Friday, March 19, 2010

Four Rivers massive construction/dam/dredging project will destroy rivers, wetlands, and biodiversity in South Korea

Reuters: "South Korea green growth to hurt environment: report":
Lee's government intends to spend 22.2 trillion won ($19.68 billion) to dredge, dam and beautify four major rivers with golf courses and bike trails in a plan that is supposed to increase the supply and quality of fresh water and prevent flooding.

"(It) will impact 50 bird species negatively, causing further declines in several sensitive waterbird species that are ecologically dependent on shallow rivers, flood-plain wetlands and estuaries," the conservation group Birds Korea said in a report released on Thursday.

The group, which has conducted some of the most extensive studies of waterfowl in the country, said the further damming and deepening of rivers through dredging will lead to the decline of feeding grounds and biodiversity.

"We have lost almost all of the natural stretches. This project is going to kill off what little remains," Nial Moores, director of Birds Korea, told Reuters.

Among the species threatened with habitat loss and population declines are several listed globally as critically endangered -- including the spoon-billed sandpiper -- and others South Korea lists as "national natural monuments."

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