Korea approved 11 new coastal reclamation projects

The government of South Korea approved 11 new coastal wetlands reclamation projects on November 9th. 1,058,000㎡ of coastal wetlands will be reclaimed to provide lands to renewable energy project, shipbuilding industry, port redevelopment, road construction, etc.

As you can see from the table above, some of the public waters and coastal wetlands will be reclaimed to provide lands for private investors and developers such as shipbuilding and energy companies. Because they can possess the land formed by reclaiming public waters and tidal flats, many South Korean companies want to reclaim coastal areas for their own economic benefits.

The natural environment of the Garorim Bay will be affected severely due to the new reclamation project linked to the Garorim Bay Tidal Power Project, especially on tidal flats of 8,000 ha in the bay.

The problem is that such a destructive energy project is promoted by the South Korean government in the name of it's Green Growth National Vision. (http://koreawetlands.blogspot.com/2009/11/impacts-of-tidal-power-projects-of-s.html)

▲Hugh Tidal Flat of the Garorim Bay  ⓒ Lee Pyeong-ju / KFEM Seosan-Taean

South Korea was the host country of the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Wetlands, last year. The Resolution X.22 'Promoting international cooperation for the conservation of waterbird flyways' was adopted at the Ramsar COP10 which states that the Conference of the Contracting Parties "WELCOMES the statement by the Republic of Korea to the 35th meeting of Ramsar’s Standing Committee that intertidal mudflats should be preserved and that no large-scale reclamation projects are now being approved in the Republic of Korea, and ENCOURAGES all Contracting Parties in their efforts to protect such habitats in future and to monitor them and mitigate any past development impacts on or losses to them".

The government of South Korea approved 11 coastal wetland reclamation projects of 8.1㎢ in March this year and approved 11 new reclamation projects of 1.06㎢ again, the day before yesterday. It is hard to believe that South Korean government is following its own statement and the resolutions of the Ramsar Convention.

Such destructive reclamation projects show the reallity of things happening in South Korea in the name of Green Growth and Green New Deal policy.

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