Internship Sit Research Presentation

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Internship Sit Research Presentation

  1. 1. Expectations for Environmental and Social Impacts of Residential Touristic Real Estate in El Copecito, Province of Panama-Oeste through SIT- the School for International Studies Fall 2007
  2. 6. The Situation <ul><li>Great Location </li></ul><ul><li>Attractive to many foreign investors </li></ul><ul><li>Once the developments are built, if every new house is only inhabited by two people, El Copecito’s population will double. </li></ul>
  3. 9. My Question <ul><li>What social and environmental impacts might be expected as results of these obviously large-scale development projects? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The inhabitants’ expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The developers’ expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the role of the government in the situation? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 10. Why is this question important? <ul><li>Panama is a rising destination for foreign investors interested in the development of tourism and its associated industries. </li></ul><ul><li>Panama also (still) has one of the best preserved natural environments in Central America. </li></ul><ul><li>Panama has one of the largest income gaps in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Panama’s government is very inefficient, and corrupt. </li></ul><ul><li>Apart from the indigenous populations (theirs is another situation entirely), El Copecito is a very typical Panamanian community in regards to size, average income, and employment situations. </li></ul>
  5. 11. Most importantly… <ul><li>Panama is an up-and coming country, resource-rich and with the huge advantage of the Canal. The country should technically have every advantage to develop in an innovatively sustainable way, and the direction that its development will take is being chosen today, in communities such as El Copecito all over the country. </li></ul>
  6. 12. Research Methods <ul><li>Background Research at the ANAM library </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with the inhabitants of El Copecito, and their representative. </li></ul><ul><li>Interview with one of the developers. </li></ul><ul><li>On-site observation </li></ul>
  7. 13. Basic demographics <ul><li>Average monthly income: $161 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(range: 50-400) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Water comes from a gravity-driven aqueduct </li></ul><ul><li>93% of respondents had electricity in their homes. </li></ul><ul><li>54% completed primary school, 8% completed secondary school, and 3% have a university degree </li></ul>
  8. 14. Employment
  9. 15. Community Life <ul><li>Do you like living in your community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, a lot: 53% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, average: 47% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If so, why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s calm/for the people: 53% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The environment/location: 30% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Birthplace: 10% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Artisan community: 5% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I like everything: 2% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you belong to a community organization? If so, which? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No :77% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church : 13% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Health Committee :10% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The School :3% </li></ul></ul>
  10. 16. Problems in the Community: <ul><li>What would like to see changed or improved in the community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A community/recreational area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better employment opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better roads </li></ul></ul>
  11. 17. Whose responsibility is it to fix things? <ul><li>The government, local, national:47% </li></ul><ul><li>The community working with the government: 16% </li></ul><ul><li>The community on its own: 13% </li></ul><ul><li>Only one person thought the businesses involved had some responsibility. </li></ul>
  12. 18. About the projects <ul><li>Do you think they will impact the community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, strongly or very strongly:37% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More or less/depends : 24% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No : 27% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I don’t know : 10% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not know they were being built : 3% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you expect these impacts to be positive or negative? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive: 30% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative: 30% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of both, it depends: 30% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I don’t know: 10% </li></ul></ul>
  13. 19. Con’t <ul><li>Employment expectations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good: 40% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad: 40% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I don’t know/depends: 17% </li></ul></ul>
  14. 20. What types of effects do you forsee from the development projects? <ul><li>The cost of living will increase </li></ul><ul><li>They will bring more employment </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>They won’t impact the community </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know much about them </li></ul><ul><li>Depends </li></ul><ul><li>The foreigners are going to change our lifestyle </li></ul><ul><li>More businesses will be built </li></ul><ul><li>They will restrict access to water </li></ul><ul><li>They will damage the environment </li></ul>
  15. 21. Interview with Daniel Orobio of Brisas del Copecito <ul><li>What importance does the surrounding community have for your project? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It does not matter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is your opinion on the possible integration of the development with the community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It will provide it with direct employment opportunities during the construction phase, and indirect employment afterwards as caretakers, gardeners, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Average selling price of a home in the development: 285,000 USD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(average lot price in nearby second development: 52,000 USD) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>*Note: his project does not have an environmental impact study in ANAM, even though he attested to having begun the construction in 1999. </li></ul>
  16. 22. Comments from Antonio Popé <ul><li>The villagers need transportation more than anything else to be able to get to other jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>I have no power to fight the developers, the villagers have other concerns for now and the developers have no respect for us. </li></ul><ul><li>The national government does not pay attention to us either. </li></ul>
  17. 23. So…put it all together. <ul><li>Sustainable Development? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental protection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… .And you get a complete disconnect. </li></ul>
  18. 24. <ul><li>Aly Dagang,Ph.D., program director </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Ariel Rodriguez, of the University of Panama, primary advisor </li></ul><ul><li>Antonio Popé, representative from El Copecito and guide in my on-location work. </li></ul>Thanks to…

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