China Japan Korea Russia

NOWPAP attends APEC workshop on marine litter
 18 June 2017, Busan. NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) and NOWPAP Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Center (POMRAC) presented NOWPAP’s work on marine litter during the capacity building workshop for marine debris prevention and management in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region. The workshop was organized by APEC, Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM) and Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fishers in Yeosu, Korea on 12th -18th June 2017. It was attended by the officials from Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Speakers were invited from the UN Environment, China, Republic of Korea, the USA, and NOWPAP.

Dr. LIU Ning presented the achievements of NOWPAP and the progress of the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter. Mr. Nikolai KOZLOVSKII from POMRAC introduced marine litter management system in Russia, and POMRAC-led research on micro-plastics. The participants inquired the cooperation between NOWPAP and other regional organizations in marine environmental protection. As a part of the programme, in the afternoon of 16 June, participants visited KOEM’s floating receptacles in the sea and waste oil collection facilities. The next APEC workshop on marine litter will be organized in Busan in 2018.
 NOWPAP participation in Eco Life Act event in Toyama
Toyama, 18 June 2017. Annual event organized by the Toyama Prefectural Government focused on a theme on local actions for environment conservation "Eco Life Act" was held in the center of Toyama City, Japan.
NOWPAP Senior Coordinator was invited as a guest speaker and talked about the importance of sustainable development goals and local action along with the Governor of Toyama Prefecture, Mr. Ishii. Coordinator highlighted the importance of regional cooperation on marine litter in the framework of NOWPAP, including the work of the NOWPAP Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Center (CEARAC). The exhibition panels at the venue introduced various activities of NOWPAP and its Regional Activity Centers. Outstanding achievements by Toyama individuals on various environment conservation activities were highlighted during the event as well as the awards ceremony was held to recognize environmental leaders and school kids who won the drawing competition. The month of June is designated as a month for the environment in Toyama Prefecture.
Global Ocean Conference ends with about 1400 voluntary and action-oriented commitments
putting oceans in the center of sustainable development agenda
Global Ocean Conference ends with about 1400 voluntary and action-oriented commitments putting oceans in the center of sustainable development agenda
June 10th, 2017, New York. The 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously agreed to accelerate action to stop and reverse environmental degradation of oceans at the largest ever gathering of states under the UN umbrella – the UN Ocean Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, convened in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017.

Approximately 4,000 delegates attended the conference, including 16 Heads of State or Government, two deputy Prime Ministers, 86 Ministers, 16 Vice Ministers, and other government representatives; and participants from the UN system, other intergovernmental organizations, international and regional financial institutions, civil society, academic and research institutions, indigenous peoples and local communities, and the private sector.

The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind on the issue has raised global consciousness of ocean problems ranging from marine pollution to illegal and over fishing, from ocean acidification to lack of high seas governance. Among major conference outcomes are
• Formally adopted Our oceans, our future: Call for Action “to act decisively and urgently, convinced that our collective action will make a meaningful difference to our people, to our planet and to our prosperity”. In the Call for Action, countries agree to implement long-term strategies to reduce the use of plastics and microplastics, such as plastic bags and single use plastics. Countries also agreed to develop and implement effective adaptation and mitigation measures that address ocean and coastal acidification, sea-level rise and increase in ocean temperatures, and to target to the other harmful impacts of climate change on the ocean. The Call recognizes the importance of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Call for Action also includes measures to protect coastal and blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrass and coral reefs, and wider interconnected ecosystems, as well as enhancing sustainable fisheries management, including to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield. Countries are called upon to decisively prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;
Report from the seven partnership dialogues that have focused on scaling up solutions, and the voluntary commitments to action;
About 1400 voluntary and action-oriented commitments, addressing all the issues needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14—Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. If fully implemented, these commitments add 4.4 per cent of marine areas to the existing number; many countries announced steps to reduce or eliminate various single use plastics, such as plastic shopping bags, many commitments focused on expanding scientific knowledge about the ocean and developing and sharing innovative technologies to address ocean challenges; some countries announced “no-take zones” for certain fishing and agreed establish systems that allow consumers to source sustainable fish; new commitments were also made to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and to curtail fishing subsidies that are working to deplete fish stocks.

The Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) contributed to the preparatory process by providing regional inputs reflected in the Partnership Dialogues Concept Papers. It also participated in the conference side events, and in consultation with its member states ensured that the NOWPAP successful lessons and examples were featured in the discussions. NOWPAP contributed or its activities were highlighted or mentioned at the several side events held during the conference:
• 3 R as the Basis for Moving Towards Zero Plastic Waste in Coastal and Marine Environment organized by the UNRCD/ UN DESA Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan, UNEP-IETC (TBC); VITO, Belgium and Office of Green Industries South Australia;
• Oceans in the 2030 Agenda: The role of regional governance organized by the governments of Germany and Sweden, together with the United Nations Environment Programme and in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability;
• Can we achieve SDG 14 without looking upstream? Starting at the source to save the sea by the Government of Sweden, co-presidents of The Ocean Conference, and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM).

The following NOWPAP initiatives contributing to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 were registered as “Voluntary Commitments”:
• Strengthening regional cooperation for the protection of the marine and coastal environment in the Northwest Pacific #OceanAction17490 and
• Marine environment protection through CEARAC (Special Monitoring & Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre) of NOWPAP(North-west Pacific Action Plan) #OceanAction17558
Additional three Voluntary Commitments where submitted by member states or partners that include co-operation or joint activities with NOWPAP:
• Regional Seas Programme for ocean-related SDGs #OceanAction19228
• Marine litter management through TEMM (the Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among China, Japan and Korea) #OceanAction17562, and
• Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) #OceanAction19068.

June 5th, 2017. PRESS-RELEASE:
Major Commitments of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan Announced Ahead of the UN Ocean Conference
 June 5th, 2017. Toyama, Japan/Busan, Republic of Korea: Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme puts forward voluntary commitment of the UN Ocean Conference to strengthen regional cooperation to achieve ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals.

The region covered by the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) is one of the most densely populated world’s areas with a total population of about 300 million people, most of them living in the coastal areas. High rates of economic growth, increasing population and the growing demand for food and energy put a lot of pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems. Among major environmental pressures as identified by the NOWPAP specialists are fragmentation and loss of habitats caused by urban and tourism development, pollution, high risk of oil and hazardous and noxious substances spill incidents, eutrophication and loss of biodiversity and overfishing. Negative impacts of warming climate represent a significant compounding factor for various socio-ecological systems in the region.

