NOWPAP at East Asian
Seas Congress 2015
Partnerships in Environmental
Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) organized the
2015 East Asian Seas Congress in Da Nang, Vietnam, on 16-20
November 2015 and NOWPAP participated in the Congress as a
non-country partner of PEMSEA.
In addition to attending an East Asian Seas
Partnership Council meeting, a Ministerial Forum of PEMSEA
member states, and several special events and workshops
during the Congress, NOWPAP set up an exhibition booth to
showcase its activities with posters, publications and
With approval by the Ministerial
Forum of the new (revised) Sustainable Development Strategy
for the Seas of East Asia (SDS SEA) with strategic targets
for 2016-2021, NOWPAP is expected to further enhance the
relationship with PEMSEA through cooperative activities such
as having joint training course on Integrated Coastal
Management, linking PEMSEA “knowledge bank” with NOWPAP
on 16 November 2015)
November 2015, NOWPAP set up a booth at Toyama International
Festival introducing NOWPAP activitis to the visitors.
Joning other organzitions based in Toyama, NOWPAP
particiated in the annual event which was aimed at
promotinng cultural exchange between the local people and
foreign expatriates living in Toyama.
On 11 November 2015, NOWPAP RCU
staff members attended the 12th meeting of the
Sub-Committee on Environment of the Association of the North
East Asia Regional Governments (NEAR) and delivered a
presentation introducing NOWPAP and its activities.
With overlapping membership, NOWPAP has been in touch
with NEAR exchanging information during the NEAR
Sub-Committee meetings organized every two years in Toyama.
It was agreed at this year meeting that the following
projects would be conducted in 2016 through the Northwest
Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Centre (NPEC), the
host of NOWPAP CEARAC:
1. Ecological symposium for school
kids in Vladivostok (in conjunction with the 10th "Nature
without borders" Forum).
2. Marine litter monitoring and
marine litter art classes (continued).
3. Exhibition of ecological posters
(prepared by kids) in Korea.
4. Pilot biodiversity surveys
(Toyama Prefecture and Primorsky Kray).
In addition, as a contribution from
NEAR to a G7 environment ministers meeting in Toyama in May
2016, the second Northeast Asia Environmental Forum will be
also held in May 2016.
(Released on 12 November 2015)
NOWPAP IGM held in Beijing
The 20th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) was held on
28-30 October 2015 in Beijing, China.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the
NOWPAP Member States (the People’s Republic of China, Japan,
the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation).
Directors of the NOWPAP RACs, a representative of
UNEP Headquarters and RCU staff members also attended the
representative of the North Pacific Science Organization
(PICES) attended the meeting as a NOWPAP partner.
The meeting approved the report of the Executive Director of
UNEP and the reports of four NOWPAP Regional Activity
Centres on the progress for the implementation of NOWPAP
activities during the 2014-2015 biennium. The meeting also
approved the NOWPAP 2016-2017 Programme of Work including
the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter budget for
2016-2017. The meeting decided to prepare the draft NOWPAP
Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023 and to revise the Terms of
Reference for NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit in 2016.
In order to help
POMRAC with smooth implementation of its projects, the
meeting decided to assign to DINRAC the responsibility of
operating financial transactions for two POMRAC activities
The 21st NOWPAP
IGM will be held in the Republic of Korea late 2016.
(Released on 5 November 2015)
NOWPAP at 2015 PICES annual meeting
To follow up the
recommendations from a meeting of the joint NOWPAP PICES
study group in 2014 in Yeosu, Korea during the 2014 PICES
annual meeting, NOWPAP actively participated in the 2015
PICES annual meeting held on 14-25 October 2015 in Qingdao,
China, where NOWPAP cosponsored/convened the following
PICES Marine Environmental Quality Committee (MEQ) Topic
Session on Indicators of Emerging Pollution Issues in the
North Pacific Ocean.
Workshop on Contrasting Conditions for Success of
Fish-killing Flagellates in the Western and Eastern Pacific
— A comparative ecosystem approach.
Workshop on Identifying Major Threats to Marine Biodiversity
and Ecosystems in the North Pacific.
Workshop on Marine Environment Emergencies: Detection,
monitoring, response, and impacts.
For those events
above, 3 NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres (CEARAC, MERRAC
and POMRAC) were involved in the preparation and NOWPAP as a
whole has funded 9 participants as co-conveners or invited
During the annual
meeting, NOWPAP Deputy Coordinator delivered a presentation
at the MEQ meeting and Technical Committee on Data Exchange
(TCODE) meeting respectively where cooperative activities
between NOWPAP and PICES were introduced and continuation of
cooperation was discussed. In this regard, PICES decided to
participate in the 20th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting on
28-30 October 2015 in Beijing.
