Panama City`s Water Dialogues inspire at an international level

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A mission from the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Panama, Raisa Banfield, and Wetlands International Panama -based at the City of Knowledge- to conferences in the port city of Rotterdam, has been successful to provide global attention to the "Water Dialogues", connect to international initiatives and learn good practices in the fight against urban flooding.

The Water Dialogues are a collaboration of the Municipality of Panama, the Dutch government and the NGO Wetlands International, to reduce the risk of flooding in Juan Díaz, Tocumen and Pacora. Now in its second of three phases, the program already has significant and inspiring progresses, which were shared with experts in adapting to climate change.

"In order to achieve the necessary change in five years, we must take action now. The Raisas Banfield of the world and their work are the inspiration," said the special envoy for the water issue of the Government of the Netherlands, Mr. Henk Ovink.

In addition to inspiring, the mission also served to communicate and learn from other relevant initiatives in the world.

Mission’s intensive program

Within one week, the mission participated in two conferences. At the conference of the "Delta Coalition", the team shared their experience with governments of countries and learned of flood initiatives from Dutch experts, including the architect Matthijs Bouw (member of the DRR Team) in the "Big U" of Manhattan, New York.

With proposals generated through a participatory process of designing public spaces that contribute to coastal defense, Bouw managed to win millions of dollars in federal funding of the competition "Rebuild by design" for the part of Manhattan affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Adaptation Futures 2016

In the big conference Adaptation Futures 2016, attended by the leader of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the mission presented in three sessions: Roundtable RT2 Solutions based in the nature of cities; wetlands for adaptation to climate change; and Building with Nature.

During these and other sessions, good practices were collected in water management issues, reducing the risk of floods and other relevant issues to the situation of Panama.

Water Dialogues

In addition, a day of work dedicated to the Water Dialogues was organized. During this intensive working session, the DRR Team was called, including Bouw and Ovink, to provide strategic inputs to the process of the Water Dialogues and prepare the next Dutch mission to Panama.

For more information:

Sander Carpay
Communications Coordinator
Wetlands International Panama
Tel. +507 65432381