As the Pax Natura Foundation, we are immensely pleased to report on the recent landmark decision by Panama’s Supreme Court, which has ruled the concession contract for the Cobre Panamá mine, operated by Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals (FQM), as unconstitutional. This ruling marks a significant victory for environmental conservation and the rights of the people in Panama.
The Cobre Panamá mine, recognized as Central America’s largest open-pit copper mine, has been at the center of a heated debate due to its environmental impacts. Environmentalists and local communities have persistently argued that the mine’s operations would severely damage a forested coastal area and threaten vital water supplies. Their concerns have culminated in weeks of protests, reflecting a widespread sentiment against the environmental degradation caused by such large-scale mining projects.
The Supreme Court’s decision, which unanimously declared Law 406 (the law that renewed Minera Panamá’s mining contract) unconstitutional, is a testament to the power of public advocacy and the judiciary’s role in safeguarding environmental integrity. This ruling not only signals the closure of the Cobre Panamá mine but also sets a precedent for future mining operations in the country. It underscores the necessity of aligning economic activities with environmental sustainability and the protection of natural resources.
Moreover, the court’s decision is expected to have far-reaching implications for national legislation and practices concerning environmental conservation. It represents a pivotal moment in Panama’s history, where the protection of natural resources and the welfare of its people have been prioritized over commercial interests. This ruling is anticipated to end a national crisis and open doors to more sustainable and ecologically sensitive international practices.
At the Pax Natura Foundation, we have always advocated for the preservation of natural habitats and the sustainable use of resources. This ruling aligns with our core values and mission. We congratulate the people of Panama, the environmentalists, and all who stood firm in their fight against unsustainable mining practices. This victory serves as a beacon of hope and a powerful reminder that when communities come together for a common cause, positive change is indeed possible. We remain committed to supporting similar initiatives and causes that align with our vision of a harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature.