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‘The world has been deceived’

‘The world has been deceived’

environmental justice in the Republic of Korea (South Korea)

(p.79) FIVE ‘The world has been deceived’
Achieving environmental justice
Karen Bell
Policy Press

The concept of environmental justice came relatively recently to the Republic of Korea (henceforth, South Korea), developing out of mainstream environmentalism, which began in the 1980s. Unlike environmentalism in Europe and the US, which initially focused on the preservation of ecosystems, however, South Korea’s early environmentalism was concerned with the impact of pollution on human health. This initial recognition of the importance of the environment for humans made it easy to begin to think about environmental justice issues. In 1999, a landmark moment for environmental justice in South Korea occurred with the first Environmental Justice Forum, organised by the Citizens Movement for Environmental Justice, now one of the largest and fastest-growing environmental organisations in the country. The Forum reported that rural regions frequently experienced environmental injustice in the form of a lack of sanitation and improved drinking water, as well as the increased siting of contaminating facilities in or near their communities. This chapter outlines the current substantive, distributional and procedural aspects of environmental justice in South Korea.

Keywords:   South Korea, Republic of Korea, Citizens Movement for Environmental Justice, Green Korea United, green economy, Green Growth, Low-carbon, Global Green Growth Institute

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