The Sub-Committee for Environment under the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace issued a joint statement with the cooperation of seven other ecclesiastical bodies of some dioceses and religious institutes, along with a Catholic NGO.
Urging the “ecological conversion” (Laudato Si’, n. 217) of all concerned parties, the statement asks the government to cancel the plan for constructing gondola lifts in Seoraksan National Park. It denounces the misbehavior and delusion of human beings who often think that they can live alone without other creatures of the earth, acting as if they are privileged to be dominant in the world. According to the statement, we can witness the results of such human arrogance especially in the aftermath of the so-called Four Major Rivers Project, including chronic proliferation of algal blossoms and the death of hundreds of thousands of fish.
However, the statement says, the government is now trying to inflict damage on mountains after the contamination of rivers. The statement criticizes the government which asserts that the existing 155 gondola lifts all around the country are not yet enough and plans to construct a new gondola lift first in Seoraksan National Park. This would result in the destruction of the last home for diverse wild animals, many of which belong to endangered species.
In conclusion, the statement asks the government to stop the construction immediately, quoting Laudato Si’: “ecological destruction for the profit of a few itself is ‘injustice.’ It is an act to deprive other life and future generations of their right. The authorities must remember that ‘the natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone’ (Laudato Si’, n. 95).”