outcome 2: Improved water governance and natural resource management mainstreaming climate data.

The program developed eight climate-resilient water management instruments, including diagnoses, vulnerability studies, adaptation plans, water balance and environmental flow, and technical documents for water permit concessions in both basins. A soil-climatic zoning report was prepared for 12 prioritized crops with current scenarios and a 2050 scenario. These instruments provide a solid basis for decision-making related to the management of water and natural resources in hydrographic basins.

Result 3: Increased preparedness in prioritized watersheds and reduced disaster risk in vulnerable communities.

The National Climate Data System was strengthened with the installation of +40 automatic agrometeorological and hydrological stations, as well as a data receiving station. Two early warning systems for floods were implemented in the watersheds, allowing a more efficient response and reducing the risk of disasters in vulnerable communities.

Outcome 4: Improved access to information for decision-making on climate change and variability risks.

The Agroclimatic and Statistics Node was created in the Ministry of Agricultural Development where sowing harvest forecasts for different crops are implemented and is supported by the Agroclimatic Roundtables that have provided recommendations for the agricultural and livestock sector, benefiting +6 thousand producers in the 5 prioritized regions (Chiriquí, Herrera, Veraguas, Coclé, and Los Santos); This system provides advance information for the planning and management of agricultural activities. In addition, indicators were created for the monitoring and evaluation of adaptation to climate change in Panama, providing a clear vision of progress in climate change adaptation measures in the 10 prioritized sectors of the NDC1.

Outcome 5: Improved institutional capacity and increased awareness

The program has contributed to improving institutional capacity in relation to adaptation to climate change. The skills of 192 technicians were strengthened in the analysis and processing of