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Red Frog Beach Tourist Complex, Panama

The local population achieved to contain the ostentatious deployment of the touristic complex thanks to the Court Supreme has declared in their favor.


The Red Frog Beach project consists of the construction of a gigantic tourist complex on Bastimentos Island. In 2007, the firm sought approval from Panamas national environmental agency, ANAM, to begin phase two of its project, which would include 800 more residential units, luxury hotel facilities and a second marina. By that time, the first phase of the project was still under construction. Opponents claimed the project risks profoundly affecting Bastimentos fragile rainforest, beach and coral-reef habitats and jeopardizing the cultural heritage of the island's indigenous peoples, such as the Ngobe-Bugle, who have consistently voiced their opposition to the Red Frog Beach Club project through direct protests and petitions.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Red Frog Beach Tourist Complex, Panama
State or province:Bocas del Toro
Location of conflict:Bastimentos Island
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project covers 1500 acres (600 ha) and originally envisaged the building of 800 villas, a port for the boats and a golf course.

Project area:600
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/2007
Company names or state enterprises:Red Frog Beach Club Project
Oceans International
IGY Marinas from United States of America
Pillar Panama S.A. from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Ministerio de Ambiente de Panama : ANAM, Supreme Court of Justice
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Alianza Bocas - Panama, Centro de Incidencia Ambiental (Ciam) - Panama
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite the court victory, the project has now been approved, with a new plan which will scale back considerably the project development footprint in order to preserve and showcase the natural environment that already exists on Isla Bastimentos.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Law n.41 from 1998 (general law on the environment)

Law n.24 from 1995 on wildlife

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Supreme Court Decision 2008
[click to view]

Conozca el lodazal: Red Frog Beach Club, Almanaque Azul
[click to view]

Dendrobates pumilio frog biodiversity, 06/11/2005
[click to view]

Seas of mud: Red Frog Beach Club, Almanaque Azul
[click to view]

Petición de los residentes de Bahía Honda, august 2006
[click to view]

En el caso de Red Frog Beach ANAM había ignorado el interés colectivo, J. Arcia, 7/12/2008
[click to view]

Ruling chastises ANAM, La Prensa, 7/12/2008
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Isla Bastimentos Amenazada Online Album
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:515
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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