Don't wall it up

Published: Saturday 15 April 2006

South Korea's Supreme Court has resolved a long-standing dispute on the construction of the Saemangeum sea wall. The court ruled in favour of continuing the wall construction, which environmental groups say will be an ecological catastrophe.

The us $3.8 billion project will convert about 40,000 hectares of tidal wetlands into a landfill and a reservoir. The 32 km wall will block the tide and dam the Dongjin and Mangyeung rivers that flow into the Yellow Sea.

Environmentalists claim the wall will harm the habitat of migratory birds which come to the Saemangeum Bay. Questions have been raised about how the land will be used once the tidal flats are filled. Critics called the scheme an instance of pork-barrel politics for South Korea's construction cartel.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.