“Stop the Destructive Four Rivers Project and Seek to Find Alternatives”
At 04:00, 22 July 2010, 5 KFEM activists occupied a 20 meter high top of the Ipo Dam on the South Han River (or Namhan River) and 40 meter high tower crane at the Haman Dam on the Nakdong River which are under construction as Four Major Rivers Restoration Project. Mr. Yum Hyung-cheol, Director of KFEM Seoul, Mr. Park Pyung-soo, Chair of Executive Committee of KFEM Goyang, and Mr. Jang Dong-bin, Director of KFEM Suwon are sitting in the Ipo Dam on the South Han River and Mr. Choi Soo-young, Director of KFEM Buan and Mr. Lee Hwan-mun, Director of KFEM Jinju are sitting in the tower crane at the Haman Dam on the Nakdong river.
They will keep sitting in there until their requests will be accepted by President Lee Myung-bak and his administration. They said in a statement which was released on the day that “we can not put up with the destructive Four Rivers Project as environmentalists. This is the only thing we can do at the moment because the government would not listen to voices of people and ignores all suggestions from any concerned people”.
The South Korean government published the master plan for the 'Four Major Rivers Restoration Project' on 8 June 2009. The project is building more than 20 new dams on the four largest rivers of the country and dredging 570 million cubic meters of sand and gravel from 691 km long sections of the rivers with total expense of 17.4 billion U.S. dollars which is the tax payers’ money. The project is one of the economic stimulus packages to create jobs in accordance with so-called “Low Carbon & Green Growth” strategy of the S. Korean government.
The four rivers are sources of drinking water for two-thirds of S. Korean population and are home to many wild animals and plants including a lot of endangered and protected species.
We, KFEM, demand that the President Lee Myung-bak;
- to recognize public concerns on the project and stop it immediately
- to create a mechanism to find alternatives to the project
- and to consult with concerned civil society organizations and local people.
Five activists will continue their sit-ins on the top of the dam and the tower crane until Pesident Lee Myung-bak answer to their request. We hope our requests to the government will be accepted and carried out.
* Please write letters to President and Ministers of S. Korea and show your concerns over the 4 Rivers Project.
- Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of Republic of Korea firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Chung Jong-hwan, Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs email@example.com
- Mr. Lee Maanee, Minister of Environment firstname.lastname@example.org
= with cc to Mr. Ma Yong-un at KFEM/FOE Korea at email@example.com
For more information, please contact Mr. Ma Yong-un at KFEM/FOE Korea via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much in advance for your support.
Let the river flow!!!
The two environmental activists who had been sitting in on the 40 meter high tower crane of the Haman Dam construction site for 20 days from July 22nd stopped the sitting-in in the evening of August 10th because a typhoon was approaching. The typhoon was expected to pass near the site early tomorrow morning and there was heavy rain with strong wind at the site.
Leaders of local environmental organizations, civil society organizations and religious groups had a meeting in the afternoon and decided to persuade them to stop the sitting-in. Governor of the Gyeongnam Province and local politicians also came to the site to persuade them.
The two activists had been refusing to stop the sitting-in as their demands for the government to stop the Four Rivers Project, to form a mechanism to review the project were not met. But, they decided to stop it when leaders of local civil society organizations came to the tower crane and refuse to leave in the heavy stormy rain unless the two activists stop the sitting-in and come down to the ground.
The two activists had been arrested by the police after having a short press conference on the ground, but they were released after two day long police custody when the local court dismissed the warrant of arrest submitted by a local prosecutor.