Identifying impacts and threats to vulnerable ecosystems in Guna Yala, Panama

The Guna people live in Guna Yala, an archipelago in which most inhabited islands are threatened by rising sea level caused by climate change. Guna Yala contains 81 per cent of Panama’s reefs and has high levels of biodiversity.1 The Guna undertake fieldwork to analyse and diagnose problems associated with climate change, both in relation to the ecosystem and in relation to their own socio-cultural and economic systems. Through their research, the Guna have been able to identify and monitor several impacts, including increased mortality of coral reefs, drying up of mangroves and erosion of sandy island ecosystems. These have negative impacts not only on biodiversity, but also on the traditional management of the islands by the Guna.

Share this

Additional resources

Documents and publications

Guna vulnerability map

Guna vulnerability map

Primary target

Other relevant targets

Target 14

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals


Submit a case study

If you have a case study that you would like to be considered for the website please get in touch .