Activists are always asking for signatures or for emails to be sent to embassies, officials etc, but doing so can – and does – work. I’ve just posted the following on the Oriental Birding Yahoo Group (which is highly recommended for anyone interested in the birds and conservation issues of East and South Asia) and would ask anyone reading this to please follow the links below and make your concern about the permanent flooding of another critically-important wetland in ROK (South Korea) known:
Dear Michael (and OBers)
Thank you for passing on the highly relevant article in your previous message (full of very useful insights). I’m sure that you agree that it would be wonderful if media and those working in the climate change/green energy fields were to become properly interested in the Incheon Tidal Power Plant development…it seems to us that what is being proposed now in the ROK might lead to a boom in similar proposals elsewhere in the world?
Following decades of large-scale reclamation/landclaim mostly for agriculture (that I’m sure many OBers will be all too aware of), the newest round of threats to many of the ROK’s remaining tidal-flat areas are now indeed these massive tidal power plants – not floating buoys like earlier proposed in the UK’s Severn Estuary or small trial projects, but vast reservoirs, requiring the impoundment of some huge and regionally critical tidal-flats (one error in the essay you linked to: Birds Korea estimates that the area of remaining intertidal wetland in the ROK is now only c. 110,000ha, less than a quarter of historical area, with about two-thirds of this loss already occurring in only the past 25 years! And some people
still wonder why East Asia’s shorebirds are in such steep decline…).
One of these proposed mega-projects, the Incheon Tidal Power Plant referred to, aims to impound tidal-flats used by the world’s breeding population of globally Endangered Black-faced Spoonbill, an area also used by internationally important concentrations of Vulnerable Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis during migration, and by overwintering Endangered Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis. It’s a beautiful and important site, yet the power plant proponents are now seeking carbon credits for this proposed power plant, because without them the development would not appear to be economically viable.
Due to the carbon credits application process, details on this proposal have now been made open to public comment (until December 12th) on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It provides a rare opportunity to see the way in which genuinely held environmental concerns can be dismissed by developers. Sobering to consider in the light of this decidedly ‘unfriendly’ proposal that the ROK is host nation both for the Living Ocean World Expo and the IUCN World Conservation Congress next year.
I might be wrong, but it seems reasonable to me to assume that success in getting carbon credits for such a destructive tidal power plant proposal would encourage even more proposals for tidal barrages or tidal power plants in bird-rich estuaries elsewhere around the world? Developers the world over will be watching this one with interest…
For more on this, with links to Incheon Power Plant project details and where comments can be posted, please go to:
Charlie Moores, Birds Korea