(Released on 5 November 2015)
NOWPAP at a Global Meeting of Regional Seas
Coordinator attended the 17th Global Meeting of Regional
Seas (GMRS) held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 20-22 October 2015.
Representatives of 13 Regional Seas Conventions and
Action Plans (RSCAPs) as well as related Intergovernmental
Organizations, Multilateral Environmental Agreements and UN
agencies (such as CBD, FAO, IAEA, IOC UNESCO, UNDP and
others) discussed issues related to conserving biodiversity
in areas beyond national jurisdiction, relevance of recently
adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to individual
Regional Seas programmes, and other issues.
At the end of the meeting, participants adopted
Regional Seas Strategic Directions for 2017-2020 along with
four main “themes”: governance, pollution, climate change
and extraction of living and non-living resources.
Possible input of individual RSCAPs to the Fourth
Intergovernmental Review Meeting on the Implementation of
the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the
Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) was also
discussed. The next
GMRS was suggested to be held in Abidjan in 2016.
After the GMRS, one day meeting of a Regional Seas Working
Group on indicators was held.
Participants agreed on a draft core set of indicators
which might be used to characterise the pressures and state
of the marine environment in different regions.
Work plan for the next year has been also discussed
(Released on 5 November 2015)
2015 NOWPAP ICC
The 2015 NOWPAP
International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and workshop on marine
litter management were held on 24-25 September 2015 in
The workshop was organized as a joint event of NOWPAP
and TEMM (Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among China, Republic
of Korea and Japan).
Participants who attended the workshop were NOWPAP
marine litter focal points, ICC coordinators and
representatives of NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres, NOWPAP
partners (Ocean Conservancy and COBSEA), research
institutions and environmental NGOs. The participants joined
students from a
in the beach
clean up to promote ICC, collecting and recording marine
litter items in the ICC data cards which will be submitted
to Ocean Conservancy to compile a global report.
(Released on 5 October 2015)
RCU at a beach cleanup
Staff members of RCU Busan Office,
continuing NOWPAP efforts to address marine litter problem,
jointed local people on 18 September 2015 in Busan
participating in a beach cleanup campaign.
Held at Songdo beach, the campaign started with a
ceremony to mark the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup
(ICC) in Korea, followed by awarding those who made their
great efforts on addressing the issue of marine litter.
A statement on marine litter was read at the
beginning with the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries of
Republic of Korea present.
(Released on 21 September 2015)
Toyama Tower 111 turns blue
encouraged by NOWPAP RCU, the landmark building of Toyama -
Tower 111 - which houses NOWPAP RCU Toyama Office has joined
more than two dozen cities around the world for the
Turn the World UN
Blue Campaign to commemorate the 70th
anniversary of United Nations.
Situated to the north of Toyama railway station, the
highest building in Toyama (Japan) will be lit up in blue at
the night and will attract attention of many visitors.
(Released on 14 September 2015)
NOWPAP RACs preparing for the
CEARAC and MERRAC
organized their Focal Points Meetings in the week of 24-28
August 2015 in Toyama, Japan and Busan, Korea, respectively.
In addition to reviewing the ongoing activities and
projects, the focal points discussed and agreed upon new
activities and projects for the next biennium, 2016-2017.
Although having difficulties with organizing its
Focal Points Meeting in 2015, POMRAC is consulting focal
points through email.
Beside routine activities to be continued from the
current biennium, the major projects suggested for 2016-2017
Development of a draft common procedure for assessment of
the impacts of major pressures on marine biodiversity in the
NOWPAP region (CEARAC).
Feasibility study towards assessment of seagrass
distribution in the NOWPAP region (CEARAC).
Development of information sharing platform on oil and HNS
spills in the NOWPAP region (MERRAC).
full scale NOWPAP oil spill exercise (MERRAC).
Organization of regional workshop (training course) on
Integrated Coastal Planning and Management (POMRAC).
of targets and indicators for Ecological Quality Objectives
for the NOWPAP region (POMRAC).
As DINRAC has
also completed its Focal Points Meeting in July 2015, the
activities and projects suggested by all RACs for the
2016-2017 NOWPAP Programme of Work will be submitted to
20th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) in October 2015
in Beijing for approval.
In addition, each RAC
will carry out relevant activities and projects within the
NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter.
