• 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...


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.


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.


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?

    75% of the land is so poor that cultivators are unlikely to get more than a single crop from the soil, before it is completely exhausted. Settlers tend to cut the largest trees, thinking that the soil is the most fertile there, but the rainforest natives know that the places

  2. Virgin Atlantic Sustainable Development Global Warming

    The large bulk of the scientific community say what we are seeing now is linked directly to greenhouse gases." 2.1.2 Sea Levels The earth's oceans will also be affected by global warming. The sea levels are expected to rise due to additional water being released from the melting of glaciers.

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

    This is why the area continues to seek recognition for the principles of adjacency, economic dependence and the land claim in the development of national fisheries policies and allocation decisions affecting Nunavut. The area continue its investment in the Nunavut sealing industry through the development of the export market, the

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

    These are regulated by law in order to protect the general public. Other environmental costs might arise as a result of public opinion. For instance, it may not be illegal to cut down the rainforests in pursuit of the business aims, but it may not be wise if there is a large body of public opinion opposed to it.

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

    Sustainable development impels long-term business strategies to be built around economic growth, environmental excellence and social responsibility. Sustainable development aids with efficiency, development, environmental protection and social justice goals. This paper examines examples of corporations and organizations which have incorporated sustainable development.

  2. Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Kenya

    So far the outsiders have been allocated land but some of the Ogieks are still concentrated in Forest Reserves. Forest excisions The process of forest protection was introduced under the 'East Africa Forest Regulations, 1902' by the first Conservator of Forests.

  1. Environmental audit on premises of a manufacturer and distributor of concrete building blocks.

    Noise pollution. The manufacture of concrete building blocks requires the necessary use of much heavy machinery: large loading shovels to supply the mixing plant with aggregates, the mixing plant itself, the automatic block moulding machines and also the heavy goods vehicles which transport the finished product to construction sites.

  2. This investigation focuses on an area of the west bank of the medina estuary ...

    This being an environmental area, which is evident in the photos (Fig.1) from key question 1, and having the highest number of people may raise the question of whether the environmental quality will suffer and has exceeded its carrying capacity.

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