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UPDATE: 7th World Water Forum in South Korea, March 2015

Despite being thoroughly discredited, the corporate 7th World Water Forum is scheduled to take place in Daegu-Gyeongbuk, South Korea in March 2015. A critical water-related issue in that country that is likely to be highlighted at the World Water Forum is the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project.

What is this project? The Four Major Rivers Restoration Project is a “multi-purpose green growth project on the Han River, Nakdong River, Geum River and Yeongsan River. …(The project) has attracted significant criticism from environmental groups in South Korea and wider international groups such as Friends of the Earth. …(The project includes the construction of) 16 dams in main streams of the four major rivers. Then (hundreds of kilometres of) the rivers will turn into artificial stepped lakes. …In spite of so many problems including environmental and socioeconomic problems, The Four Major Rivers Project carried out by the Lee Myung-Bak government has ignored nearly all the legal and democratic procedures that were required for the project.” The project was declared completed on October 21, 2011.

Why might it be highlighted at the World Water Forum? In October 2011, the United Nations News Centre reported, “Successful water projects can serve as templates around the world and help to stimulate the adoption of green economies, a conference (in Zaragoza, Spain) run by the United Nations inter-agency group focused on water issues has heard (in preparation for the Rio+20 conference that took place in June 2012). …The (Zaragoza conference) placed a special focus in showcasing already successful projects of how water can be a major contributor to developing a green economy.” The ‘green economy templates’ showcased included “the four major rivers project in the Republic of Korea”.

To read Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow’s critique of major dam projects, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6779.