The next phase of the NOWPAP evolution focuses on the achievement of ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030 in an integrated way by assessing status of the marine and coastal environment (SDGs 13 to 15, and 17), preventing and reducing land- and sea-based sources of pollution (SDGs 12 and 14), and supporting integrated coastal and river basin planning and management based on the ecosystem-based approach (SDGs 11, 13 to 15). Among few important expected deliverables during the next years are the adoption of the Northwest Pacific Ecological Quality Objectives and associated targets towards good environmental status, effective preparedness to oil and hazardous and noxious substances spills, the integrated assessment of the state of the marine environment and thematic regional studies on eutrophic and hypoxic areas and harmful algal blooms.

The “Strengthening regional cooperation for the protection of the marine and coastal environment in the Northwest Pacific” has been put forth as a voluntary commitment of the NOWPAP four member states at the United Nations Ocean Conference taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York from June 5th to 9th 2017.

NOWPAP related activities are also featured in the two other voluntary commitments submitted by the Government of Japan at the Ocean Conference: Marine litter management through TEMM (the Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among China, Japan and Korea) and Marine environment protection through CEARAC (Special Monitoring & Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre) of NOWPAP (Northwest Pacific Action Plan).

They are featured in the The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments together commitments undertaken by Governments, UN and intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders toward the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


The Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) is the regional intergovernmental mechanism established in 1994 by the governments of Japan, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation. NOWPAP’s main goal is to protect and sustainably manage the coastal and marine environment in the Northwest Pacific. NOWPAP is one of the eighteen Regional Seas Programmes of the United Nations Environment Programme. NOWPAP activities are implemented by the four Regional Activity Centers hosted by the four member states - Special Monitoring and Coastal Environment Assessment Regional Activity Centre (CEARAC); Data and Information Network Regional Activity Centre (DINRAC); Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC), and Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Centre (POMRAC) – and coordinated through the Regional Coordinating Unit with two offices in Japan and Republic of Korea.

Among some of the notable NOWPAP achievements over the past twenty years of cooperation to address the above challenges were adoption and implementation of the two Regional Action Plans: NOWPAP Regional Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substances Spill Contingency Plan (2005) and NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (2008), establishment of the NOWPAP database and regional information management system, publication of scientific and policy-relevant regional reports on the state of the marine and coastal environment and emerging issues such as marine litter, eutrophication and harmful algal blooms, integrated coastal zone management, and persistent organic pollutants, strengthened capacities of technical experts and policy specialists, and the increased awareness about the state of the marine and coastal environment among different stakeholders in the Northwest Pacific region.

For more information, please contact:
NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (Lev Neretin: or Ning Liu:

Here are links to the Press Release in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian languages:
NOWPAP Press Release SDG 14_ENG.pdf
NOWPAP Press Release SDG 14_CH.pdf
NOWPAP Press Release SDG 14_JP.pdf
NOWPAP Press Release SDG 14_KR.pdf
NOWPAP Press Release SDG 14_RU.pdf
Partnering for a Sustainable Ocean: The Role of Regional Ocean Governance in Implementing
Sustainable Development Goal 14 to be launched in New York
The Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance (PROG) will launch its new report: Partnering for a Sustainable Ocean: The Role of Regional Ocean Governance in Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 14, on the occasion of the UN Ocean Conference on 5-9 June 2017 in New York. The report has analyzed different regional cooperation mechanisms, and discussed regional institutions and initiatives’ contributions to the implementation of SDG 14. The report concluded that regional initiatives are a driver for the development of integrated approaches to achieve SDG 14 targets. It highlighted the importance of regional cooperation for ocean sustainability and the requirements of greater support to overcome gaps and institutional weaknesses.

The full report can be downloaded at Partnering for a Sustainable Ocean – Report

The Partnership for Regional Ocean Governance (PROG) was initiated in 2015, and is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and TMG-Think Tank for Sustainability.
NOWPAP participated in Tree Planting Festival in Toyama, Japan
 On May 28, 2017, Tree Planting Festival was held in Uozu City, Toyama, Japan, where Emperor and Empress of Japan attended the ceremony.
More than 7,500 people attended this event, and NOWPAP held a booth to represent NOWPAP and its projects were introduced to the visitors. Activities on NOWPAP RAP MALI (The NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter) were especially highlighted, as the public awareness on marine litter issues has been growing recently. Some people showed strong interest in participation in local and regional beach cleanup, which will be scheduled for later this year at beaches in throughout Toyama.
NOWPAP at the Busan International Organizations Academy
 May 24, 2017: Ms. Jihee Yi, NOWPAP Programme Management Assistant, following the invitation of the Busan Metropolitan City and Busan Foundation of International Cooperation, delivered lecture to students and recent graduates taking part in the Busan International Organizations Academy. Ms. Yi informed students about various activities of the United Nations Environment Programme and NOWPAP. During the interactive discussion that followed, Ms. Yi answered many questions from students, including about the UN core values, professional competencies being sought and various career tracks in the organization. NOWPAP is in the process of establishing continuing internship program in the Regional Coordinating Units in Toyama and Busan and this lecture was an important step to raise awareness and stimulate interest among recent graduates in Busan area in the NOWPAP internships.
Jihee Yi, NOWPAP Programme Assistant, delivers lecture to students at the Busan International Organizations Academy 
The 18th meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea highlights the importance of UNEP's Regional Seas Programme promoting cooperation, sharing best practices and lessons learned, and building capacity in marine research and observation on the impacts of climate change at the regional level
 19 May 2017: Participants at the eighteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-18) focused on two main segments: ‘The effects of climate change on oceans, including environmental, social and economic implications;’ and ‘Cooperation and coordination in addressing the effects of climate change on oceans – current actions and opportunities for further enhancement.’

ICP-18 brought together representatives from governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academic institutions to examine this year’s topic, ‘The effects of climate change on oceans.’ The meeting convened from 15-19 May 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York, the US, and resulted in a Co-Chairs’ Summary of Discussions.

On the effects of climate change, Ko Barrett, Vice-Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, presented on findings from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and preparation for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Key points from AR5 included: human influence on the climate system is clear; the more we disrupt our climate, the more we risk severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts; and we have the means to limit climate change and build a more prosperous sustainable future. Presentations further addressed, inter alia: ecosystem services and the work of the World Ocean Assessment; climate modeling and observation; and national responses to the effects of climate change on the ocean. During discussions, delegates raised issues relating to improving and strengthening climate and ocean research, knowledge sharing and transfer, climate modeling, scientific data and collaboration.

Panelists highlighted that data are a public good and called for a planet-wide collaboration to openly share and integrate available data.

