Swamps are on the decline across the country. According to a three-year research on the nation's 1,408 swamps by the National Institute of Environmental Research, 74 has been disappeared while 91 were reduced in size. The troves of bio-ecosystems, teeming with various fauna and flora of primitive quality, have gone into non-existence.
Only 17 out of 165 wetlands turned into dry grassland for some natural reason according to analysis on the causes for disappearance or reduction. Separately, 148 swamps, or 89.7 percent, have been devastated to convert into farmlands or facilities such as roads and golf clubs.
Only 45 wetlands are designated as a preservation zone according to the Wetlands Conservation Act such as swamps around Suncheonman Bay, which is characterized by rare species of animals and plants and excellent purification capabilities. If not categorized as a preservation zone, they may be vulnerable to any form of devastation.
In response, the Ministry of the Environment has included swamps as a key item for environment impact assessment on development projects. The environmental authorities also plan to lead projects to create new swamps that correspond to ones that are to be affected inevitably.