The following environmental restoration cases are representative examples of ecology and environment protection projects in Korea. These policies were intended to maintain environmental conditions without damaging the motive power for industrial development during economic growth of Korea.
1. Saemaul Movement
Saemaul Movement was a national movement and rural policy, implemented in all parts of the country during the 1970s. Saemaul Movement was a major factor to improve forest greening projects and raise farm income in Korea. Also, it had contributed to raise the awareness of the public, including farmers, and to afforestation of the country. Many developing countries have a significant interest in the Saemaul Movement in Korea, and want to share its experience.
2. Volume Based Waste Fee System
In 1995, a volume-based waste fee system was launched to reduce waste, by making the person who disposes of waste pay a processing cost in proportion to the amount of waste being thrown away. As described in [Trend in the Quantity of Domestic Waste Treated], the amount of processed domestic waste has fallen dramatically since implementation in 1995.
[Trend in the Quantity of Domestic Waste Treated]
Source: ##3D_LAYER##Ministry of Environment (2011), p.25, national statistics portal, estimated populations by age (city/do)##3D_TEXT:Ministry of Environment (2011), p.25, national statistics portal, [estimated populations by age (city/do)##3D_LINK:http://kosis.kr/eng/##3D_LAYER_END##
3. Restoration of Lake Shihwa
Lake Shihwa was originally planned as a freshwater lake to provide agricultural areas that utilize the reclaimed land around the lake, and to supply industrial complexes with water. However, the lake had suffered from environmental deterioration and water pollution that it became nicknamed the ‘Lake of Death.’ The effort to restore Lake Shihwa began in 1996 and the tidal power plant was constructed to contribute to the production of new and renewable energy using its seawall. Lake Shihwa is an example of development projects that were implemented without environmental considerations during Korea’s economic development. Yet, the process of overcoming environmental harm, introducing a methodical management system and producing new and renewable energy with a seawall based tidal power plant has become highly regarded.
4. Restoration of Ecological Stream of Taehwa River in Ulsan
In 1962, Ulsan had been designated as the ‘Ulsan Industrial District,’ with large corporations and factories constructed in the city. During this period, the Taehwa River was polluted by indiscriminate sewage and wastewater from plants, becoming a river synonymous with death. In order to overcome the negative image of urban pollution, Ulsan declared ‘Ecopolis Ulsan Declaration 2004’ and the Ministry of Environment also established the ‘Making the Ecological River 10-Year Plan (2006~2015)’ in 2007. The water quality of Taehwa River has improved as a result of aggressive efforts by the Ministry of Environment and Ulsan.
5. ##3D_LAYER##Restoration of Cheonggye Stream##3D_TEXT:Seoul Museum of History##3D_LINK:http://blog.naver.com/seoulmuse/30097311621##3D_LAYER_END##
The Cheonggye Stream Restoration Project is a city government-led public project that restored the stream. Since the restoration project, Cheonggye area has started getting attention as a new residence community. In addition, Cheonggye stream formed wind ways which mitigated the heat island phenomenon in Seoul by 2~5%.
The Cheonggye Stream Restoration Project was not only an effort to restore a city-center stream; it was also a project that had good policy implications from a historical, cultural, environmental and economic perspective. Thus, developed countries, such as the United States and Japan, as well as developing countries, are showing great interest.