On cooperation and coordination in addressing climate change’s effects on oceans, panelists highlighted that data are a public good and called for a planet-wide collaboration to openly share and integrate available data into global databases for analysis and modeling to create on-demand information for decision makers. Others supported a shift from curiosity or meteorologically-oriented systems to a focus on societal needs, such as fisheries, regional priorities, real-time events and ecosystem assessment.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) indicated that it is proposing a decade of ocean science for sustainable development from 2021-2030 to support ‘The Future We Want.’ During discussions, panelists and delegates highlighted, inter alia: the issue of cooperation among international agencies such as the IOC, the regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and UN Environment’s (UNEP) Regional Seas programme; the potential for sharing best practices and lessons learned under the Regional Seas programme; and the importance of building capacity in marine research and observation at the regional level.

The Co-Chairs’ Summary provides an overview of ICP-18 discussions for each of the agenda items and highlights the general exchange of views and panel discussions, including text on the importance of implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change and meeting the commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address ocean issues. The Summary underlines the importance of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) with an emphasis placed on implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and entry into force of the Doha Amendment. The summary also includes text on addressing climate change and oceans under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, the SAMOA Pathway, the Aichi Targets and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), among other areas.

On issues that could benefit from attention in the future work of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on oceans and the law of the sea, the text reflects discussions on ways to address the links between climate change and oceans, including through the High-Level Political Forum and the SDGs. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [IISD RS Meeting Summary]

 Source: IISD Reporting Services at
NOWPAP and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) discussed future steps and priorities to strengthen co-operation
May 10th 2017, Toyama: Toyama NOWPAP-PICES Science Dialogue was held on May 10th 2017 following the invitation of the Advisory Panel for a Circulation Research in East Asian Marginal Seas (AP-CREAMS) of PICES. The dialogue was attended by the PICES Science Board Chair, Prof. Hiroaki Saito, NOWPAP Senior Coordinator, Lev Neretin, Drs. Takafumi Yoshida and Genki Terauchi from the NOWPAP CEARAC and members of the PICES AP-CREAMS (Photo below). The Dialogue is expected to become a regular consultation meeting between the two organizations addressing current and future priorities for the institutional collaboration. The discussions were based on the “PICES-NOWPAP Framework for Scientific Cooperation in the North Pacific Ocean” (2015) proposed by a specially established joint PICES-NOWPAP Study Group on Scientific Cooperation in the North Pacific Ocean. Participants re-affirmed the importance of seven priorities identified in the Framework document in light of the approved PICES Strategic Plan (2016) and draft NOWPAP Medium-term strategy 2018-2023 and emphasized significant complementarity between the goals of the two institutions.

Dr. Takafumi Yoshida of CEARAC attended the meeting of the AP-CREAMS on May 11 and 12, 2017 as an observer. With regards to joint activities with the NOWPAP, AP-CREAMS considered favorably having the ex-officio NOWPAP membership and agreed on developing proposal for a joint training course for young scientists in 2018 following in the successful example of the 26th Training Course of the International Hydrological Programme “Coastal vulnerability and freshwater discharge” organized with the NOWPAP co-sponsorship by Nagoya University in December 2016.

Among specific projects of joint interest between the two institutions for the NOWPAP are State of the Marine Environment Report for the NOWPAP region (SOMER-3, 2018-2020), assessments of emerging issues (e.g., microplastics), and how to address climate change impacts and build resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems (the issues being addressed by the PICES Human Dimension Committee). In order to have a continuous dialogue and impact, NOWPAP is encouraged to seek ex-officio membership status in relevant PICES groups, committees and advisory panels (at present Dr. Takafumi Yoshida of NOWPAP CEARAC is ex-officio member of the Section on Ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms of PICES and Dr. Vladimir Shulkin of NOWPAP POMRAC represents NOWPAP at the PICES Working Group 31: Emerging Topics in Marine Pollution). In turn, NOWPAP would welcome regular participation of PICES representatives in the meetings of NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers and Intergovernmental Meetings as Observers. NOWPAP will continue exploring further opportunities to participate with PICES in joint publications, workshops, and training activities for young scientists. The important area of mutual interest is enhanced collaboration on public outreach and awareness about the regional and global environment and development issues and progress achieved by the two institutions. The next round of consultations between NOWPAP and PICES is expected during the PICES 2017 Annual Meeting in September 2017 where NOWPAP plans to support two thematic sessions followed by the 22nd NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting in December 2017.

 NOWPAP-Science Dialogue in Toyama, Japan on May 10, 2017. Meeting participants in the front row (from left to right): Vyacheslav Lobanov (AP-CREAMS and NEAR-GOOS), Hiroaki Saito (PICES), and Lev Neretin (NOWPAP); in the second row (from left to right): Genki Terauchi (NOWPAP CEARAC), Takafumi Yoshida (NOWPAP CEARAC), Jiang Zhang (AP-CREAMS), and Pavel Tishchenko (AP-CREAMS).
NOWPAP joins the brainstorming on assessing strategies and approaches to address marine litter and micro-plastics in Nairobi, Kenya
On 27-31 March 2017, Dr. LIU Ning presented NOWPAP’s work on marine litter at the Workshop on Marine Litter and Microplastics: Measuring Effectiveness and Identifying Gaps within International and Regional Policy Frameworks organized by the UN Environment in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Liu introduced the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, and the progress achieved by the NOWPAP member states and Regional Activity Centers addressing the issue of marine litter. He also briefed meeting participants about the approaches of waste management in the NOWPAP region, and how Regional Seas Program could cooperate with chemicals and waste related Conventions to address plastic waste issue.
The workshop was organized by the Ecosystems Division of the UN Environment, and attended by Secretariats of Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, International Maritime Organization, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, University of Wollongong, Istanbul Bilgi University, and the UN Environment. Participants discussed the effectiveness, gaps and opportunities of relevant international, regional, sub-regional and national frameworks addressing marine litter, and explored emerging governance and strategy options. Participants also discussed sources/sectors and geographical areas that are not covered or included in any existing instruments and that are essential to consider in the future governance frameworks.
The workshop was part of the assessment of the effectiveness of governance strategies and approaches to combat marine plastic litter and microplastics. The recommendations will be presented to the Third United Nations Environment Assembly in December 2017.

