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Peace Dam Wetland to Get Protection

Posted December. 25, 2008 06:37,   


The upstream of a so-called peace dam will be designated a wetland requiring preservation and registered with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Koreans have donated a large amount of money to support the government project to build the dam, which is designed to discourage North Korea’s attempt to flood its southern half.

The Environment Ministry said yesterday, “To manage the ecosystem of the dam’s upstream, where most endangered species of otters live, we’ll designate 2.93 square kilometers as a wetland needing protection.”

In a study of the area’s ecosystem, the ministry found that other endangered species of hawks, antelopes, musk deer, wildcats and martens live there.

A wetland where nature has stayed intact and endangered or rare species of wild animals and plants live can be designated as a protected wetland. In a wildlife sanctuary, no building construction or putting sand or gravel are allowed.

The Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs Ministry is against the idea, however, and is negotiating with the Environment Ministry.

The Land Ministry said the area is important for security matters, with one official saying, “North Korea has the Mount Kumgang Dam on the upper stream. When security issues surrounding the two Koreas change, we need to establish new facilities in the area.”