5월 21일 저녁5시 환경운동연합 까페 회화나무에서는,
영어로 나누는 환경세미나, “Korean Environment Seminar Series”가 열렸습니다.
환경운동연합과 아시아 인스티튜트가 공동주최하는 이번 세미나는 총6회로 예정되어있으며,
이번 주제는 “Overview of the environmental movement in Korea and the prospects for the future”였습니다.
염형철 사무총장이 1시간동안 한국 환경운동의 역사와 전망에 대해 발표를 하고, 참가자들의 질의 응답, 토론이 이어졌습니다.
다음 세미나는 6월26일(일) 저녁5시~7시,
주제는 “Water issues in Korea and Northeast Asia”입니다.
다양한 국적의 사람들이 한자리에 모여 환경문제에 대해 이야기 나누었습니다.
KFEM(Korean Federation of Environmental Movements) held the seminar about the current environmental issues in Korea on the 21st of May. Several critical themes such as the problems of humidifier disinfectant produced by Oxy Incorporation and the issues of Korean nuclear power plants were discussed by KFEM members and other transnational participants.
At first, there was a brief presentation about the environmental movements in Korea. Environmental discourses in Korea have been changing since the 1980s. In the 1980s, ‘pollution expulsion’ was the key words of environmental movements. Phenol accident in Gumi was a big environmental issue of the 1980s. In the 1990s, there were important events like rio de janeiro environment conference and foundation of KFEM. The main words of this decade were ‘protection of the environment’. In the 2000s, the importance of government’s role was paid attention to and ‘maintainable nation’ were crucial words. The Korean Peninsula grand canal construction was opposed by the environment groups. In the 2010s, Korean people felt doubts about the role of the government. A large number of the environment groups conducted campaigns against worn-out nuclear power plants. ‘Environmental movements in daily lives’ and ‘growth of animal protection group’ were significant phrases in the 2010s’ environment activities.
On the latter parts of the seminar, some of the current environment problems and the long-term solutions of them were presented. The incidents of Oxy humidifier disinfectant were the main issues of the seminar. The tragic accidents caused by Oxy are linked with numerous problems of social systems in Korea. For example, Korean government is friendly with major companies. Therefore, more aggressive activity such as making public the law of not using Oxy products is needed for solving this problem.
In addition to Oxy incident, the issue of nuclear power plants in Korea is another hot potato. Korea has twenty five nuclear power plants and it is too many for its limited land space. Furthermore, the persons concerned with nuclear power plants seize strong power and they are called as ‘Nuclear Power Mafia’. However, the accident of Fukushima nuclear power plants was a help to abolishing the oldest nuclear power plants in Korea. The fundamental alternatives of this problem are not making new nuclear power plants and promoting renewable energy.
The last issue of the seminar is the problems of fine dust. Korean people think that fine dust is caused by Chinese industrial activities. Korean Ministry of Environment claimed that Chinese government is responsible for most problems of fine dust in Korea. However, the fact is that most of fine dust is from domestic industrial activities like making electricity from coal burning. Diesel cars are another causes of fine dust in Korea. Korean Ministry of Environment changed its opinion later and announced that thirty percents of fine dust is caused by Korean industrial activities.
(영어 세미나 정리 : 역삼중학교 2학년 유제형)