(Released on 2 September 2015)
Joint TEMM-NOWPAP workshop on marine litter management
Synchronizing their efforts in combating marine litter,
NOWPAP and TEMM will have the first joint TEMM-NOWPAP
workshop on marine litter management on 24 September 2015 in
Yantai, China as part of 2015 NOWPAP International Coastal
As a high level regional cooperative mechanism
established in 1999, the Tripartite Environment Ministers
Meeting (TEMM) among China, Japan and Korea has given marine
litter a particular attention in recent TEMM communiqués
(along with other environmental issues such as air quality,
biodiversity, climate change response, etc.) and supported
NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI).
At the joint workshop, one of presentations will
outline new TEMM Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation
(2015-2019), including marine litter.
Other presentations will be made by representatives
of central and local governments of NOWPAP member states,
research institutions, non-governmental organizations
(including Ocean Conservancy from the US) and NOWPAP
partners (such as Coordinating Body on the Seas of
East Asia, COBSEA).
(Released on 17 August 2015)
NOWPAP RCU Busan
office received visitors
A group of newly
recruited civil servants for marine conservation authorities
in the Republic of Korea paid a visit to NOWPAP RCU Busan
office on 27 July 2015 to learn about NOWPAP as part of
The visitors were briefed on NOWPAP history, structure,
major activities and implementation mechanism.
(Released on 27 July 2015)
NOWPAP at marine litter roundtable discussion
Representing UNEP, the NOWPAP Coordinator made a
presentation on 24 July 2015 at a roundtable discussion in
the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo to mark the port call of the “Race
for Water Odyssey”
NOWPAP Coordinator introduced UNEP efforts in dealing with
marine litter starting from UNEP initiative on ML in 2003
(with regional and global ML assessments), the 5th
International Marine Debris Conference in Honolulu in 2011
(with Honolulu Strategy and Honolulu Commitment adopted),
and then GPML establishment at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012
(including online Marine Litter Network).
UNEA resolution on plastic debris and subsequent
study were also mentioned along with major UNEP publications
already produced and expected to be available in 2015-2016.
NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP
MALI) was briefly introduced with a few examples.
publications produced by NOWPAP in recent years were
distributed at the meeting.
on 27 July 2015)
DINRAC plans for 2016-2017 biennium
The 13th Focal Points Meeting of the NOWPAP Data and
Information Regional Activity Centre (DINRAC) was held on
9-10 July 2015 in Dalian, China.
DINRAC focal points and experts attended the meeting
along with representatives from other three NOWPAP Regional
Activity Centres (CEARAC, MERRAC and POMRAC).
Representatives of a local university and
environmental NGO also attended as observers.
The meeting reviewed
the progress of the implementation of the DINRAC activities
in the current biennium (2014-2015) and agreed on the DINRAC
work plan and budget for the next biennium (2016-2017).
The meeting discussed 8 project proposals prepared by
the focal points of China, Japan and Russia, and (after
careful consideration) agreed to submit the following four
activities for approval by the 20th NOWPAP
Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM):
Compilation of marine environmental standards used in
the member states.
Development of DINRAC website including updating
existing databases, and
data through web-based GIS (continued from 2014-2015).
Compilation of major marine environmental data available
in the member states
(continued from 2014-2015).
Collection of data and information on threatened marine
(second phase of the project implemented in 2014-2015).
(Released on 27 July 2015)
members trained for Umoja
Since 1 June 2015, new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
system, called “Umoja”, has been in place for UNEP and other
UN agencies. Umoja is an administrative reform initiative
designed to help UN operate more effectively by integrating
and streamlining business processes that manage financial,
human and physical resources within a single global solution
for the entire UN system.
In order to prepare for the transition to the new
system, one RCU staff member went to Nairobi for a 3-week
training while other staff members got relevant training
courses online. Staff
members now are able to perform basic functions on the
system after numerous consultations with Umoja help team
fixing the access problems encountered.
During the transition to Umoja, some business
transactions in NOWPAP have been affected.
(Released on 3 July 2015)
NOWPAP at a GPML online conference
Two NOWPAP representatives joined
other members of the
Global Partnership on Marine
around the world in an online conference held on 26 June
2015. During the
conference, recent developments of GPML were shared by the
GPML secretariat, including GPML Communication Strategy and
a Marine Litter Massive Open Online Course to be launched in
To promote GPML at regional level, NOWPAP has been hosting
GPML Northwest Pacific regional
(Relased on 3 July 2015)
Lecture on marine
litter at a university
Upon invitation, a
representative of NOWPAP delivered a lecture on marine
litter at the Toyama Prefectural University on 26 June 2015.
