Panama

The indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé people had to endure brutal repression to avoid the onslaught on their territories. They managed to get the Government to ban mining and hydroelectric dams in their territory. However, another intense onslaught came from conservationist NGOs.
A compilation of articles from the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin on the occasion of the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held 17 - 29 November, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
With a history plagued by outrage and territorial imposition since colonization, the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé peoples of western Panama struggle relentlessly for autonomy, and freedom from mining, hydroelectric and other destructive industries in their territories (1).
REDD has been contentious ever since it was presented during UN climate talks in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007 as a way to supposedly reduce deforestation. In addition to pointing out that REDD as a carbon market instrument is a false solution to climate change, many indigenous peoples in particular have expressed concern that REDD will undermine indigenous peoples’ rights, become a mechanism that divides communities and will put indigenous peoples’ control over and access to their traditional territories at risk.
On 27 February 2013, Panama’s Indigenous Peoples Coordinating Body, COONAPIP, withdrew from the UN-REDD process in Panama. In a letter announcing the withdrawal, COONAPIP explains that UN-REDD “does not currently offer guarantees for respecting indigenous rights” or “the full and effective participation of the Indigenous Peoples of Panama”.
The concept of protected areas, born in the United States in the nineteenth century as an idea of conservation by establishing “national parks,” was part of the colonization of the “Wild West” and, in many cases served as an instrument to appropriate indigenous peoples’ territory, handing it over to the States, research centres or corporate interests.  Although an international organization such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has acknowledged that when establishing protected areas, indigenous peo
Bordering with the Republic of Colombia, the Province of Darien is located at the extreme East of the Republic of Panama and is one of the areas in the Central American Isthmus with the greatest biodiversity. However, at present it is undergoing resource destruction at a fast pace. The region is inhabited by peoples of four ethnic groups: Afro-Colombians, Embera-Wounan indigenous people, Darienite peasants and settlers from other regions of the country --landless peasants seeking to improve their living conditions.