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[Opinion] Small Tax Profit May Destroy Mt. Chiri

Posted June. 28, 2001 11:06,   


``Leave Mt. Chiri as is.``

This is a title of a poem by poet Kim Ji-Ha. Recently, Mt. Chiri is experiencing all kinds of hardships due to the development fever. Local governments are trying to make profits from Mt. Chiri. The once controversial Mt. Chiri Dam Project, the golf course construction project whose purpose is to charge the local tax cutting the continuation of the Baekdu Grand Mountains, and the cable car construction plan that ignores the dignity of the mountain are good examples of such development fever.

In a society in which human beings inhabit, development is needed. But there are untouchable things. Mt. Chiri and the Baekdu Grand Mountains (BGM) are those untouchable things.

Lately, the number of Mt. Chiri visitors has significantly increased. They do not come to the mountain to play golf or to ride the cable car. They go there to enjoy the yet unharmed natural appearance of Mt. Chiri. However the neighboring local governments are ignoring this fact.

The situation of the BGM, the spine of Korea Peninsular, is very serious. The BGM is the heart & soul of the ecosystem of Korea, and is also the pride of Korean people with high cultural and ecological value. Recently, Ministry of Environment is trying to enact the ``BGM Preservation Law` that bans more development in the regions. Presently, among neighboring regions of the BGM, no place has remaining intact. Disregarding the value of the BGM, all kinds of development projects, such as drilling tunnels, paving of the roads, and constructing of the amusement facilities, are in progress.

Will we truly be able to stand honorably before our descendants? Turning over the damaged nature and the amputated BGM cut by paved roads, how will we be admirable before them? It is time to ponder about our descendants and our future with open mind. Rather than trying to impose the meager local tax money, we have to do our best to gain more valuable assets from the nature.

We have to let the future generation stand on the peak of the Choenwangbong to enjoy and to feel the beauty of the well-preserved nature. To construct an environment, in which they can freely shout to praise the beauty of the BGM, is the most urgent thing we have to do.

Yang Jun-Ho (Director at Namwon Environment Movement Union)