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Korea unveils 2nd phase of climate change measures

The Seoul government on Wednesday released the second phase of its climate change adaptation measures for the next five years, aimed to reduce potential climate change risks and better protect the public health.

The Environment Ministry released the measures set up in four categories -- technology, public health, industry and nature. The measures will be implemented starting from next year.

Fine dust adds to the smog in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Fine dust adds to the smog in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The first long-term plan was launched in 2011 to analyze the vulnerability in various fields from the climate change risks. Korea has seen continuous climate change as the annual mean temperature rose by 1.2 degrees Celsius in the past 30 years, the ministry said.

The second installment will focus on minimizing the risks and building a safer environment.

The government firstly vowed to provide more accurate meteorological and climate information based on advanced technology. Starting in 2017, the ministry will expand the long-term forecast information such as heat waves or abnormally low temperatures. A complex satellite that will be launched in 2017 will play an important role, officials said.

The ministry will also gather database of social groups vulnerable to climate change and provide tailored care systems. It will expand emergency medical centers by next year to enhance readiness for emergency situations.

For the industries, the government will come up with concrete support measures for each type of business. It will develop 200 kinds of plants that can endure severe drought.

Along with these measures, the ministry said it would put efforts into preserving endangered species by building a database of new or undocumented ones.

It will also bring the list of harmful species to up to 100 by 2018 and enhance the monitoring system. Currently 55 species such as piranha and red-bellied pacu are designated as species harmful to the ecosystem.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)

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