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Words of Dr. Gustavo Garcia de Paredes at the signing of the renewal of the Collaboration Agreement between the University of Panama and STRI

May 30, 2011

Words of Dr. Gustavo Garcia de Paredes at the signing of the renewal of the Collaboration Agreement between the University of Panama and STRI

The Smithsonian Institute is a long-time friend of the Panamanian people, having been in our country for more than 100 hundred years

“For the University of Panama, the signing of this Collaboration Agreement with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute assumes the characteristics of a strategic alliance with science, with knowledge, with cutting-edge scientific research, an alliance that will undoubtedly produce important benefits not only for our researchers and our teachers, who will be the direct recipients of the results, but also for the general population, for the people, who are the raison d'être of all science, of all technology.

. Its presence dates back to the time of the construction of the Panama Canal, when the first biological expedition arrived in our country to study the changes that this monumental project would cause in the flora and fauna of the region. This small beginning over a century ago evolved into one of the world's most renowned tools for studying ecological systems and wildlife, through its contributions to human knowledge.

Its participation in events related to the scientific experience, including the strengthening of environmental education programs, is well known. In July of last year, it inaugurated the Marine Species Touch Pool in the Punta Culebra Nature Center on the Amador Causeway. Rays, starfish and sea cucumbers play their role in an effort to promote learning about marine life.

This agreement with the Smithsonian is founded on the goals pursued by the University of Panama in the vast field of scientific research in the service of environmental education. It also seeks to contribute to research aimed at environmental protection.

The Alliance forged today between the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of Panama will continue to bear fruit that will enrich our knowledge about the biodiversity of our Isthmus and contribute to the formation of human resources of the highest caliber, for the benefit of the entire world.

Today, the University of Panama is excited, pleased, and at the same time proud, to be taking this transcendental step in its academic and scientific life through the signing this Agreement. Thank you”

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