[Coral-List] Jeju Soft Coral at Risk

imok cha imokcha at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 20 01:54:19 EDT 2012


On the south coast of idyllic Jeju
Island, South Korea, warm, southern waters mingle with northern
currents to create conditions for one of the most vibrant, diverse
coral communities on the planet. Here, soft corals, oyster reef
systems, and gorgonians create an undersea fairy-world, attaching
themselves to sloping rocks and underwater pinnacles. In 2001, the
Korean government designated these treasured habitats “Natural
Monument Protection Areas,” and UNESCO named nearby Tiger Islet a
World Natural Heritage Site. 

Shockingly,thesecoralhabitatsarecurrentlybeingdredgedtomakewayfora20-warshipnavybase! Islanders are traumatized to see their
coastline dynamited only a mile from Tiger Islet, their groundwater
subsequently contaminated, and the offshore ecosystems which have
provided 100 percent of their protein for centuries – all destroyed
in the name of “national security.” Also doomed are the last 100
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins which are endemic to Jeju. Yet any
time villagers protest – no matter how peacefully -- they are met
with police brutality, prison, and no due process.

And now, in an unwittingly cruel
display of irony, the International Congress for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) is planning to hold its 2012 World Conservation
Congress, this September, just four miles from where huge machines
are tearing apart these priceless marine habitats. 

The IUCN describes their conference as
“the world’s largest and most important conservation event,”
aiming “to improve how we manage our natural environment for human,
social and economic development.” Nothing could be more
diametrically opposed to sustaining those values than the
environmental and social assaultsnow underway only minutes
away, along the nearby coastline. Islanders are waiting to see if any
of the 10,000 global environmental leaders in attendance will make
efforts to investigate the assault on their land and waters… or if
they will simply remain in their posh tourist resort.

If the World Conservation Congress,
proceeds as currently planned, it would signal complicity in the
destruction, leaving islanders bereft and betrayed. 

However, if the IUCN can instead work –
sincerely -- toward its purported goals of protecting and restoring
natural systems, it must demand that the Republic of Korea cease, at
once, these unconscionable crimes against the Earth, humanity and

Please send an email to the IUCN and
call for them to demand that the Republic of Korea STOP construction
of the base immediately, remove its police forces, military and
construction crews, take down the steel fences that separate the
villagers from their coastline, clear the rubble, release the
villagers still in jail for protesting, and allow the villagers to
care for the recovery and restoration process for damaged shoreline
and marine areas, as they have for thousands of years. 

To see IUCN page regarding Jeju issue click:


To read more background information visit:


To read up to date news join:


Tell IUCN to demand South Korea stop destroying Jeju soft coral habitat:
congress at iucn.org 

Write to us with any helpful ideas about how to fight this:

savejejunow at gmail.com

Thank you.
Save Jeju Now Steering Committee Member

Imok Cha, MD

More information about the Coral-List mailing list