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Audubon Victory For Panama Bay - Protected Status for Vital Wetlands Reinstated by Court Ruling

Panama BayWashington, D.C.--(ENEWSPF)--April 5, 2013. Today the Bay of Panama received a reprieve from destructive development as the Panamanian Supreme Court reinstated the protected status for the Bay of Panama wetlands, removing the temporary suspension it had placed on the protected area a year ago. The Court noted, “it is necessary to promote its conservation, protection and management for sustainable use for present and future generations."

“We commend this first critical step in securing the long-term conservation of this critical habitat; “said John Beavers, VP Audubon’s International Alliances Program. “There is a long road ahead but I am heartened to hear that the Supreme Court’s decision revolved around the need to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the Bay of Panama Wetlands for present and future generations.”

While Panama Bay was recognized as a Globally Important Bird Area and a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar convention, the Bay’s protected status was reversed by Federal officials in Panama in April 2012. Many of the amazing ecosystems of Panama Bay are threatened by rampant poorly planned development. Panama City’s ongoing building boom endangers these critical ecosystems by pollution and eastward urban sprawl. More than twenty-four migrant bird species from the U.S. and Canada that are of particular conservation concern depend on these habitats to survive. These include more than 30% of the global population of the Western Sandpiper and 22% of the global population of Whimbrel. The Mangroves and wetlands of Panama Bay are also vital to other globally threatened wildlife including Jaguar, Tapir, Spider Monkey, American Crocodile, and Loggerhead Sea Turtle and support the fishing industry for the country. Essential wildlife habitats are being filled at an alarming rate to make way for cheap housing, high-end recreational developments and industrial zones.

The National Audubon Society joined forces with the Panama Audubon Society in their battle to protect the bay. PAS is addressing this with a public awareness campaign in eastern suburbs and further developing scientific justification, for the protection and management of the Bay’s sensitive coastal resources. The project is reversing misconceptions of wetlands being wastelands of little economic value. Wetlands are not only vital for absorbing floodwaters, but essential nurseries for fish and crustaceans that form the base of Panama’s marine economy.

The vital wetlands has been high on the agenda for Audubon, whose Board of Directors visited Panama in February to see for themselves the importance of this habitat for up to two million shorebirds a year. The group was led by Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold, and a fleet of Vice-presidents devoted to protecting wetlands that support the flyways that lace together North and Latin America. Says Francis Grant-Suttie, VP for the Atlantic Flyway, “We now align our work along the flyways of the Americas—Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific. By connecting the Audubon network all along each of these migratory pathways for birds, we can weave a seamless web of conservation.”

More about Panama Bay threats in Audubon Magazine

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at .



SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Working Together

Audubon Aquarium

Audubon Today
There are more than 500 Audubon societies and businesses in the United States today. Each of these groups is independent and separately incorporated, and each is free to establish its own programs. Audubon organizations vary greatly in their scope and missions— some remain small bird clubs, while others focus on state, national, or international bird conservation and environmental issues. Through a diversity of approaches, Audubon organizations today carry on the conservation ethic begun at the turn of the 20th Century and make up what we call today the Audubon Movement.

Audubon Lifestyles
Audubon Lifestyles accomplishes its goals by developing partnerships with individuals and businesses that embrace the same set of principles and ethics that we do. There is no single path towards a sustainable future -- quite the contrary. Each person must create their own path toward a sustainable future. By linking together individuals, businesses, universities, communities and not-for-profit organizations and creating a unified team approach based on The Principles of Sustainability, we can collectively accomplish more than anyone can accomplish alone. We believe that the most natural way to achieve success and to foster sustainability is by working to balance the triple bottom line of people, profit, and planet. We operate with the main purpose of benefiting society, while offering professional and sustainably based products and services. Proceeds from our programs and services are contributed to local, regional, national and international Audubon societies and other charitable organizations.

Learn more at:

The International Sustainability Council (ISC)
The International Sustainability Council (ISC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing understanding of relationships among ecological, social and economic systems for the mutual benefit of people and the environment. This will be achieved by forging partnerships with governmental agencies, universities, businesses and not-for-profit organizations that will result in the development of an accepted set of Principles of Sustainability. In addition activities supported will be continuing research, education and the production of various forms of educational and literary works that will be used as the basis of the creation of sustainable demonstration projects that are connected to the various aspects of sustainable community planning, development and management.

Learn more at:

Fast Facts

  • The Massachusetts Audubon Society, with over 100,000 members, cares for 33,000 acres of conservation land in 45 wildlife sanctuaries. The group works to protect Massachusetts for people and wildlife and promotes sound environmental policies. Founded in 1896, it has become the largest conservation organization in New England.
  • The Audubon Society of New York State, established in New York in 1897, was reincorporated in 1987. An international arm created in 1996 is known as Audubon International.
  • The Audubon Society of New York State, established in New York in 1897, was reincorporated in 1987. An international arm created in 1996 is known as Audubon International.
  • The Audubon Institute of Louisiana is host to nearly a dozen Audubon named museums and parks that are dedicated to nature which include the Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Wilderness Park, Audubon Insectarium, Audubon Nature Institute Foundation.



References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles

The International Sustainability Council

Home Yard Waste Compost Guide

The US Environmental Protection Agency

Landscape Lighting
A Consumer Guide to Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting

Solar Light Store

Saving Natural Resources
Natural Resources Defense Council

Organic Farming
Organic Farming Research Foundation

National Agricultural Library

Local Government & the Environment
Project Vote Smart

Audubon Today
Audubon International


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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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