8 June 2001
Dear Sir, Madam,
Friends of the Earth International has understood that you are considering are restarting the Saemankum Reclamation Project. We would respectfully like to add our voices to those of Korean and international NGOs in urging you not to do so.
The project poses severe environmental and social risks. Water pollution problems have already being experienced at smaller reclamation sites with greater water exchange and a less urbanized upstream catchment area. It is unlikely that it will be possible to conduct agricultural activities on any created land, as the case of Shihwa lake shows. The project may also threaten food security, as the tidal-flats, shallows, and adjacent sea areas support a massive fisheries and mariculture industry will be lost through reclamation. Lastly, the project will threaten regional biodiversity, and is in clear breach of the spirit of both the Convention on Biological Diversity (ratified by South Korea in 1994) and the Ramsar Convention, which South Korea acceded to in 1997.
Therefore, we hope you will decide to put an end to this project without further delay. We will follow all efforts being made by your government to conserve the area with interest.
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth
P.O. Box 19199
1000 GD Amsterdam
Tel: 31 20 6221369
Fax: 31 20 6392181