2010-07-25

KFEM Activists Sitting-in at 2 New Dams in South Korea

KFEM Activists Start Sitting-ins at 2 New Dams Construction Sites in South Korea


“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 webmaster@president.go.kr
- Mr. Chung Jong-hwan, Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs chungceo@mltm.go.kr
- Mr. Lee Maanee, Minister of Environment eman2mev@me.go.kr
= with cc to Mr. Ma Yong-un at KFEM/FOE Korea at ma@kfem.or.kr

For more information, please contact Mr. Ma Yong-un at KFEM/FOE Korea via ma@kfem.or.kr.

Thank you very much in advance for your support.
Let the river flow!!!


▲ "SOS 4 Rivers", "Let the Rivers Flow". 3 Environmental activists of KFEM went up to the top of the Ipo Dam which is being built by the 4 Rivers Project in South Korea.


▲ "Let the 4 Rivers Run!" Environmentalists of KFEM went up to the top of the Ipo Dam which is being built by the 4 Rivers Project in South Korea. 

▲ "SOS 4 Rivers", "Let the 4 Rivers Run!" Environmentalists of KFEM went up to the top of the Ipo Dam which is being built by the 4 Rivers Project in South Korea.


▲ "Listen to the Voices of People" Environmentalists of KFEM went up to the top of the Ipo Dam which is being built by the 4 Rivers Project in South Korea.


▲ Two activists of KFEM started sitting-in protest on a tower crane at Haman Dam construction site on the Nakdong River, South Korea. (Photo by Kim Yong-man, Newsis)


▲ Two activists of KFEM started sitting-in protest on a tower crane at Haman Dam construction site on the Nakdong River, South Korea. (Photo by Radioin)

▲ Two activists of KFEM started sitting-in protest on a tower crane at Haman Dam construction site on the Nakdong River, South Korea. (Photo by Radioin)

▲ "Stop the 4 Rivers Project", "Are 4 Rivers Yours? Listem to the Voices of the People".  Two activists of KFEM started sitting-in protest on a tower crane at Haman Dam construction site on the Nakdong River, South Korea. (Photo by Radioin)

▲ Two activists of KFEM are keeping sitting-in protest on a tower crane at Haman Dam construction site on the Nakdong River, South Korea. (Photo by Kim Yong-man, Newsis)


※ Updates:
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.

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2010-07-07

Nakdong River from the Air

It is a news report by the Busan MBC broadcasted on June 13, 2010. It shows that what is happening to the Nakdong River which is being damaged by 8 new dams construction and extensive dredging. The S. Korean government is extracting 440 million cubic meters of sand from the river. Both damming and dredging will cause big negative impacts on the ecosystem and biodiversity of the river which used to have a few important riverine wetlands for birds and other wildlife species.

Rivers Must Flow - a short movie on the 4 Rivers Project

Here is a short movie titled with "Rivers Must Flow".
You will be able to see how beautiful the rivers in South Korea were. Unfortunately the four largest rivers of the country are being destroyed in the name of the "Four Rivers Restoration Project" which builds more than 20 new dams and removing 570 million cubic meters of sand and gravel from the rivers.
The movie was editted by Seopung with photos taken by many people from religious and environmental groups, and Seopung.

video