AEP Collaborates with Peace Corps at Environmental Leadership Seminar

Environmental leadership seminar participants in Reserva Forestal el Montoso, c. Ina Hysi

AEP’s Eco-Guide Editor Leo Mena gave a presentation to a group of students and property owners attending the Environmental Leadership Seminar on February 20, 2013. The Environmental Leadership seminar was planned and organized by Natalie Petrucci, a Peace Corps volunteer in El Cedro de las Minas and was developed using materials developed by Peace Corps Panamá with funding from the community of El Cedro, Autoridad National del Ambiente (ANAM), and a USAID small project assistance grant. AEP’s presentation at the seminar highlighted the extent of deforestation using the Azuero map created through the use of geographic information system (GIS) software by AEP staff member Guillermo Duran. AEP provided a map of the community and led the participants of the seminar in a dialogue to visualize and discuss the effect of deforestation in El Cedro.

Participants of the seminar commented that they were shocked to see the lack of forest in El Cedro, especially along the edges of Rio La Villa, an important river that provides water to many parts of the Azuero peninsula including the cities of La Villa and Chitré. Using this map, El Cedro residents were able to identify parts of the community that they felt most needed to be reforested. The participants of the Environmental Leadership Seminar are motivated to reforest areas around their community of El Cedro. In the seminar, group members emphasized their goals to reforest around the streams of the La Villa river watershed and on the main road so that people in El Cedro can see the value of trees.

For more information on reforestation on the Azuero Peninsula, visit AEP’s Guest Experts page on a reforestation seminar held in April 2013. For more information about reforestation in general, visit AEP’s Resource Center online or at the AEP office in Pedasí, Los Santos, Panamá. AEP now offers an online tool for planting trees native to the Azuero Peninsula. Check out the AEP Plant Database for more information.


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