Panamanians learn new techniques for managing solid waste

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From November 25 to 26 the University for International Cooperation (UCI), the City of Knowledge Foundation (FCDS) and the Foundation for Social Action for Panama (FAS) held the forum "Turquoise Cluster Panama: New contributions to building Sustainable Projects", at the City of Knowledge Exhibition Hall.

Thanks to presentations and workshops over 150 Panamanians including representatives from the government, private sector, civil society groups and scavengers, met and shared innovative techniques for reusing solid waste.

The UCI, with headquarters at the City of Knowledge, coordinated the participation of the international expert architect Carlos H. Levinton who was in charge of guiding the workshops. Levinton is the Director of the Experimental Center for Production (CEP) in Argentina, which is recognized as one of the 100 best practices in the world by the United Nations.

His more than 28 years of experience in creating sustainable conditions for a healthy habitat, led to the creation of what is now known in Latin America as: Turquoise Cluster.

"It is a project that aims to create a center of knowledge about waste management and energy saving. It is a place where the best resources of thought get together to share ideas and assemble community projects, in order to create a culture of change”, said Levinton.

"We must be receptive in order to recognize that there are problems, investigate them and convince ourselves that the level of complexity of these problems can only be solved collectively and with the community. This requires creating networks, research centers and programs that are always inclusive. The key is to use the best resources available in each place", said the architect referring to the changes that Panama needs to face waste management.

The morning conferences sought to contextualize the Panamanian reality through expert judgment. Marisol Landau, President of FAS Panama, widely explained the effort made to handle waste at the City of Knowledge, and the statistical reality of the problem of solid waste. "According to estimates only 2.5% of plastics produced in Panama are recovered", said Mrs. Landau.

It is expected that during 2015, strategic partners will be invited to join the Turquoise Cluster to create eco centers in different cities of Panama.

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