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  • Human Rights Research Center

Climate Change Threatening Indigenous Guna People in Panama

August 1, 2023

[Image Source: Arnulfo Franco/AP Photo]

Cited article by Al Jazeera


HRRC joins Human Rights Watch in calling for Panama to provide the promised assistance to the Guna people residing on Gardi Sugdub, and on the other islands of Guna Yala. While these communities need assistance soon, this is coastal community is currently facing critical impacts of climate change.


Article Summary


Climate change is causing rising sea levels and threatening the island of Gardi Sugdub. The local indigenous leaders are becoming increasingly concerned that the Panama government will not follow through on promises to relocate them. A report by Human Rights Watch details the "ongoing government delays" which are posing a direct threat to the indigenous community inhabiting the island.


The government has been promising to provide better infrastructure and homes on higher ground since 2010. Approximately 1,300 Guna people reside on the island and are facing crowding from yearly flooding that is permanently damaging their homes. Approximately 38 other islands in Guna Yala are anticipated to need relocation soon, amounting to approximately 28,000 people.

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