The Ombudsman’s Office opened two administrative complaints related to the Petroterminal project on Boná Island, which belongs to the Municipality of Taboga, in the Gulf of Panama. The entity joins, in addition, the voices that ask the National Assembly to approve the bill that creates the area as a protected area.
The first complaint, opened on April 11, is ex officio against the Mayor of Taboga for possible violation of the right to a healthy environment and the second is against the Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente) for the possible violation of the right to petition.
“The Office of the Ombudsman is attentive to the events related to the project for the construction of a petroterminal on Boná Island, (…) because it could constitute a threat to the human right to a healthy environment of the potentially affected communities” , considered the entity in a statement.
In the press release, he adds, it is “evident the ignorance of the right of petition” in the absence of a response to a formal request submitted by the Center for Environmental Impact (CIAM) on March 1, 2019 to the MiAmbiente.
The Defenosoría “is vigilant” that the principles of transparency in public management and access to information are respected throughout the process, notes the note.
The entity also considered the need for the National Assembly to approve the bill that declares Boná Island as a protected area, in the category of Wildlife Refuge, to comply with the constitutional guarantee of preventing environmental contamination, maintain the ecological balance and avoid the destruction of ecosystems.
The Environment Commission of the National Assembly banned, last Tuesday, the bill that creates the protected area. Although the deputies agreed to discuss the project in the first debate the following day, that is to say yesterday, Wednesday, it was not included in the agenda and there are only three days of ordinary sessions.
However, environmentalists will not stay with their arms crossed. Today they plan to go to the Presidency to request that Boná Island be declared a protected area, through an Executive Decree.
The company Bona Pacific Corp signed a lease of 34.7 hectares within the island Boná with the Mayor of Taboga and has defended the project claiming, among other things, that it does not represent environmental damage.