Report on persistent
toxic substances (PTS) in the NOWPAP region
The Regional Overview
of PTS in the NOWPAP Region has been published recently
by NOWPAP Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Centre
Addressing the general characteristics, sources, transport
and ecotoxicological effects of PTS in the region, the
report synthesized the national inputs on a group of
chemicals which are defined as PTS. Based on existing data
and information available from literature and from the
national experts who provided the national inputs, the
report presents an outline of the current status of PTS
issues and efforts made by NOWPAP countries in terms of
monitoring and research on the PTS.
Identifying the data gaps and needs for capacity
building, the report emphasized the importance of
establishment and enhancement of sound chemical management
system and monitoring network in the region.
This report is prepared by Professor Yasuyuki Shibata of
National Institute for Environmental Studies of Japan
with contribution of the national experts nominated from
China, Korea and Russia.
The whole report is downloadable
(released on 17 December 2014)
anniversary of NOWPAP RCU office in Toyama
The staff members of NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU)
and Special Monitoring and Coastal Assessment Regional
Activity Centre (CEARAC) participated in a symposium held on
6 December 2014 in Toyama, Japan.
Organized by the Toyama prefectural and municipal
governments, the symposium was attended by 500 local
participants (mostly high school students) who were given a
lecture and panel discussion about the United Nations and
international cooperation to mark the 10th
anniversary of the establishment of NOWPAP RCU office in
Toyama. The Toyama
Prefecture governor and NOWPAP coordinator delivered opening
remarks at the symposium. CEARAC Director was one of
panelists during the symposium. Posters and brochures about
NOWPAP were displayed showcasing some achievements in the
past 10 years.
(released on 8 December 2014)
Proposals for PICES
The Science Board of PICES recently approved the
proposals submitted by NOWPAP CEARAC and MERRAC to have
joint workshop/session during the next PICES Annual Meeting
to be organized in October 2015 in Qingdao, China.
A 1-day joint workshop on "Identifying major threats
to marine biodiversity and ecosystems in the North Pacific"
suggested by CEARAC has been included in the program for
PICES-2015. The MERRAC suggested topic session on "Marine
pollution preparedness and response to oil and HNS spill
incidents in the North Pacific” has become part of the
workshop on "Marine environment emergencies: detection,
monitoring and response"
Based on the priority areas of cooperation which were
identified by the PICES-NOWPAP Joint Study Group, these two
activities will enhance the partnership between PICES and
(released on 5 November 2014)
2014 NOWPAP oil spill
The NOWPAP DELTA Joint Oil Spill Response Exercise was
conducted on 21 October 2014 near Vladivostok, Russia.
This joint exercise brought together one helicopter
and seventeen ships including one from Japan Coast Guard to
test rescuing crew members, firefighting and responding to
oil spill. Korea
dispatched observers to the exercise which was completed
full-scale exercises have been organized five times in
NOWPAP member states since the Regional Oil and HNS Spill
Contingency Plan was adopted in 2004.
(released on 31 October 2014)
NOWPAP IGM held in Moscow
NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) was convened on 20-22
October 2014 in Moscow, Russian Federation.
Delegates from NOWPAP member states (China, Japan,
Korea and Russia) attended the meeting.
representatives of NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres, UNEP
Headquarters and United Nations Office at Nairobi also
participated in the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the progress of NOWPAP
implementation in 2013-2014 and discussed the financial
rules and procedures for the NOWPAP funds with an agreement
to establish working capital reserve for the NOWPAP
meeting agreed to the scale of contributions for 2015 by
each member state. The meeting conducted intensive
discussion on appropriate measures to secure the future
financial sustainability of the NOWPAP RCU offices, but
final decision has not been made.
To continue the
discussion, member states will have dialogue through
correspondence and the second NOWPAP Extraordinary
Intergovernmental Meeting might be convened in early 2015 in
Korea. The 20th
NOWPAP IGM will be held in China in 2015.
Marking the 20th
of NOWPAP, a commemorative symposium was held prior to the
19th IGM on 20 October 2014 in Moscow where
presenters from NOWPAP member states and UNEP Headquarters
reviewed the achievements in the past 20 years and suggested
the way forward with concrete
(released on 29 October 2014)
NOWPAP at 2014 PICES annual meeting
Representatives of NOWPAP RCU and RACs participated in the
2014 PICES annual meeting held in Yeosu, Korea.
The joint Study Group was established in 2013 to
explore possibilities of enhancing future collaboration
between NOWPAP and PICES and members of the Study Group have
met in Yeosu on 15-16 October 2014.
