China Japan Korea Russia

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)