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A Four Rivers Project Summary

The Economist has a neat little summary of the current state of LMB’s Four Rivers Project, which has drawn criticism from many quarters for its failure to protect threatened species as well as its budgetary excesses.  The article is here.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • yuna

    I’d just read yesterday in a poll, the support 4the4rivers has overtaken the opposition, funny that I would read about it in English in a publication called “Dredging Today”. That definitely belongs in the Guest Publication Round of “Have I got News for you”

  • keith

    Am I the only person who has supported the ‘Four Rivers Project’ since it was announced. I think it’s a damn good idea?

    Why?

    Environmental reasons: There is the argument that endangered flora and fauna will be damaged – This is a very short sighted view, Korea’s environment is already knackered. Waterways are a very good way for different creatures moving around the country. Korea’s rivers have traditionally been a place to dispose of human waste and garbage, that’s hardly conducive to a healthy fish-avian-animal population. Have any of you guys been hiking recently? You’re lucky if you see so much as a small rodent or a few magpies, no deer, no foxes, no bears, few rabbits.

    Korea has huge problems managing its water resources, North Korea unleashes a dam and people die! Is that cool? Of course not! By managing Korea’s huge summer monsoon rains and storing them drinking water will be available from the tap, also people will be employed managing the improved river systems. Plus the huge construction protects Korea’s internal economy and keeps working class people gainfully employed.

    Tourism-Leisure:

    There are many beautiful shallow rivers in Korea, how nice it would be to be able to take a boat out and go fishing! It’s very hard to do that right now, most boats don’t like bashing into rocks. Increase the depth of the river and slow the flow and let’s all go fishing for trout and bass! That sounds like a wonderful way to use up a weekend.

    Commercial: Britain’s industrial revolution would have never happened without the canal system. Britain’s (really Brunel’s) canal and railway system made this possible, carrying many goods by water is far less wasteful than carrying them in a truck. The British now use their canals for leisure, as do the French. There is nothing nicer than sitting on a canal boat, leisurely cruising down a waterway and supping on a cold beer. Tourists pay up to 2000 USD a week to cruise Britain’s beautiful canals! Other people buy them and live on them.

    2MB’s plan about using-creating navigable waterways in Korea is a winner. When I get the chance to vote next election (I’m f-5 now) I’ll vote for the candidate who supports 2mb’s river plans.

    Waterways and rivers are used for leisure in most countries, in Korea they’re generally used as places to get rid of rubbish in. O

  • eujin

    I used to go fishing in the beautiful canals of Britain. I once caught a two-pound black ribbed nobler.

  • iwshim

    Keith

    Pay with your own tax won’s – not mine or my childrens.

    Korea does not need your “I am from the government and I am here to help you” thinking.

    If it is such a good idea then have private enterprise organize it, pay for it and manage it.

    If it as good idea as you say it is let the private sector run it – not my tax money.

  • Pingback: Four Rivers Don’t Make for One Legacy | Left Flank

  • keius

    Heck, all i can say is…if South Korea is that rich and has the dough for it, might as well go for it. It can’t be any worse than the excess spending that the US has been doing. 17 billion is a drop in the bucket really. Just toss it into the 300 billion US$(???) South Korean nation debt. Too bad this project has no way of paying for itself.

    Only time will tell if this thing was a good idea. In the long term, it most likely will seem beneficial. The real issue is whether or not that money could have been better spent on something better.

    As bad or as good an idea as China’s “3 gorges dam” was, at least it’s supposed to pay for itself over a decades time. iirc, it’s already paid for 1/3 of it’s construction cost in electricity generated.

    The value of the 4 rivers project will be alot more subjective.

  • R. Elgin

    . . . North Korea unleashes a dam and people die! Is that cool?

    Please, that rhetoric is *so* old-school Hannara. Shame on you.

    Suffice it to say that these rivers have problems because there is mismanagement of natural resources in both private and government sectors. I remember some of “Nomad”‘s more pungent observations about our host’s horrible fishing and pollution habits. LMB needs to incorporate an education program along with this project to help educate the public about managing Korea’s natural resources so as to improve public awareness of problems and of potential solutions, though the project itself is not a perfect solution either nor is it really environmentally-friendly. It is a bit difficult to encourage environmental awareness when the current administration has gone out of their way to beat down what flawed environmental NGOs there are in Korea. If the government had real balls, they might help establish an environmental NGO that is stringently dedicated to keeping out political bias from their organization but this would be almost impossible given this political environment. I can only hope they will focus on improving awareness through textbooks and special unbiased public outreach projects. Korea is a fine country and with increased public awareness of these problems and the public’s support in solving them, Korea can be better for everyone.

    As for promoting tourism — that again is something that would require education and the right kind of PR campaign that has constantly eluded the officials within Korean Government through time; it’s a tricky thing to do. “Keith” Koreans are not going to flock to the canals, rivers or coasts for “tourism”, they are going to try to make money on it, such as the land speculation that accompanied the Grand Canal proposal. (hi-rise apartments and sailboats in the mountains, along the canal!)

  • http://twitter.com/wineworm_mitch wineworm

    It is a life-threatening artificial waterway, not “Nature.”
    Here is a very good article by the Hankyoreh on the Four Rivers Project. The Hankyoreh is one of national newspapers in South Korea and is considered as the most reliable newspaper in the country.
    http://koreawetlands.blogspot.com/2010/04/decoding-four-rivers-confusion.html

  • Ut videam

    The Hankyoreh is one of national newspapers in South Korea and is considered as the most reliable newspaper in the country.

    … by candlelight zombies and North Korean fifth columnists, sure.