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[Press Release] Election of the 13th Executive of KFEM and Key 2021 Resolutions

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Election of the 13th Executive of the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements and Key 2021 Resolutions

 

  • New Executive Committee: Kim Soo-dong, Kim Ho-cheol, Park Mi-kyung, Lee Cheol-soo, and Hong Jong-ho
  • New Secretary-General: Kim Choony
  • Vice-President: Lee Young-woong
  • The key projects in 2021 are climate crisis response and plastic free project
  • National delegates adopted a resolution calling for a great change to an ecological society

The Federation of Environmental Movements held an online delegates conference on Saturday, February 27th. 270 of the 379 registered delegates participated, electing the 13th executive who will lead the environmental movement coalition for the next three years. In addition, it adopted a resolution on key projects in 2021 and called for a major transformation of South Korea into an ecological society to overcome the climate crisis.

The new executive committee is: Kim Soo-dong, Kim Ho-cheol, Park Mi-kyung, Lee Cheol-soo, and Hong Jong-ho.

  • Kim Soo-dong is the executive of the Andong branch of KFEM and a field activist, who has led the movement to close and relocate the Youngpoong smelter, and is active in converting industrial facilities to more eco-friendly sites.
  • Kim Ho-cheol served as the chairperson of Lawyers for a Democratic Society and is currently chairperson of the Environmental Law Center. He is a leader in the field of environmental law and played a major role in lawsuits against the Saemangeum seawall and the life extension of Unit 1 at Wolseong nuclear power plant.
  • Park Mi-kyung is currently co-chair of the Gwangju Environmental Movement Association, and has been consolidating the capabilities of regional organizations across the country through long-standing field activities such as the Pollution Deportation Movement Association and the Environmental Movement Association.
  • Lee Cheol-soo, who has been reappointed for his 12th term, is a renowned printmaker who works to protect the environment, peace, and life through printmaking, and recently participated in the campaign against the construction of Jeju 2nd Airport.
  • Hong Jong-ho, who is a graduate of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies at Seoul National University, is an expert who connects field work and theory, and has played an important role in Korean society on land development, the climate crisis, and energy conversion.

President Kim Choony, has since 1995 been an activist dealing with environmental issues at home and abroad, and has been fighting to make KFEM a leading voice in civil society, an activist organization, and an organization based on solidarity and cooperation. She has played a leading role in opposing Taiwanese nuclear waste exports to North Korea, opposing the Saemangeum seawall, fighting the four major project, advocating for protection of Korea’s wetlands and the DMZ area, and promoting sustainable development goals.

Vice-President Lee Young-woong, who is also the secretary of Jeju KFEM, has been trying to capture the voices of residents whenever Jeju issues arise, such as the Songaksan development project on Jeju Island, the Jeju Naval Base, and the Jeju 2nd Airport construction.

Byun Young-cheol , who has been fighting on behalf of asbestos victims, and Lee Tae-il, secretary general of Ecopeace Asia, were elected as business auditors, while certified public accountant Park Sang-cheol is the new accounting auditor.

KFEM delegates decided that “Climate Crisis, Beyond Coal to Renewable Energy” and “2050 Plastic Free” as key projects for 2021. Delegates also adopted a resolution calling for a major transformation of South Korea into an ecological society to overcome the climate crisis.

“Climate Crisis, Beyond Coal to Renewable Energy” calls for a nationwide campaign to establish a 2030 coal-free roadmap, policy alternatives to expand renewable energy, and an associated online media campaign.

“2050 Plastic Free” was prepared as part of a strategy to achieve 2050 carbon neutrality. The goal is to gain effective reduction targets from the government and businesses and monitor their implementation. To this end, it plans to run an online campaign that citizens can easily participate in, including the Zero Plastic Challenge.

Delegates chastised the South Korean government, stating that although the government declared 2050 carbon neutrality last year and implemented a Green New Deal to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, it has been lukewarm in its push for an early exit from coal power plants. In addition, the government was criticized for legislating to allow an airport on Gadeok Island, and failing to achieve the fundamental change that will be required to avoid a bigger crisis in the future.

Awars were given to excellent branches, activists, and members.

  • Geoje KFEM in Tongyeong, which has carried out coastal waste purification activities with residents, received the Excellent Region Award.
  • Activists Kang Yun-hee (Jeju KFEM) and Moon Ji-hyeon (Jeonbuk KFEM) received the Outstanding Activist Awards
  • Park Hyeon-soo (Cheongju, Chungbuk), So Sam-young (Cheonan, Asan) and Hong Ki-hyuk (Gwangju) members each received the Excellent Member Award.
  • A special award was awarded to the late Choi Jae-suk, executive director of Eco-Saving Cooperatives.
  • A plaque of merit was awarded to executive committee members Kwon Tae-seon and Jang Jae-yeon, auditor Ji Ki-ryong, and secretary-general Choi Jun-ho, whose terms ended.

 

February 27, 2021

Korea Federation for Environmental Movements


Special Resolution of the KFEM Delegation Meeting

 

The Transformation to a Sustainable Ecological Society that can Tackle the Climate Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought crisis and change to the economy and society at large. The roots of the pandemic lie in the destruction of ecological systems. If things do not change, we are heading for a sixth major extinction event brought on by an increasingly severe climate crisis.

The South Korean government’s 2050 carbon neutrality pledge and Green New Deal, stand in contrast to the governments support for new airport construction, the construction of seven new coal power plants, and the slow speed that older coal plants are being closed. What is needed a new focus

As Covid-19 has demanded social distancing of people, we also need social distancing for nature, with the expansion of nature reserves. At present only 11.6% of the land, and 1.4% of the sea is so protected.  This buffer zone needs to be expanded.

The linear plastic economy of mass production, consumption and disposal needs to be transformed. It is also necessary that we pursue global environmental justice, by monitoring the movement of waste between countries.

In order to end environmental destruction and human rights violations caused by large-scale development projects abroad, stronger government regulation is required. Such regulation must take into account the rights of local and indigenous peoples.

Many people talk about the seriousness of the climate crisis, but change remains slow. COVID-19 may be overcome through vaccines, but there is no such readily available solution for the climate crisis. Together with those who will be most immediately affected by the climate change, and the youth who will bear the greatest burden, we will take action to fight this crisis.

In order to overcome the climate crisis, we are determined to forge a path to a sustainable ecological society. In 2021, the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements pledges to:

Expel coal power plants and accelerate the conversion to renewable energy.

Stop large-scale construction projects, including new airports.

Pursue a plastic free society.

Expand protected areas as a climate crisis buffer zone.

Join forces to solve the problem of large-scale overseas development projects that destroy the environment.

 

February 27, 2021

All representatives of the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements

 

Translated and Edited by Sam Macdonald

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