Sierra Club, February 5, 2004


The Honorable ROH Moo Hyun
President, Republic of Korea
1 Sejong-no
Seoul 110-820
Republic of Korea

Dear President Roh:

On behalf of Sierra Club (United States) -- one of America's oldest and largest environmental organizations with more than 700,000 members -- I wish once again to remind you of the Club's concern previously conveyed to the ROK Government about the on-going destruction of Saemangeum wetlands by an ill-advised reclamation project.

We again wish to express, in the strongest terms, the Club's hope that you will take immediate action to save Saemangeum.

These wetlands have extraordinary international environmental importance. South Korea is a member country of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on wetlands. Saving Saemangeum would be a natural consequence of South Korea's responsibilities and commitments within the spirit of its international and multilateral environmental agreements.

Destroying Saemangeum could seriously mar South Korea's international image, especially in the United States where so many groups are watching with concern the fate of the earth's natural wetlands heritage. American shorebird species are known to use Saemangeum as a migratory flyway, and American concern derives from the obligation of all parties to fulfill their treaty obligations.

Grave alarm has also been increasingly voiced by the United Nations and throughout the international community about the loss of wetlands worldwide. A report just released has documented how draining and diking of wetlands for short-term economic gain -- irrigation, agriculture and other uses -- ignores the long-term environmental and economic arguments to manage and conserve wetlands properly. We look to the leadership of South Korea to reverse this trend.

Sierra Club again strongly urges you to become directly and personally involved in saving Saemangeum wetlands from the diking while there is still time.

There seems to be no other way to prevent their irretrievable loss.


Michele Perrault
International Vice President
Sierra Club
85 2nd Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, California
phone 415-977-5670

February 5, 2004

cc: Hon. HAN, Sung-joo
Ambassador, Embassy of Republic of Korea
2450 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(phone 202-939-5600)
(fax 202-232-0117)

Hon. KIM, Jong-hoon
Consul General
Consulate General
Republic of Korea
3500 Clay Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
(phone 415-921-2251)
(fax 415-921-5946)


Hon. Colin Powell
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am forwarding for your attention the Sierra Club's protest to the President of the Republic of Korea, asking him to intervene to save one of Asia's most valuable wetlands from an ill-advised "reclamation" scheme.

Please note that the destruction of these wetlands will seriously impact South Korea's international image and its commitments under two international treaties in which the United States has a stake.


Michele Perrault
International Vice President
Sierra Club
February 5, 2004

cc: Letter to ROK President Roh