|UTHM ISEP2010 KOREA: Cheongyechon Sustainable River|
26th December 2010 - Seoul, Korea
When we came to Korea, one of the expectation was to study and conduct visits to some sites relevant with sustainability activities. We were fortunate as there were many examples of sustainability projects available in front of our eyes. It was quite easy to observe. The buildings seems to be part of the sustainability program of Seoul and other big cities in Korea. They were made of glasses to allow reduction of electrical energy usage. This includes the application of sensors to control lights in buildings. Energy seems to be a major focus of the nation. We were also told that Korea is currently embarking on low power usage in almost all of its appliances and equipments. Recycling of most of its wastes are essential in Korea especially in Seoul and Busan. This is pertinent as most places were provided with recycling bins.
However, the most fascinating sustainability project conducted by the Korean government is the ‘Our River' project. We were amazed when we visited some rural areas in Korea whereby many of its river were clean and well-preserved. How wonderful it is to see such clean environment with sustained rivers. Further amazement was in store for us when we had the opportunity to visit the Cheongyechon river area. According to Mr. Abdullah Zawawi Tahir, Chief of Mission in the Malaysian Embassy to Korea, the sustainability of this river is important to ensure that more visitors will come to Seoul and rehabilitation the previously dirty river to become clean is to provide a condusive environment to its community.
Mr. Abdullah Zawawi's words were true. When we visited the river it was very clean. Almost drinkable! When the author studied in Seoul in 1986 to 1988, the Cheongyechon river was very dirty and not condusive to the environment. It was smelly and full with rubbish. Just imagine, black and muddy water flowing along the river, in the middle of the city. Not pleasant to watch and smell! However, after 25 years returning to Seoul, the author felt surprised with the excellent rehabilitation works conducted by the Seoul City authority. The river was clean, pleasant to visit with clean water flowing in its new aligned geometry. The facelift given along the river front was fantastic with lightings and natural water treatment sub-structures located at strategic places.
However, the most important part of the rehabilitation project of this river is the water treatment system installed at all in-flows along the river. Secondly, the mindset change campaigne by the Seoul local authority to instill the ‘love our river'. This will actually ensure sustainability of the river cleanliness. Furthermore, most member of the community has the opinion that the water front can be part of the healthy living program. It provides a place to jog and walk while others will just sit and talk to appreciate the clean environment.
So, what can we learn from Korea? Yes, the author believes that Malaysians can also contribute to help clean the environment starting with cleaning the river. How? It is by not throwing everything into the river, keep our sewerage water properly filtered and treated before it goes into the river and educate everybody about the importance of keeping the river clean. The author believed that if the rivers are clean, many marine life such as fishes and prawns including other wild animals will be able to co-exist and sustain the ecology of the world. Clean rivers will create clean environment and sustainable living and mankind existence!
Reported from Seoul Korea by:
Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Idrus Hj Mohd Masirin
Program Advisor / Co-ordinator
UTHM ISEP2010 Korea - Winter Sonata
Mr. Haris Md Noor
Program Assistant Co-ordinator
UTHM ISEP2010 Korea - Winter Sonata
|Last Updated ( Khamis, 06 Januari 2011 )|