UNESCO Chair for Dialogues on Sustainability:

Panama Research and Integrated Sustainability Model

A platform for multidisciplinary research in sustainability science


  • To develop a platform for sustainability science. PRISM will contain two main elements. First, it will contain a countrywide spatially-explicit computational model, which will ambitiously endeavor to model the environment, society and economics of the entire country across space and time. Second, PRISM will consist of a network of international and Panamanian researchers, providing substantial human capital and multidisciplinary expertise.

  • To enhance sustainability training and outreach activities. Local researchers and students will be central to the development of PRISM, thus offering unique training opportunities. Further, the PRISM computational model will facilitate communication by allowing stakeholders to interactively change policy inputs and view the effect on sustainable development goals.

  • To facilitate evidence-based decision-making by exploring different plausible “futures” through computer simulations, and assessing the likelihood of realizing those future scenarios, given alternative policies. We envisage that Panamanian stakeholders will define the sustainability goals and policy options. PRISM’s role will be to provide the science behind the projected consequences of those choices.