Exhibition made of plastics bottles at the UN Campus in Nairobi.
The 20th NOWPAP MERRAC Focal Points Meeting & the 12th Competent National Authorities Meeting held in Seoul, R. Korea
The 20th NOWPAP MERRAC Focal Points Meeting and12th Competent National Authorities Meeting was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 10-13 April 2017. The meeting reviewed the progress of MERRAC activities made during the intersessional period and discussed various technical issues including MERRAC future activities regarding oil and NHS marine pollution preparedness and response, implementation of the NOWPAP Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan, and MERRAC workplan and budget for 2018/2019 biennium under the NOWPAP MTS for 2018-2023.
On behalf of the NOWPAP RCU, Dr. LIU Ning reported the progress of the entire NOWPAP activities and its outputs made during the intersessional period. In the session of future MERRAC activities under the NOWPAP MTS 2018-2023, Dr. Lev NERETIN presented the draft NOWPAP MTS 2018-2023 and indicative activities for the next biennium 2018-2019.
MERRAC updated the changes of focal points, and oil and HNS spill incidents, the progress of the development of MERRAC information system based on the Web GIS, the development of information sharing platform on oil and HNS spills, the development of a technical report on oiled wildlife (mainly birds and marine mammals) response, as well as sea-based marine litter activities.
Moreover, MERRAC presented the “Establishment of a Procedure for Exchange of Oil Sample for Transboundary Marine Pollution Incidents”. Participants discussed associated technical, administrative, financial and legal issues.
In the Twelfth Competent National Authorities Meeting for NOWPAP Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan, MERRAC updated the activities related to the NOWPAP trainings and exercises during intersessional periods. The meeting invited Japan and China to introduce the results of the 18th BRAVO exercise and 6th DELATA exercise, respectively. Member states have shared the latest information on marine pollution preparedness and response.
The meeting also reviewed the work plan and budget for the 2018/2019 biennium and other future activities including Guidelines on the assessment of oil spill response capability for the NOWPAP region (proposed by China), the use of Unmanned Aircraft in Marine Pollution Response in the NOWPAP region (proposed by China), Minimum response requirements for oil and HNS spills, which may arise from the offshore units at the NOWPAP region (proposed by Russia).
In the end of the meeting, IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues) introduced the Global Initiative for Southeast Asia (GISEA) and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Plan, and other activities that support the objectives of the Strategic Framework for 2015-2017; ITOPF (The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation) presented the recent trends in oil spill response and preparedness across the world. Participants committed to continuing strong partnerships and continuing focus of MERRAC activities of oil and NHS pollution preparedness and response.
(Credit: MERRAC)
 NOWPAP explores cooperation with the IOC-WESTPAC in Qingdao, China
 On 21-23 April 2017, Dr. LIU Ning introduced the progress of NOWPAP and explored the possibility of cooperation with countries in the Western Pacific region at the 11th Intergovernmental Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC-XI) in Qingdao, China. The meeting brought together governmental officials and academia from the East, South and Southeast Asia, the USA, and the Russian Federation to discuss how to improve science-policy interface, enhance international cooperation on marine science, observations and service, and to improve capacities to address challenges to sustainable development in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions.
The meeting reviewed IOC-WESTPAC strategic directions, the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national level and contribution of the IOC and WESTPAC. The meeting has also evaluated related regional programmes, projects and working groups for the period of May 2015 to April 2017. IOC-WESTPAC activities address ocean processes and climate in the Indo-Pacific, marine biodiversity conservation, healthy ecosystems, seafood security and safety, enhanced knowledge of emerging ocean science issue, capacity development for marine science, and observations and services.
In the session on research on micro-plastics, Dr. LIU briefed participants about the UNEP’s #CleanSeas campaign, the UN Environment study on marine litter responding to recommendations of the Second United Nations Environment Assembly, and the progress of research on micro-plastics made by the NOWPAP’s Pollution Monitoring Activity Center. Meeting participants invited NOWPAP to share UN Environment’s documents on marine litter and cooperate with IOC-WESTPAC on the research of micro-plastics that is expected to be considered under the upcoming NOWPAP Mid-Term Strategy for 2018-2023.
(Credit: IOC- WESTPAC)
NOWPAP Introduces its activities to Korean governmental officials
On 26 April 2017, Dr. LIU Ning, Programme Officer of NOWPAP, with the assistance of Ms. Jihee Yi, presented NOWPAP’ achievements and work on marine litter to 23 officials from Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of Republic of Korea. Dr. Liu highlighted NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter and the challenges on microplastics. The training was organized by the Oceans and Fisheries Human Resources Development Institute of Korean in Busan. The participants inquired the operating mechanisms of NOWPAP and current research and approaches to address plastics. 
 Dr. LIU Ning appointed as member of the “Busan International Organizations Advisory Committee”
On 26 April 2017, Dr. LIU Ning, Program Officer of NOWPAP met with Busan Mayor Suh Byung-Soo in the City Hall of Busan. He was appointed as a member of the “Busan International Organizations Advisory Committee”. In the ceremony on the appointment, Dr. LIU stressed that NOWPAP is a part of UN Environment Regional Sea Program, and is keen to work with Busan Metropolitan City Government to organize international conferences, raise awareness, and cooperate with academic institutes and universities on environmental protection. The Mayor welcomed the suggestions and expressed his wishes to work with international organizations closely to promote international cooperation and communications. ASEAN Korean Centre, International Organization for Migration, Global Green Growth Institute, APEC Climate Change Center, World Food Prgogramme, UNICEF, and some other international organizations have also attended the appointment ceremony.
The relevance of the regional dimension in the implementation of the G7 Action Plan on Marine Litter
April 21st, 2017: Following the invitation of the G7 Presidency of Italy and the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan, Mr. Lev Neretin, NOWPAP Senior Coordinator, attended the G7 Workshop on Marine Litter “Mainstreaming the work of the Regional Sea Programmes towards the better implementation of the G7 Action Plan and the achievement of the global commitments on marine litter” held on April 20-21st 2017 in Rome, Italy. Participants at the workshop representing G7 countries, Regional Seas Programmes, international organizations and representatives from business and NGO communities, discussed the ways how to enhance contributions from Regional Seas programmes towards the implementation of the G7 Action Plan to combat marine litter. NOWPAP contributed to the discussion and presented achievements, best practices and lessons learned in the implementation of the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter.
Participants emphasized the importance of using existing platforms and tools for cooperation that would reduce duplication and take advantage of progress made (e.g. the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) and the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans. Due to regional differences, the Regional Seas programmes present various institutional, regulatory and operational mechanisms to combat marine litter issues, however, they all have to effectively interact with the processes, initiatives and actors at the global (e. g. GPA and its partnerships and campaigns), regional and national levels to ensure coherence, complementarities and measurable impact. The important role of aligning specific regional and national priorities on marine litter with global strategic goals (e. g., the relevant Sustainable Development Goals) was emphasized. Delegates agreed on the workshop document “The Way Forward” listing various priorities for action that would inform deliberations by the G7 Environment Ministers meeting in June 2017 on the next steps in the implementation of the G-7 Action Plan on Marine Litter.

Photo credits:
1. Participants at the G-7 Marine Litter Workshop.
2. Ms. Sayo Morita (Japan’s Ministry of the Environment) (c.), Mr. Kazuhiro Yoshida (IDEA Consultants, Inc.) (r.) and Mr. Lev Neretin (l.) at the meeting.

