DS will return to Panama in 2015 on its third mission looking into the role of the Peninsula Principles in guiding planned relocation due to climate change. We will expand our presence in the country, working closely with the Gunayala Assembly as well as local and national government officials to identify the best way forward for the relocation of the more than 30,000 Gunayala people to the safer mainland.
We will continue to refine the application of the Peninsula Principles, and continue to encourage the government and the communities themselves to further expand their use of the Principles in identifying viable solutions to their plight.
The mission will be carried out by Colombian human rights lawyer Carlos Arenas, who has twice previously been to Panama with DS. He will be joined by internationally renowned resettlement expert Professor Anthony Oliver-Smith. A new DS report will emerge from the mission, aiming to identify particular policy and legal measures that could be undertaken to best ensure that the traditional mistakes often associated with relocation are avoided, and that best-case resettlement options are followed.
During the mission the team will run a workshop in Panama City, as well as a workshop in Gardi Sugdub, discussing the application of the Peninsula Principles, the current relocation prospects of the Gunayala people, and the prevailing government views on the matter.