The students, together with teachers, personnel from the Panamanian Environmental Ministry’s Department of Soil Management and Conservation and our own Team Monkey, performed tests to measure water quality on the grounds of their Institutes and in their communities. These nascent youth groups, called the Environmental Protection Unit (in Tonosi) and the Herd of Adolescent Captains Saving Flora y Fauna (in Las Minas), tested water for pH, dissolved oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, turbidity, and presence of coliform bacteria, as well as general characteristics of the area such as soil and water odor and color, streambank erosion, and other characteristics.
We congratulate our budding citizen scientists! The results of most of their tests show normal levels of different elements (however, they are confirming their results through a professional laboratory analysis), except for the phosphate test that revealed high levels of phosphorus in the water of the El Cacao River of Tonosí that may be due to excessive levels of fertilizers. Thanks to these activities, Las Minas and Tonosi youth are inspired to continue understanding and conserving their natural resources and contribute to a better management of their watersheds.
This initiative was adopted thanks to the combined efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Panamanian Ministry of the Environment, and the Pro Eco Azuero, who are committed to an Azuero peninsula led by youth deeply connected and committed to natural resource sustainability. Stay tuned for more updates about these youth groups throughout the year!