Urgent Korean rivers petition march 2008

from Birds Korea: Although there are numerous issues that require an urgent response, here as everywhere!, the proposed Korean Grand Canal Project is one of such extreme scale that we would like to ask please for your immediate support, by sending an email, either personalised to us (see below)

Background

In February this year, South Korea's new president took office. One of his main election pledges was to help rebuild the national economy through a series of infrastructure projects, including the construction of a series of new canals, the Grand Canal Project. If completed this project would entail the concreting and canalization of ALL of South Korea's four major rivers, with highly significant negative impacts on possibly eight of the nation's Important Birds Areas, on Upo Ramsar site, and on species such as Scaly-sided Merganser, Mandarin Duck, and both White-naped and Hooded Cranes. For more details, please go to: [petition; defunct URL]

Calls for the start of construction have continued to increase. Worse, in April this year there will be a general election, and soon after (if inadequately opposed) likely the start of construction. What You Can Do For Korea's birds, this issue is clearly one of extreme importance and urgency. Pending further assessment, and as an organisation dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats (with strictly no public opinion on either economics or politics), Birds Korea is helping to promote an ongoing e-mail petition targetting non-Korean nationals that are opposed to the Grand Canal project. This email campaign is run by the Korean Federation for Environmental Movements (KFEM/Friends of the Earth, Korea) and Friends of the Earth International.

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From Ecological Internet (I helped initiate this) South Korea must be convinced not to sacrifice its natural river ecosystems for a cross-country concrete canal that will severely damage the nation's water security
South Korea's new President Lee Myung-bak has proposed a project to connect with canals South Korea's four major rivers (the Yeongsan, Geum, Nakdong and Han). The "Grand Canal" is intended to accommodate 5,000 ton cargo ships and would require dredging, deepening, widening and laying concrete along approximately two thousand kilometers of shallow river courses in South Korea, and perhaps more in North Korea. Such massive canalization of rivers will severely damage the hydrology of whole river systems and have enormous negative impacts upon South Korea's water resources, wetland ecosystems, and riparian biodiversity. Join Korean environmentalists in highlighting the importance of natural ecosystems for national well-being.