(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) A deal signed by the Mayor of Taboga allowing an oil terminal on Isla Bona in the Gulf of Panama has been opposed by citizens, environmental groups and hoteliers.
Now The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has said that if the company responsible for developing the terminal does not obtain the required permits from the Ministry of Environment (Miambiente), the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP), among other institutions, the contract will be terminated.
The statement came on Saturday, April 6 after scientists and conservationists asked for the island to be declared a protected area, under the category of Wildlife Refuge, as it is a home den for birds and dolphin and whale watching.
The MEF note says that the lease a states that "once signed and countersigned the agreement, the lessee is required to begin the study of an environmental impact study (EIA) "before the start of construction and must submit the information study to Miambiente.
It must also begin "the legal and administrative procedures before the National Secretariat of Energy and the AMP, to achieve the necessary concessions that are needed for the purpose of the contract".
It adds that €œonce the contract has been legally perfected, the lessee must comply with the following obligations: "take all necessary environmental mitigation measures that are established in the EIA approved by the Ministry of Environment"; "to protect at all times during the construction of the different works and in the development of the technical works in the project, the ecology, the environment and observe during the operation the applicable standards in this regard".
The lease agreement for 20 years renewable, was signed between Taboga mayor RamÃ³n Ramos and Bona Pacific Corp., which is interested in building a terminal for storage and dispatch fuel and petroleum derivatives.
The Comptroller General has not endorsed the contract, which was endorsed last year by the National Economic Council (CENA), which is part of the MEF.
The Attorney General of the Administration, Rigoberto GonzÃ¡lez, sent letters two notes, on March 19, to the Director of the Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP), Zuleika PinzÃ³n and to the Minister of the Environment, Emilio Sempris, asking them to inform if they are aware of the execution of the lease
He reminded both institutions that the General Law of the Environment) establishes that both ARAP and Environment should "give priority" in their public policies to the "conservation" of marine ecosystems. and of inland waters with high levels of biological diversity.