Massive Open Online Course on Marine Litter
Marine litter is a global problem that affects every ocean of the world. Litter is an environmental, human health and socio-economic problem that is a symptom of a highly disposable society. With worldwide growth in the amount of solid litter thrown away every day and slow rates of degradation, the amount of litter present in the marine environment is increasing. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) seeks to inspire students to take action and leadership in the arena of marine litter through stimulating interaction with all stakeholder groups. The MOOC has been built on the highly successful first marine litter MOOC that was organized in 2015 and consisted of two week leadership track and eight week expert track. The Marine Litter MOOC 2.0 will start on May 22, 2017 and you can enroll here.

NOWPAP shared experience with the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Project (YSLME)
on means of addressing marine litter
January 24th, 2017: Dr. LIU Ning, Programme Officer of the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit attended the Preparation Meeting for the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) Project Phase II in Incheon, Republic of Korea on 24 January 2017. The project entitled ”Implementing the Strategic Action Programme for the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem: Restoring Ecosystem Goods and Services and Consolidation of a Long-Term Regional Environmental Governance Framework” builds upon four years of regional cooperation for the sustainable use of the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem put in place by China and the Republic of Korea, supported by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Yellow Sea Partnership and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The initial project completed a regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and finalized a regional Strategic Action Programme (SAP).

The project’s objective is to foster a long-term sustainable institutional, policy, and financial arrangements for effective ecosystem-based management of the Yellow Sea. To achieve this objective, the project will support the formation of an YSLME Commission that will oversee the implementation of the SAP; and will support the states' efforts to reduce the decline in biological resources and to restore depleted fish stocks in the Yellow Sea.

Dr. LIU briefed meeting participants about the NOWPAP Regional Marine Litter Action Plan and what NOWPAP member states have done in prevention, monitoring and reduction of marine litter in the region. The participants at the meeting agreed to work collaboratively with NOWPAP on marine litter issues, including those addressing micro-plastics.

The next phase of the dialogue and discussion of further priorities for cooperation will happen during the upcoming YSLME Project Inception Meeting that will establish the institutional structure of YSLME Interim Commission Council, approve activities and the workplan for 2017, and a roadmap towards a sustainable regional framework.

YSLME Project’s geographic area and mandate overlap and complement the NOWPAP’s activities. NOWPAP experts were involved in the formulation of the YSLME TDA and SAP. We are looking very much forward to continue the good legacy and enhance this very important for NOWPAP co-operation with the YSLME Project in the future.

World Ocean Summit explore ways on how to bring the blue economy into being
How to finance a sustainable ocean economy was shed light on by the fourth World Ocean Summit which was held in Bali, Indonesia, on February 22nd-24th 2017.
The summit was organized by the Economist and convened businesses, industry groups, scientists, governments and ocean advocates. The meeting discussed the blue economy approach and how to align economic activity with sustainable management of the oceans. The participants put their minds to the topics including the ocean economy; the ocean business; financing the sustainable ocean economy; the Ocean Conference and sustainable development goal (SDG) 14; climate change and the ocean; tech revolution; and China’s ocean policy.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Clean Seas Campaign in the summit advocating to eliminate use of micro-plastics in cosmetics and production of single-sue plastic by 2022.
UN Environment Launched a Global Campaign on Marine Litter
On 23rd February 2017 during the Economist Oceans Summit in Bali, the UN Environment launched a global #CleanSeas campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022. UN Environment calls for robust enforcement of legislation and relevant policies as well as for the enhanced efforts from private, civil society and public at large to combat marine litter problem.

Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said, "It is past time that we tackle the plastic problem that blights our oceans. Plastic pollution is surfing onto Indonesian beaches, settling onto the ocean floor at the North Pole, and rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables. We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse. It must stop."

More than 8 million tonnes of plastics get into the oceans annually, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute. At least US$8 billion in damage each year is caused by marine debris to marine ecosystems. More than 600 species of marine animals are impacted by ingesting or becoming entangled in plastics floating in the ocean.

The UN campaign will be implemented in three phases: building an awareness, engage public from 2017 to 2018, scaling up and replicating action around the world from 2018 to 2020, especially working with industries to reduce the use of single-use plastics and microbeads, and working towards to a closed loop economy - one in which plastics never become waste, but re-enter the economy as technical or biological capital from 2021 to 2022.

NOWPAP was among the first Regional Seas programmes that initiated marine litter activities in 2005. A NOWPAP marine litter database was established in 2006. NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter was adopted in 2007 provides strategic directions for NOWPAP member states to improve the quality of the marine and coastal environment of the Northwest Pacific region by addressing the marine litter problems through cooperation and partnerships. Northwest Pacific Regional Node was the first regional node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter established with support by Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) by the Northwest Pacific Environmental Cooperation Center (NPEC) and Regional Coordinating Unit of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP).

NOWPAP has organized a series of international marine litter workshops and ocean cleanup campaigns since 2005, published a number of reports on monitoring and assessing on marine litter in the region.

Throughout the year, the #CleanSeas campaign will be announcing ambitious measures by countries and businesses to eliminate microplastics from personal care products, ban or tax single-use bags, and dramatically reduce other disposable plastic items.

People around the world are taking action to turn the tide on plastic in our oceans.
Join NOWPAP and the global movement to end plastics pollution in the ocean. Act Now!
About #CleanSeas:
The #CleanSeas campaign is a global movement targeting governments, industry and consumers to urgently reduce the production and excessive use of plastic that is polluting the earth’s oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health. UN Environment aims to transform all spheres of change - habits, practices, standards and policies around the globe to dramatically reduce marine litter and the harm it causes. Ten countries have already joined the campaign. They are: Belgium, Costa Rica, France, Grenada, Indonesia, Norway, Panama, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone and Uruguay.

NOWPAP is discussing how to strengthen co-operation with local authorities in Japan
NOWPAP Senior Coordinator, Lev Neretin, met with local authorities in the hosting NOWPAP RCU Toyama Prefecture and Toyama City. He acknowledged and expressed his strong appreciation to Toyama Prefecture Governor, Mr. Takakazu ISHII, for the continuing support to NOWPAP and interest to strengthen links between NOWPAP and Prefecture to support environmental co-operation in the region. Among the issues discussed were reduction of marine litter and stronger engagement of public and private sector in environmental activities. The visit was followed couple weeks later by the meeting with the Mayor of Toyama City, Mr. Mashashi MORI, and his staff in the Environmental Policy and Strategic Planning and Resilience Divisions. In 2008 Toyama City was selected by the national government of Japan as the first "eco-model" city in the country for its pioneering efforts in promoting low-carbon economies and society. The city is also part of several global initiatives such as Sustainable Energy for All and the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities. Municipal officials introduced various environmental programs and activities supported by the city government. In discussions NOWPAP Coordinator emphasized common goals and interests to undertake joint activities. In this critical for NOWPAP year focusing on the development of the next medium-term strategy for 2018-2023, NOWPAP RCU will continue playing coordinating role and discussing with various stakeholders the ways to strengthen regional environmental co-operation for the protection of marine environment through stronger engagement of local authorities and public in NOWPAP activities.

