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Korean Carve-up Continues

Devastating Court Ruling?

According to the South Korean Daum news website and other news agencies, a higher court in Seoul announced earlier today (January 29) that the decision last July to suspend the Saemangeum reclamation project has now been over-ruled, following the appeal of the Ministry of Agriculture. The 40,100ha reclamation project, the largest known project of its kind in the world, is set to continue. As you will know the Saemangeum estuarine system is the site for staging Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann`s Greenshank; and the loss of this site will strike a major blow against the flyway`s migratory water bird populations.The South Korean court today ruled that Mr. Choi-Yul, the former General-Secretary of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, and the main plaintiff in the case first heard in July, has no legal basis to participate in the court process - as he is not from the actual area being directly affected by the reclamation - his concerns can therefore not be formally recognised.

Lawyers opposed to the reclamation who are contesting the case have vowed that they will appeal the case to a higher court still. They must win.

This retrogressive but unsurprising decision (considering politics domestically) comes at a time when 3 of South Korea`s leading spiritual-environmentalists and two respected wetland activists are visiting the United Kingdom, to raise awareness of the issue and to participate in a ritual samboilbae (three-steps-and-one-bow) walk at Snettisham RSPB reserve, on Saturday January 31st.We would like therefore to appeal again, please, to all those who love wetlands and the birds and people they support, to spare just a few moments, and protest this most devastating of projects in the coming days and weeks: please pass this update along to your colleagues and friends; please sign our online petition; http://www.wbkenglish.com/petition01.asp please send letters or mails or phone your local South Korean embassy; please join in a declaration-reading on the upcoming World Wetlands Day; and please, if you live in the UK anywhere near Snettisham, join the walk on Saturday and with a few small steps help get this issue properly covered by the media.

Charlie and Nial Moores, Kim SuKyung http://www.wbkenglish.com wbkenglish@aol.com

4th July 2014