Targeting a group of university students, the one hour
lecture started with stressing the global threat of marine
litter and then introducing the efforts against marine
litter at both global and regional levels, including
cooperation among NOWPAP members through the implementation
of NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter.
The lecture will help students understand the issue
of marine litter and relevant actions undertaken both in
Japan and internationally.
(released on 29 June 2015)
NOWPAP at 10th Intergovernmental Session of IOC WESTPAC
A NOWPAP representative participated in the 10th
Intergovernmental Session of UNESCO Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission’s Sub-Commission for the Western
Pacific (IOC WESTPAC) held on 12-15 May 2015 in Phuket,
meeting was attended by about 100 delegates from 15 IOC
WESTPAC member states, including NOWPAP members of China,
Japan, Korea and Russia.
The meeting reviewed and evaluated IOC WESTPAC
existing regional programmes, projects and the activities of
working groups carried out since its 9th Session held in
2012, discussed and approved new workplan for the next two
A presentation was delivered by the NOWPAP representative
introducing briefly NOWPAP in general and suggesting areas
for possible cooperative activities in the next two years.
Among the WESTPAC ongoing projects/activities
reviewed at the meeting, NEAR-GOOS, Harmful Algal Blooms
(HAB), Remote Sensing for Habitat Mapping, Marine and
Coastal Biodiversity are of interest to NOWPAP.
Exchanging information by experts from each
organization and participating in meetings and workshops
organized by the others were encouraged. The possible
occasions for such exchanges include the Focal Points
Meetings of NOWPAP DINRAC and CEARAC in July and August
2015, a workshop during the PICES Annual Meeting in October
2015 (co-convened by NOWPAP) and the NEAR-GOOS coordinating
committee meeting later this year in Tokyo. Having joint
activities with regional partners allows NOWPAP to avoid
duplication, save financial resources and increase its
(released on 27 May 2015)
Coordinating Unit restructured
At the second NOWPAP
Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting (2nd EO
IGM) held on 1-2 April 2015 in Seoul (Korea), member states
decided to downgrade two posts in the NOWPAP Regional
Coordinating Unit (RCU) following the earlier decision of
reducing the number of staff members in RCU from 6 to 4
agreed at the 1st EO IGM in April 2014.
The restructured RCU will have a Coordinator at P5
level with a Programme Assistant at G6 level in RCU Toyama
office and a Programme Officer at P3 level with a Team
Assistant at G4 level in RCU Busan office.
Some functions lost from the RCU due to restructuring
will be covered by support from UNEP Headquarters or by
consultants at the cost to NOWPAP funds in the future.
Recruitment of new RCU staff members will be initiated later
this year and is expected to be completed by February 2016.
(released on 9 April 2015)
Preparation of 2nd
As decided by the member states at the 19th
NOWPAP IGM held in October 2014, the 2nd
Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting (EO IGM) will take
place on 1-2 April 2015 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Documents for the
meeting have been prepared and shared with NOWPAP member
states who will continue the discussion on the restructuring
of NOWPAP RCU.
(released on 4 March 2015)
NOWPAP adopted its
financial rules and procedures
Agreed upon by the member states at the 19th
NOWPAP IGM, the financial rules and procedures for the
NOWPAP funds have become effective since 1 January 2015.
The adoption of the rules and procedures allows
NOWPAP to establish working capital reserve for NOWPAP
accounts in order to guarantee the financial liquidity and
integrity of the funds.
In addition, it requires certain documents to be
accessible online, such as programme of work and budget,
financial statements, status of pledges and contributions,
and audit reports.
These documents are now available
(released on 4 March 2015)
NOWPAP cosponsors a session and workshops with PICES
A special topic session on indicators of emerging pollution
issues in the North Pacific Ocean during the PICES 2015
annual meeting to be held in October 2015 in Qingdao, China
is under preparation and NOWPAP will be a cosponsor by
financially supporting several participants.
Selection of the candidate speakers is underway
through NOWPAP POMRAC and coordination with PICES is
undertaken by the RCU.
In addition, NOWPAP CEARAC and MERRAC will co-convene
respectively two workshops on identifying major threats to
marine biodiversity and ecosystems and on marine environment
emergencies—detection, monitoring, response and impacts.
(released on 4 March 2015)
Lecture about NOWPAP
activities at a local high school
On 14 January 2015, NOWPAP Coordinator provided a lecture
to students of Takaoka High School which was designated as
one of Super Global High Schools by the Ministry of
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
The students were lectured on marine environment
issues in the Northeast Asia and NOWPAP projects addressing
these issues. Some
students expressed their interest in working for the United
Nations in the future.
(released on 19 January 2015)