Panama scored well overall on the EDI legal indicators, with a very good score on the Transparency Pillar and good scores for the Participation and Justice pillars. For the Transparency pillar, the public has the right to request environmental information from the government, and access to information must be affordable. All relevant government agencies must make environmental information proactively available to the public. Regarding the Participation pillar, government agencies must account for public comments when making decisions that impact the environment, but have discretion whether to seek public input during the preparation of environmental regulations. As for the Justice pillar, the public can challenge a range of government decisions and appeal refusals to disclose information. However, there are no legal assistance mechanisms to remove societal and financial barriers so that the poor and marginalized can use courts to hold governments accountable. By addressing these issues, Panama could ensure that environmental information is made publicly available, public input is included in environmental rulemaking, and the public can effectively hold governments accountable for decisions that negatively impact the environment.
Visit the Environmental Democracy Index to explore the EDI score.