Environment and History
Environment and History 7(2001): 201-217
During the 20th century, two different ways of relating with nature interacted in Panama. In the Canal Zone, under control of the United States from 1903 to 1977, great emphasis was given to the conservation of water for the operation of the waterway, and forests for its military protection. In the South-west of the country, extensive cattle raising, present since the 16th century, expanded rapidly, partly as a result of demand from the Canal Zone and its surroundings. The future interactions between the two areas, now under one nation-state, is an issue of key importance for sustainable development in Panama.
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