China Japan Korea Russia

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)