• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is the Panama Canal Sustainable?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is the Panama Canal Sustainable? Introduction The Panama Canal was completed in 1914 by the United States. The 51 mile long route cuts through Panama at the narrowest point between North and South America to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Panama is in Central America between Columbia and Costa Rica. The Panama Canal The canal was built to and save ships from Europe and Africa going the entire way around the bottom tip of South America (the red route on the map), to reach western Asia. The canal cuts through Panama and allows most ships to pass through it so save on cost and time (the green route on the map). By building this canal, shipping has been given an enormous advantage, as ships no longer have to sail around the tip of South America to reach either ocean and sailing time is drastically reduced. Investigating the natural environment The climate in Panama is hot and humid, with a prolonged rainy season (May to January) and a short dry season (January to May). The region's normal daily temperature is 26 degrees Celsius and varies little throughout the year, perhaps 2-3 degrees. ...read more.

Middle

They make their 'houses' out of anything they can find, corrugated iron, tyres and the like. These shantytowns accommodate only the poorest of the population as the richer citizens can afford the higher house prices in the city. This rapid urbanisation and the development of the shantytowns makes Panama City much more polluted. The shantytowns sprawl out from the City centre and start to intrude on the rainforests, then posing an ecological threat and threatening the sustainability of the Panama Canal. Urbanisation level This graph shows the percentage of urbanisation over the past 15 years and the predicted levels of the next 20 years. According to this graph urbanization is set to increase steadily over the next 25 years. The Panamanian government are moving people into the rainforest to give them a chance to rebuild lives and to escape the mass urbanisation and unhygienic conditions of the shantytowns. This relieves the congestion in the city and gives people new opportunities. Investigating the Economic Environment The Panama Canal is generating a lot of money for the people of Panama; it is not only a strong business and a power source, but a tourist attraction too. ...read more.

Conclusion

Solutions The water in the lakes has been going down because of deforestation. The government have made a new "organic law" that allows the government to have the final say for any projects in the watershed zone. Three million dollars is being set aside to combat any environmental plans and satellite imaging is being set up so the government can view the area on a much larger scale and can see the real extent of the damage. This should enable the government to act quickly if they can see a potential threat. The Government must also regulate urbanisation as a spread of Panama City's unplanned, chaotic urbanization into the watershed would spell disaster for the canal, electricity supplies, and clean drinking water. However, the government are not perhaps taking the issue as seriously as they should be. In 1995, the government gave permission for a four-lane road to be built in the lower catchment of the watershed, ploughing straight through the national park. The Panama Canal can be sustainable if the correct precautions are taken to ensure that urbanisation and deforestation do not increase any more, otherwise, they will spiral out of control and the panama canal will have to close, ending many, many businesses in the local area and around the world. Catherine Sweetman 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. What are the effects of Deforestation?

    The soil infertility has caused the large trees to develop a highly efficient system of nutrient extraction. Tree roots can extend up to 100 meters along the ground from the tree trunk and form a root mat 30 centimeters (a foot)

  2. Can sustainable development be achieved in cold environments? Discuss.

    Although wildlife refuges and national parks in Alaska and Canada give animals added protection from hunting, their lives are also threatened by toxic pollutants. Pesticides can make its way through a food chain and kill whole families of animals. For example, if a falcon eats prey that has indirectly ingested

  1. Virgin Atlantic Sustainable Development Global Warming

    In the developing countries such as Bangladesh the threat is far worse as they lack the infrastructure to protect the land from being flooded. (UNEP 2005) 2.1.3 Health As a result of global warming, extreme high temperatures will result in an increase of heat related deaths.

  2. What Are the Effects of Rapid, Large-scale Clearance of Tropical Rainforests?

    cheap electricity; this is used in industry and it has helped the economy to develop further. I would like to repeat that the exploitation of the tropic rainforest creates many jobs, relieving pressure on my government, who would be obliged to help if these people where unemployed.

  1. For the business enterprise, sustainable development means taking in business strategies and activities which ...

    Sustainable development is conceived as a state of powerful equilibrium between "societal demand for a preferred development path and the supply of environmental and economic goods and services to meet this demand." The issues of "needs, perimeters on development, the future, inter- and intra-generational equity and contemporary gratification of economic efficiency, environmental protection and social justice goals" are emphasized.

  2. Management of woodland area.

    Humidity Humidity in the forest is needed for the plants. Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air. It is essential for germination of seeds as they are growing. Plants, which are near ponds, have a lot of humidity around them.

  1. A report concerning new business development in the local area, which is the Paddington ...

    The council is interested in the economic growth, which is the total output of the economy. Gross domestic profit can be defined as the sum total of the value of a country's output over the course of a year, and the council naturally expects and wishes an increase of this output.

  2. Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Kenya

    The Ogieks allege that those people allocated the land were not members of their community but from the area around the forest. The forest was still gazetted and under the custody of the forest department. The forest department was not involved in the clear felling of the forest and the allocation of the land.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work