Stop the 4 rivers project in S. Korea sign now

We urge the Korean government to stop the Four Rivers Project !

The destruction of wetland under the name of Green Growth still goes on since Ramsar COP 10 in South Korea 2008. The Korean government advertises the 4 River Project as a leading project of Green GrowthЇ and as a new conceptual flood control policy to prepare for climate changeЇ. However, the 4 River Project is nothing more than a large scale civil engineering construction project that cuts natural water flow by building 16 large dams and embankments and dredging 570,000,000 in aggregate of riverbeds. Damming up the rivers and dredging riverbeds on a large scale will cause severe water pollution and ecosystem degradation.

The Korean government planned to invest 22.2 trillion KRW, 8\% of its annual budget, in the project which will cause tremendous environmental destruction. To fund this destructible project, the government has cut public service budgets set for social welfare, railroad construction and so on. Moreover, environmental impact assessment was undertaken only in 4 months along with cultural heritage research in 3 months throughout all the regions around the 4 rivers, which found that many of the heritage sites will be submerged. This plan is to build 1,376km bicycle paths and construct 16 dams by digging up river beds that amount to 570 million . This plan is supposed to be completed within his 5 year term. A large scaled government project is going on for such a short period. Biological diversity in the river habitats rapidly is being reduced and river ecosystems are seriously devastated.

Convention on Biological Diversity points that human activities is one of the remarkable reason to reduce the biodiversity. We are concerned that four rivers project with constructing huge dams and digging rivers violates CBD. A huge amount of dredging and dam construction all over the four rivers project areas makes the flow of rivers slow. Pools and shallows which has kept riverЇs habitat diversity by providing good habitats are all disappearing due to dredging from the Four Major Rivers Project. The 84.75\% of the main streams of four rivers would be changed natural rivers to artificial rivers. This change might affect sensitive species like Mergus squamatus , Aster altaicus var. uchiyamae (Endangered II wild plant). We are deeply concerned about endangered fresh water fish species will be drastically reduced.

Especially wetlands along the Nakdong river has the important stopover site for Hooded crane, Grus monacha (Vulnerable of RED DATA BOOK, IUCN). Hapyeong wetland in Gumi is a very important stopover site for almost 5000 Hooded cranes. Recently sand bars in the wetland and nearby rice paddies which are very important for the birds to stopover site has been destroyed by huge dredging.

According to Korea Wetland NGO Network (KWNN), 124 site of wetlands near main stream and branch of the four rivers will be expected to be flooded permanently, disappeared by dredging and disconnected by construction of bicycle roads. The number of the affected wetlands is almost double than the report of Korean government.

On August 24, 2010 Executive Secretary of UN Convention on Biological Diversity gave South Korean President Lee the CBD Award for his contribution to biodiversity conservation. We hope that Korean government would be the leader of the conservation of biodiversity on the earth. Cancelling the 4 rivers project will be first step for it.
We urge that the Korean government stop 4 rivers project right now.

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Stacey BrightBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
President Lee Myeong Bak of South Korea

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