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Panama: First Country in the World to Introduce Laws to Protect Sea Turtles

By 6 November 2023No Comments

Environmental Politics – Panama Introduces Laws and Legislations to Protect Sea Turtles

Panama is a country located in Central America with a total population of approximately 4.3 million individuals. The country is famous for its gastronomic culture, breathtaking landscapes, and beaches but most recently for its implementation of laws to protect endangered sea turtles suffering from pollution.


Source: Rough Guides

Indeed, on March 1st, 2023, as a result of plastic pollution in oceans, the Panama government introduced a new set of laws that gives sea turtles the right to live in an environment without any form of pollution and other “human impacts” that could cause harm, discomfort and affect the biological composition of turtles.


Source: GRID Arendal

The country took this decision in an attempt to encourage individuals to increase their awareness about the endangered marine animals that live in the surrounding seas of Panama. It can also be deduced that the decision was equally a trial to force its population to be more mindful of nature on daily basis.

Source: The Senior

Furthermore, when Laurentino Cortizo; the current president of Panama signed the agreement to instate laws for the protection of sea turtles in March 2023, the citizens of Panama were relieved and excited by the perspective of seeing more so-called rights for nature in modern-day political actions.

Source: LatAM Investor

Marine Biologist Callie Veelenturf said that such laws as the ones launched in Panama will hold governments, individuals and corporations accountable for their treatment of sea turtles”, thereby penalizing and authorizing sanctions against poor treatment towards marine animals affected by pollutive activities.

She added: “We will be able to hold governments, corporations and public citizens legally accountable for violations of the rights of sea turtles”.

Source: The University of Rhode Island

The concept behind Panama’s introduction of such policies is to treat animals with the same degree of interest as humans, meaning that any form of harm towards animals would be equivalent “morally” as harmful gestures to humans and would subsequently be judged by the same authorities and procedures.

Source: SEE Turtles Panama

By applying various laws to protect sea turtles, Panama became among the first countries in the world to protect animals with legal codes that would dissuade people to waste plastic.

Also, the country officially became the first nation to implement laws to protect sea turtles on a legal aspect which is perfectly understandable given the number of sea turtles in its nearby seas.



  • ABC News <>

  • Euronews Green <>

  • Tourism Panama <>

  • Wikipedia International <>