Protecting Panama

Forests & Marine Biodiversity Conservation in Guna Yala


Duration: 08:47

Available in 5 languages

Released: December 2016

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marine biodiversity conservation panama

Guna communities have long been recognised for protecting the #forests along their coastline; despite significant threats from farming and industrial logging, they are proven protectors of their ancestral forests.
Today they face uncertainty over the sea that surrounds their island homes. Increasing encroachment by luxury vessels threatens the long term viability of their reefs. Without the support of the government of Panama and clear rights, they face an increasingly bitter struggle to protect the marine biodiversity in these waters.


This film was released during the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Cancun, Mexico. It has since been shortlisted in the 44th EkotopFilm Festival and will be screened in Slovakia in May 2017.

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Recognition to Land, Territories and Resources

Communities need ownership over their ancestral land in order to protect forests. With no formal land title traditional communities often face serious conflict when trying to evict illegal loggers, poachers and land grabbers. Who will believe their claims without precise maps and legal title deeds?

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