Mr. Nishinaka, Director General; Lev Neretin, Senior Coordinator of NOWPAP RCU;
Mr. Ito, Deputy Director General; Mr. Sekino, Manager
Environmental Policy Division, City of Toyama
UN Internship Vacancy Announcement
Environmental Affairs and Communication Intern (Toyama, Japan or Busan, R. Korea)
Regional Coordinating Unit of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) is seeking applications from qualified candidates for two internship positions in NOWPAP offices in Toyama, Japan and Busan, R. Korea. Preferred candidates should be enrolled in the final year of graduate studies or be within one year after graduation. The NOWPAP internship is on a non-reimbursable basis and provides selected candidates with a first-hand experience working for the United Nations in the field of environmental affairs and public communication. Applications is open until the post is filled. For further information about the internship and the application process follow the link.
Press release: Twenty-first Intergovernmental Meeting of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) renews commitment of member states for strengthening regional cooperation on environmentally sustainable development
 24th November 2016, Seoul, Republic of Korea: More than 40 stakeholders, including officials from the NOWPAP states - P.R. China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation - met in Seoul to find solutions addressing pollution and declining ecosystem health and biodiversity of marine and coastal ecosystems in Northwest Pacific region.
Mr. Hyung-jong Lee, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea opens the 21st NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (Photo credit: Ning Liu).

In his opening remarks, Mr. Hyung-jong Lee, Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea emphasized that “it is our common duty and responsibility to protect shared marine environment in the North Pacific. Our cooperation continues for more than 20 years. This is the first inter-governmental meeting after NOWPAP restructuring and it provides a window of opportunity for the new future of the Action Plan”.
The rapid economic development of Northwest Pacific region, one of the most densely populated parts of the world, has brought enormous pressures on the environment. The 21st NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting comes also at a defining time for change in the global environmental governance. “The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identified conservation and sustainable use of oceans as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and as part of holistic and integrated development agenda for the planet. The level of ambition expressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets necessitates transformative action at multiple scales. Regional Seas will continue playing an important role in this process” said Ms. Lisa Emilia Svensson, Oceans Coordinator at the UN Environment.
The three-day meeting reviewed progress of implementation of the Action Plan and focused on discussing future priorities set by the draft NOWPAP Mid-term Strategy 2018-2023 (MTS 2018-2023). Participants at the meeting discussed how to strengthen NOWPAP mandate and actions addressing challenges affecting the marine and coastal environment in a holistic and integrated manner while at the same time contributing to sustainable development in the region.
Participants considered favorably a number of strategic priorities for environmental protection and development in the region, including pollution reduction and control, biodiversity conservation, application of integrated coastal zone management and others and expressed its strong support for the revitalized partnership with regional stakeholders and enhanced outreach efforts by the restructured Regional Coordinating Unit and the NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres. Member states agreed to undertake extensive consultations within countries and relevant stakeholders to develop further the MTS 2018-2023 that will be aligned closely with national and regional environmental priorities and Sustainable Development Goals. The next intergovernmental meeting to keep the positive momentum of the Seoul meeting and take this vision forward will be held in Toyama, Japan in 2017.
Participants of the Twenty-first NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting held in Seoul, R. Korea on November 23-24th, 2016
(Photo credit: Ning Liu).
NOWPAP joins local associations and civil society groups for 2016 Toyama International
Exchange Festival and 10th Russian Language speech contest
On 13 November 2016, NOWPAP highlighted its activities at the 2016 Toyama International Exchange Festival held at Toyama Central Station and CiC building along with over 30 groups of local and international NGOs and communities. NOWPAP booth was located side by side with the NPEC (Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center), where posters and brochures were displayed and environmental issues discussed with the visitors.

Chika Kimura, Programme Assistant, at the NOWPAP booth

As a part of the program, 10th Russian Language Contest was organized by the Toyama Prefecture and NOWPAP Senior Coordinator, Lev Neretin, served on the contest jury.

NOWPAP recent developments

Senior NOWPAP Coordinator, Dr. Lev Neretin, attended Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fisheries Bodies on Accelerating Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets co-organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Environment. The meeting was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 26 - 29 September 2016. The Dialogue brought together regional bodies to share lessons learned on regional-scale cooperation and scientific mechanisms to implement and make progress towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in marine and coastal areas. NOWPAP Senior Coordinator contributed to discussions addressing implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and opportunities for global processes and initiatives to better support regional-level collaboration and implementation of the Strategic Plan, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the SDGs.

Following the SOI Dialogue, NOWPAP Senior Coordinator and NOWPAP Programme Officer, Dr. Liu Ning, had bilateral meetings with the NOWPAP Focal Points in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation. The agenda included discussion of further development of NOWPAP activities and preparation for the 21st NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting. They also had a day-long meeting with the MERRAC Secretariat and were introduced to activities of its hosting institution, Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO). The meetings ended with a visit to Korea Maritime Institute.

Drs. Lev Neretin and Dr. Liu Ning together with the MERRAC Director, Dr. Kang Seong-Gil and the Senior Researcher of CEARAC, Dr. Yoshida Takafumi, represented NOWPAP at the 18th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans held in Incheon, Korea on 30 September to 1 October 2016. The meeting addressed implementation of Regional Seas activities in the context of delivering on Sustainable Development Goals and Regional Seas Strategic Directions 2017-2020. Final report of the meeting will be available on the UN Environment website during the next couple weeks. NOWPAP held a range of bilateral meetings during this event, including with the East and North-east Asia Office of ESCAP on joint activities addressing development of marine protected area network in the NOWPAP region.

Senior Researchers of NOWPAP CEARAC, Dr. Genki Terauchi and Dr. Yoshida Takafumi, will represent NOWPAP at the 2016 Annual Meeting of PICES that marks 25th anniversary of the organization. Dr. Terauchi will address Science Board of PICES and discuss priorities for joint NOWPAP and PICES activities in line with the proposed in 2015 by a working group PICES-NOWPAP Framework for Scientific Cooperation in the North Pacific Ocean.


NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit office has a new home in Busan, Republic of Korea

The NOWPAP RCU Busan Office has moved in new offices offered generously by the Training Center for Aquatic Disease Control at the National Institute of Fisheries Science (NIFS) []. NIFS provides facilities and equipment for the NOWPAP Busan office. Mr. Kang Joon-Suk, NIFS President and Mr. Liu Ning, Programme Officer of NOWPAP together with several senior officials from the Korean government agencies attended the opening ceremony in Busan on 3 November 2016. They have unveiled the nameplate of the training center, and planted a tree comemorating the opening of a new building and NOWPAP RCU office in Busan. During the opening ceremony Mr. Liu Ning expressed NOWPAP appreciation for the support provided by NIFS and discussed with Mr. Kang further opportunities for cooperation between NIFS and NOWPAP. The meeting follows consultations held earlier in October 2016 between Mr. Kang and Mr. Lev Neretin, NOWPAP Senior Coordinator, about the need to strengthen ties and joint activities between the two institutions.
The address of the new NOWPAP RCU office is:
216 Gijanghaean-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan 619-705, Republic of Korea



Celebrating 12 years of service for NOWPAP

As an expression of his appreciation for the tireless work, effort and contribution of all UN staff members around the globe, the UN Secretary-General has dedicated 25 October 2016 as UN Staff Day. On 25 October 2016, the United Nations family will gather at all duty stations and field missions in celebration of the courage, commitment and sacrifice of the men and women who have answered the noble call to become international civil servants.  

 Dr. Alex TKALIN speaks to university students from Toyama on 25 February 2016

On this occasion NOWPAP family recognizes Dr. Alexander TKALIN, who has retired in August this year after serving for more than a decade as a NOWPAP Coordinator in Toyama, Japan and Busan, Republic of Korea. As the first staff member of the inaugurated in 2004 NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU), he steered the program through challenging and opportune times. Under his leadership NOWPAP evolved into one of the flagship intergovernmental initiatives under the umbrella of the UN Environment Regional Seas Programme. Alex worked tirelessly developing cooperative relationships with the NOWPAP four member states – China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Russia, helped to establish and make operational NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres (RACs). In his term, NOWPAP regional and global network of partners grew exponentially and now includes some of the major regional environmental institutions such as the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and others. As a national expert and consultant for UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Dr. Tkalin was among the first who started preparing and later negotiated the Action Plan under the auspices of UN Environment. His career in the UN started in 2000 when he was appointed a Programme Officer for the UN Development Programme project co-funded by the Global Environment Facility to develop Strategic Action Programme for Tumen River shared between Russia, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and China. His former colleagues in Busan and Toyama remember Alex as a kind gentlemen always willing to give his support and being open-minded. They say with a sense of humor that “while Alex could not master Japanese beyond the essential polite phrases necessary for daily conversation, he is regarded highly among his peers as one who could distinguish all brands of sake in Toyama”. In Japanese Shinto-style wedding ceremonies the bride and groom take turns sipping sake from three different bowls, each one larger than the one before. Sharing from the bowls is meant to represent sharing joys and sorrows. NOWPAP family will miss one of its members. While we wish Alex the best for new life in the well deserved retirement, we are also saying またお会いしましょう、お元気で! [Many happy returns, let’s meet again], Alex!

2016 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup and NOWPAP-TEMM Joint Workshop on Marine Litter Management held in Slavyanka, Russia

The 2016 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup and NOWPAP-TEMM (Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among China, Japan and Korea) Joint Workshop on Marine Litter Management was held in Slavyanka, Primorsky Kray on 23-24 September 2016.
Some 40 participants from governmental agencies, universities, research institutes and NGOs from China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Russia have attended the events. The participants shared their experience on marine litter research, monitoring and campaigns, and discussed how to promote the International Coastal Cleanup campaign, and how to strengthen cooperation in the NOWPAP region on dealing with marine litter.
The NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) Working Meeting was held on 24 September 2016. The NOWPAP Marine Litter Focal Points and regional activity centers reviewed the progress on the implementation of the plan on marine litter.
On the afternoon of the 24 September 2016, the participants have been to Baclan Bay to clean a 120 meter- long beach.
The events were organized by NOWPAP Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Centre (POMRAC), NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU), Sea Protection and Shelf Development Institute, and TEMM Marine Litter Focal Points.


NOWPAP RCU staff joined local beach clean-up in Toyama

Staff members of NOWPAP RCU in Toyama participated in the local beach clean-up held by the Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Centre (NPEC) on 9 September 2016. About 50 people in total participated in this event, including school children, NGO officers, local government officers, and local citizens. This was one of the series of beach clean-up campaigns organized by NPEC as a part of its marine litter monitoring programme, which has been conducted for many years in Japan, China, Korea, and Russia. After the collection of marine litter, it was sorted into different categories, weighed, and recorded. Data is consolidated and submitted to Japan Environmental Action Network (JEAN).


NOWPAP recent developments

On 13-15 July 2016, NOWPAP representative participated in the 8th East Asian Seas Partnership Council meeting held in Tagbilaran, Philippines.  NOWPAP has well established partnership relations with PEMSEA and is participating in the Council meetings as a non-country member.  Joint PEMSEA-NOWPAP training course on Integrated Coastal Management was suggested to be held in 2016-2017, to be co-funded by NOWPAP POMRAC.

On 19 July, new Programme Management Assistant, Ms. Chika KIMURA, has joined NOWPAP RCU Toyama office.  New Programme Management Officer, Mr. Ning LIU, will join NOWPAP RCU Busan office on 17 August.  With their experience working in the UN system and knowledge of UN rules and regulations, support to NOWPAP project implementation will be enhanced.

On 23 July, NOWPAP Coordinator delivered a lecture to students from Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil.  Lecture was organized by the Toyama International Center Foundation and was focused on marine environmental issues in the NE Asia and NOWPAP activities addressing these issues.


New DINRAC and MERRAC projects for 2016-2017

Both DINRAC and MERRAC had their Focal Points Meetings during the last two weeks.  Details of implementation plans of their 2016-2017 activities were discussed.  The main projects for DINRAC will be as follows:

·      Development of DINRAC website (maintenance and updating of existing databases, data visualization via web-based GIS, etc.).

·      Annual summary of major environmental data (continued from 2014-2015).

·      Collection of information on endangered/threatened species in the NOWPAP region (with expanded geographical coverage).

·      Compilation of marine environmental standards used in NOWPAP member states.


MERRAC will focus on the following activities in 2016-2017:

·      Organization of an expert meeting as well as BRAVO and DELTA exercises.

·      Development of MERRAC information system through web-based GIS.

·      Development of information sharing platform on oil and HNS spills.

·      Preparation of a regional report on response to oiled wildlife.


Ecological Quality Objectives for the NOWPAP region

On 18 May 2016, the regional workshop organized by NOWPAP POMRAC was held in Vladivostok, Russia.  Experts from NOWPAP member states and representatives from NOWPAP partners in the region (PICES and IOC WESTPAC) discussed targets and indicators for the Ecological Quality Objectives (EcoQOs) formulated earlier, in 2014, related to five major issues: biodiversity and habitats, alien species, eutrophication, contaminants and marine litter.  Experts found with satisfaction that at least several targets related to biodiversity, eutrophication and contaminants might be common for all four NOWPAP member states.  Following preparation of national inputs and submissions from all NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers, the regional overview on EcoQO targets and indicators for the NOWPAP region will be prepared at the end of 2017.


