UN Internship Vacancy Announcement
Environmental Affairs and Communication Intern (Toyama, Japan or Busan,
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.
Deadline for receiving applications is January, 15th, 2017. 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
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.
NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit office has a new home in Busan, Republic
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) [http://www.nifs.go.kr/en/]. 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
The address of the new NOWPAP RCU office is:
216 Gijanghaean-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan 619-705, Republic of
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
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
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.
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.
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
DINRAC and MERRAC projects for 2016-2017
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
·Development of MERRAC information system through web-based
·Development of information sharing platform on oil and HNS
·Preparation of a regional report on response to oiled
Ecological Quality Objectives for the NOWPAP region
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
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.
staff, new e-mail addresses in NOWPAP
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 Jihee.Yi@unep.org.Other RCU staff members will use *.*@unep.org
e-mail addresses from 1 June 2016.
NOWPAP CEARAC projects for new biennium
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
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
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.
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.
NOWPAP marine litter
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.
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
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
NOWPAP at a symposium on marine litter
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.
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.