Coiba opens a virtual window on Panama to the world

Now the whole world can virtually see Coiba National Park, deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005 for its unique characteristics.

The website was created to serve as a resource to access the results of scientific research and details on the history and biodiversity of the reserve, which contains 36 mammal, 147 bird and 39 amphibian and reptile animal species, in addition to 45,000 plant species, explained a press release from the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT).

The crown jewel of Panamanian nature also has the most extensive stretch of coral reefs in the eastern Pacific (17 km2), making it an ideal destination for national and international scientific research. Internet users will be able to observe and appreciate this biological wealth through press releases, videos, audio recordings and a photo gallery.


The website will have a section for scientists to announce their work results, which was the original purpose of creating this site, as established in Law 44 of the Coiba National Park. “SENACYT is required to disclose the scientific work that is done here,” stated Milagros Mainieri, from the Research and Development branch of this institution. Upon accessing the 'Research and Development' portal, the name and photo of the researchers who are conducting scientific projects immediately appear.


The portal has a restricted area for board members, the scientific committee and the Coiba National Park Special Zone of Marine Protection. Each of the institutions and organizations involved in the ecological reserve has a link to their site on this webpage. “This site gives others the opportunity to get to know the place and the type of work done in this protected area,” said the SENACYT official.

The cost to create the website was approximately $10,000 dollars. It will be updated monthly by a communication subcommittee, comprised of members of the MarViva Foundation, SENACYT, Smithsonian Panama, National Association of Nature Conservation (ANCON) and the University of Panama (UP).

It took six months to gather the digital information presented on the website. This information was first reviewed by the Coiba National Park Board before being uploaded online, explained Mainieri.

The reserve covers 270,125 hectares and is one of the globally most important and largest protected marine parks in the world, stressed a SENACYT press release.