NOWPAP at G7 Environment Ministers Meeting

On 15-16 May 2016, G7 Environment Ministers have met in Toyama, Japan, where one of two offices of NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit is located.  Several sessions were organized focusing on the following issues: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Chemicals Management, Resource Efficiency, Biodiversity, Marine Litter, Climate Change and Related Measures.  UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, participated in the first session on 2030 Agenda.  NOWPAP Coordinator, Alexander Tkalin, had a chance to make a brief introduction of UNEP and NOWPAP efforts to deal with marine litter at the morning session on 16 May.  NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter and some other NOWPAP publications were available for participants of the meeting.  The G7 summit will be held in Mie Prefecture (Japan) on 26-27 May 2016.


New staff, new e-mail addresses in NOWPAP

In May, NOWPAP RCU Busan office Programme Assistant, Ms. Gyoung Hee KIM, has moved to another UN office in Seoul.  New Team Assistant, Ms. Jihee YI, has started working in Busan office since 2 May.  Her e-mail address is  Other RCU staff members will use *.* e-mail addresses from 1 June 2016.


NOWPAP CEARAC projects for new biennium

On 7-8 April 2016, the 14th CEARAC Focal Points Meeting has been held in Toyama, Japan.  CEARAC Focal Points and experts have agreed on the detailed implementation plans of the two projects for the 2016-2017 biennium.  First project will be focused on a feasibility study towards assessment of seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region.  Second project will aim to assess three major pressures on marine biodiversity in the NOWPAP region: non-indigenous species, habitat alteration and eutrophication.  Meeting participants also agreed that in the long-term assessment of eutrophication status should be repeated.  Cooperation with several NOWPAP partners in the regions (PICES, IOC WESTPAC and NEASPEC) was strongly encouraged.


Recent NOWPAP developments

On 25 February, 10 university students visited Toyama office of the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU).  Students were briefed on NOWPAP structure and major activities being implemented by the NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers.  They also asked NOWPAP Coordinator several personal questions about working in the United Nations.  Before visiting Toyama RCU office, students were given a lecture at the host organization of NOWPAP CEARAC, Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center (NPEC).


On 15 March, NOWPAP Coordinator participated in the online meeting of Regional Seas Working Group on indicators.  During the meeting, recently adopted indicators for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed as well as two more specific indicators used by several individual Regional Seas programmes: one on marine litter and another one on chlorophyll.  In total, more than 20 indicators were suggested for possible use by Regional Seas programmes.  Next online meeting of Working Group will be held tentatively in summer.

(18 March 2016) 
Farewell to Mr. Zhong

Mr. Xiaodong Zhong, NOWPAP Deputy Coordinator, has left NOWPAP on 29 February 2016, after 11 years of serving at that position in Busan, then in Toyama, and in Busan again.  Xiaodong was responsible for many issues in NOWPAP: legal aspects, partnership building, raising public awareness, and, of course, managing one of two offices of the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU).  A lot of his work was dedicated to dealing with NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers (RACs): attending their meetings, guiding preparation of their biennium work plans, commenting on their meeting documents and reports, helping them to find proper experts to implement RAC projects, etc.  With smooth and calm personality, good diplomatic skills and client orientation, Xiaodong has also managed to establish and maintain close relations with NOWPAP partners in the region, with member states and host institutions of NOWPAP RCU and RACs.  We will miss him and unfortunately there would be no replacement as member states decided not to have Deputy Coordinator post in NOWPAP anymore.

(29 February 2016)

NOWPAP marine litter updates

Representatives from NOWPAP RCU and CEARAC joined other members of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) around the world in an online meeting held on 18 February 2016.  While being updated of the latest developments of GPML around the world, the NOWPAP representatives presented NOWPAP activities on marine litter (ML) including the Northwest Pacific Regional Node of GMPL hosted by CEARAC.  In addition, CEARAC has collected and compiled data on marine litter monitoring (including ICC data) covering the period of 2010-2015 from China, Korea, Japan and Russia, which will be updated in the DINRAC website ML database.


(22 February 2016)
Introducing NOWPAP activities

The NOWPAP Coordinator delivered a lecture on 12 February 2016 in Toyama introducing NOWPAP and its activities to the audience attending “Fostering Academy of Global Environmental Leaders”.  In the meantime, from 10 February till 3 March, panels promoting NOWPAP, among other environmental initiatives, are being displayed at a serial exhibition in three cities in Toyama Prefecture (which is hosting the G7 environmental ministers meeting in May 2016).  Both events were organized by Toyama Prefectural Government.

(12 February 2016)

NOWPAP at Senior Officials Meeting of NEASPEC

The NOWPAP Coordinator and an expert of NOWPAP CEARAC participated in the 20th Senior Officials Meeting of the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) held on 1-2 February 2016 in Tokyo. The NOWPAP representative contributed to the panel discussion on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presenting five major themes of NOWPAP Medium-term Strategy 2012-2017 and their relevance to SDGs as well as a workshop to be held in May 2016 in Vladivostok, Russia, focusing on targets and indicators for the assessment of the state of the marine environment.  Serving as a member of the Advisory Committee of the NEASPEC project on North-East Asia Marine Protected Areas Network, the NOWPAP representative reiterated the need of frequent communications with relevant organizations or projects in the region in order to avoid duplication of efforts and achieve practical cooperation between NEASPEC and NOWPAP.

(3 February 2016)

NOWPAP at a symposium on marine litter

Joining about 200 participants from academia, industry, government agencies and NGOs, the NOWPAP Coordinator delivered a presentation about UNEP and NOWPAP efforts in dealing with marine litter at the “2016 New Year Symposium on Marine Litter” organized by the Ministry of Environment of Japan on 23 January 2016 in Tokyo.  Focusing on the current status and countermeasure against marine litter, including micro-plastics, presenters from the region (four NOWPAP member states) and beyond (Australia, Canada, USA and UK) shared relevant information and experiences.  On the next day (24 January), symposium was continued for a domestic audience with more focus on marine litter issues in Japan.

(25 January 2016)

NOWPAP developments

Gearing up for the implementation of the 2016-2017 NOWPAP Programme of Work, all four Regional Activity Centers are preparing small scale funding agreement (SSFAs) with UNEP with the help from the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit.  Once the SSFAs are finalized, funding will be provided for the RACs to implement their projects and activities. In April-June all RACs will have meetings of their Focal Points where implementation of those projects and activities will be discussed in detail.

(25 January 2016)