World Wetlands Day 2000: Republic of South Korea

24/01/2000

Green Korea United plans WWD protest for Saemangum

Hello! I am Jung Youn-Koung from Green Korea United, South Korea. I would like to inform you of our activities to celebrate WWD 2000.

In Korea, Saemangum reclamation project, the largest of reclamation project in the world have been proceeding since 1991. This project aims at reclaim 40,100 ha of tidal flat by the construction of a 33km seawall for agriculture, industry and aquaculture. It would also create an international port and a 11,800ha freshwater lake.

But Saemangum is a very important and expansive tidal flat that was formed from sediments carried down the Mankyung and Tongjin Rivers being deposited as they met South Korea's shallow West Sea. And also Saemangum tidal flat is a healthy and productive wildlife habit. It supports 158 species of fish, 76.9% of all fish species found in the West Sea. It also supports a large fishing industry and provides the country's supply of Asian hard calm.

Saemangum tidal flat has recently been recognized as the main waterbird stopover in South Korea. Over 20,000 shorebirds stopover here as they move along the East Asia - Australasian Flyway from Australia to Siberia during spring and summer. In 1998, more than 85,000 birds were recorded at Saemangum, 12 species at numbers greater than 1% of their estimated entire global population. 25 species have been recorded over a longer period in numbers greater than 1% of their entire population.

Green Korea United has been active to stop this reclamation project, for example, opinion polling, conducting regular discussion and meeting, leading protests, meeting with key Government officials, water sampling and education the community on important of tidal flats, tidal flat tours, migratory bird watching and cultural ecology excursion.

We will continue to do movement to stop this project. We will proceed more intensive activities, celebrating WWD 2000. Our plans are as follows:

1. We will have a ceremony to plant junipers in Saemangum tidal flat with other environment organizations, local community and citizens to pray the conservation of wetland, to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits, and to stop Saemangum project on 2nd February, 2000. There will be a Photo exhibition about Saemangum tidal flat, a funeral of Saeman project, and performance to conserve, etc.

2. After this event, we, with local community, start a 100-day all-night struggle for the cancellation of Saemangum Reclamation Project in front of Saemangum exhibition. During this struggle, we will run the anti-Saemangum exhibition to inform the public of value of Saemangum tidal flat and impacts of reclamation.

3. We are also planning to file a lawsuit to save the wetlands for our future generations and to stop the reclamation of wetlands in Korea.

During 100 days since WWD 2000, it will have been the special days to protect the wetlands, especially tidal flat in Korea. We will send to you to know our activities, such as, process and result, etc.

I would like to ask you to send a supporting statement and letter to the President Kim Dae-jung in Korea (Fax : +822 770 0695). And could I ask you to send the original brochure and some posters by mail? I think it will be useful for our events and activities.

Yours sincerely,
Jung, Youn-Koung
Policy team of Green Korea United
1004 Garden Tower 98-78 Woonni-dong Jongro-ku
Seoul, Korea 110-350
e-mail : yk71jung@hanmail.net
Tel : (82-2)747-8500 / Fax : (82-2) 766-4180
Web: http://www.greenkorea.org 

 

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