G20 Global Marine Environment Protection (GMEP) Initiative

On Sharing Best Practices to Protect the Marine Environment, to Prevent Accidents related to Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development, as well as Marine Transportation, and to Deal with Their Consequences

Korea – Introduction

Korea has 2,413 km of coastline along three seas. The government of Korea has given high priority to the conservation of the marine environment at the international, regional, and national level through the implementation of various policies and programs. These policies and programs include the establishment of a total pollution load management system to control pollution from land-based activities as well as the enhancement of response capacity for pollution from ocean-based activities by setting up DB for coastal pollution response and replacing the aging oil spill response vessels.

In addition, the Korean government has strengthened climate-friendly policies and the infrastructure for management of the marine environment by establishing a CO2 emission control system for ships. At the international and regional level, the Korean government is trying to expand strategic partnerships with other countries through active participation in international programs such as NOWPAP (Northwest Pacific Action Plan) and by exchanging information and technology on marine pollution response and providing training programs for developing countries.

Korea experienced a significant oil spill accident in 2007. The accident caused the spill of an estimated 12,547 tons of light crude oil. The authorities of Korea rapidly undertook many actions in response to the oil spill. Oil boom was deployed to protect the sensitive areas of Garolim Bay, Chunsoo Bay and the Taean Power Plant, and a scientific assessment model was applied as well.

Furthermore, many volunteers from the private sector and the general public participated in shoreline cleanup. This entire workforce ensured that the cleanup progressed at a rate faster than for many other oil spill responses throughout the world.

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