On the occasion of the third year since the Lee administration was launched on February 25, 2008, the Ministry of Environment announced the performances of environmental policies for the past three years.
Making diverse efforts to take the lead in promoting green growth policies and ameliorate environmental circumstances to the extent that the public can feel it, the ministry obtained several good results including the followings -- improving environmental quality steadily; building a foothold for low carbon society; creating a dullegil so that the public can access to nature more conveniently; enhancing management of harmful substances including asbestos.
On the other hand, for advanced environmental management indexes such as the concentration of NO2 and ozone and chemical oxygen demand(COD), the ministry needs to make more efforts to improve them. In addition, environmetal infrastructures for rular areas and the islands should be consistently expanded.
Major performances of the environmental policies for three years
1. Air and water quality has been improved and wastes have been reduced.
- Since when air quality began to be measured, PM10 concentration in the air in Seoul recorded the lowest figure from 61mg/m3 in 2007 to 49mg/m3 in 2010.
- The distribution rates of waterworks and sewerage have increased from 90.7% in 2005 to 94.1% in 2010, and from 83.5% in 2005 to 90.1% in 2010 respectively.
- Tap water quality has been raised and water welfare has become better for underserved areas.
- Wastes have been reduced and their recycling rate has been grown. For example, household wastes have been decreased from 52,000ton in 2008 to 51,000ton in 2009 and their recyling rate has also been increased from 60% to 61%.
2. Groundwork for low carbon green growth has been made.
- Policy targets for climate change adaptation and action plans have been made. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Research Center was established in June 2010 and target management system was built in September 2010 for public institutions and facilities which emit large volume of greenhouse gas.
- Action plans and a groundwork for green growth have been made. Many environmental tasks have been included in the national green growth strategies and five-year action plans.
- It is confirmed that the UN Center for Sustainable Development to be established in Korea.
3. Environmental regulations have been improved so that burden on companies can be reduced and the public health can be protected.
- Regulations regarding a location of a factory have been adjusted according to its influence on water quality. If a factory, which does not discharge waste water, meets the requirement for water quality preservation, it is allowed to be located 7km away from the upper region of intaking areas.
- Environmental Impact Assessment Act has been enforced since January 2009. Under the act, assesement results have been released and public opinion has been collected.
- Monitoring water pollution has been strengthened by building Tele-Monitoring System(TMS) for facilities which discharge a large voulme of water pollutants.
4. Several international environmetal congresses have been held or decided to be held in Korea.
- The 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands was held in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do in October, 2008 with the largest participants of 2,280 from 140 countries. At the meeting, the Changwon Declaration and a potential resolution on rice paddies were adopted.
- It is confirmed that the 5th World Conservation Congress will be held in Jeju in 2012. As it is the largest international environmental congress, more than 10,000 participants from 160 member countries are expected to participate in it.
Keeping in mind the fact that environment can lay the sustainable foundation for economic and social development, the ministry will do its utmost in carrying out the tasks left this year under the policy direction of climate change adaptation and harmonization among human, environment and market.
Source: apec-vc Korea