“Green-blind Growth”

A new book, Environmental Challenges and Governance: Diverse Perspectives from Asia (published by Routledge) includes a must-read chapter on “Green-blind Growth” in the Republic of Korea by Dr. Rakhyun Kim (the 2013 winner of the prestigious Oran R. Young prize). The chapter provides a refreshingly honest and objective overview of the state of environmental governance in the ROK, using the Saemangeum reclamation and the ecologically-disastrous Four Rivers project as key examples.

It concludes that

“in a country where most large-scale developments are planned and implemented by the government itself, the lack of rule of law sets a huge challenge for sustainable development”.

We are grateful both to Dr. Kim and to the editors for giving us permission to host a pdf of this chapter on our blog:

Green-blind Growth_ROK_R.E.Kim


‘Green-blind Growth: A Critical Appraisal of Environmental Governance in the Republic of Korea’ (2015) in S. Mukherjee and D. Chakraborty (eds), Environmental Challenges and Governance: Diverse Perspectives from Asia, Routledge.


Note: Dr. Rakhyun Kim holds a PhD in international environmental law from the Australian National University, Fenner School of Environment and Society; a Master of Environmental Law (First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland Faculty of Law; and a Master of Science from the University of Auckland School of Environment. His studies were primarily supported by an ANU PhD Scholarship, a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship, and two Korea Foundation Postgraduate Studies Fellowships. He is presently a Research Fellow at Griffith Law School in Australia. Dr. “Rak” Kim has been involved with Birds Korea since joining the Saemangeum Shorebird Monitoring Program in 2007. He has contributed expert insights and text to several Birds Korea publications, including Status of Birds, 2014, and continues to help Birds Korea to improve the quality of our work through his role as a Formal Advisor on Environmental Law.


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