At the meeting,
several potential areas of interest were discussed in detail
and priorities of both organizations were assigned to each
area. After scoring
those priorities and considering practical possibilities of
joint actions (e.g., organizing joint workshops/sessions,
preparing joint reports, having capacity building workshops
and training courses, etc.), five areas of collaboration
were chosen as priority ones for the next five years:
harmful algal blooms; marine pollution; invasive species;
biodiversity conservation; and ecosystem status reporting.
All four NOWPAP RACs
will be involved in such collaborative activities in the
Using this opportunity, NOWPAP representatives also attended
several sessions which NOWPAP is interested in including the
one on the sources, transport and effects of micro/macro
plastics in the ocean which was co-sponsored by NOWPAP.
PICES and NOWPAP jointly published the
proceedings of the workshop
on economic impacts of harmful algal blooms on fisheries and
(released on 29 October 2014)
NOWPAP at the 16th
Joining the other Coordinators, Chairpersons and Executive
Secretaries of 16 Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans
(RSPs) as well as representatives of relevant multilateral
environmental agreements, UN agencies and other
organizations, a NOWPAP representative attended the
Global Meeting of Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans
from 30 September to 1 October 2014 in Athens, Greece.
The 16th GMRS focused on strengthening the role
of RSPs in implementing the Sustainable Development Goal on
Oceans set at Rio+20, fostering Global Partnership on Marine
Litter and developing a roadmap for RSPs for the next 10
years and beyond.
The NOWPAP representative reported to the meeting the
progress made by NOWPAP contributing to the Regional Seas
Strategic Directions agreed upon in 2012, and discussed with
some Regional Seas colleagues (HELCOM, MAP and OSPAR)
possible cooperation in developing the Ecological Quality
Objectives for the NOWPAP region.
For more details, please check the links:
(released on 7 October 2014)
2014 NOWPAP ICC
campaign and workshop
2014 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) was
organized in Boryeong, Republic of Korea on 25-26 September
The annual event comprised a beach cleanup campaign and a
workshop on marine litter management.
NOWPAP marine litter
focal points, representatives
of national and local governments in the NOWPAP member
states (China, Korea, Japan and Russia), NOWPAP partners of
GPA, PEMSEA and GESAMP, universities, academic institutes
and environmental NGOs participated in the event.
Opened by the Minster of the Oceans and Fisheries of Korea
(MOF), the beach cleanup brought also several hundreds of
local school kids and citizens who joined NOWPAP
participants to collect and classify the marine litter on
the beach and record in the ICC data cards.
The marine litter workshop was opened by the Deputy Minister
of MOF and attended by about 50 participants, featuring
management efforts by central and local governments, best
practices in dealing with sea-based marine litter and
During the 2014 NOWPAP ICC, a brief working meeting was
organized in which NOWPAP marine litter focal points and
representatives of NOWPAP regional activities centers
reviewed the progress made on marine litter management by
NOWPAP members and shared information regarding the
implementation of the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine
Litter for 2014-2015.
(released on 29 September 2014)
NOWPAP RCU staff
joined local beach cleanup efforts
Staff members of NOWPAP RCU in Toyama joined school kids,
university students and local citizens in beach cleanup on
17 September 2014.
This event was organized by the Northwest Pacific Region
Environmental Cooperation Centre (NPEC) as part of their
marine litter monitoring programme which has been
implemented for several years by Japan, China, Korea and
Russia. The marine
litter collected on the beach was sorted and recorded.
The most predominant litter was plastic (more than
80%), followed by polystyrene and then metal.
(released on 18 September 2014)
POMRAC Focal Points Meeting and Workshop
Monitoring Regional Activity Centre (POMRAC) convened its 12th
Focal Points Meeting on 4-5 September 2014 in Busan.
POMRAC focal points and experts of Japan, Republic of
Korea and Russia as well as representatives of CEARAC and
MERRAC attended the meeting.
Representatives of NOWPAP partners - OSPAR, PEMSEA,
PICES and YSLME - participated as observers.
The meeting reviewed the activities implemented since
the 11th POMRAC Focal Points Meeting and
discussed the implementation plans for the POMRAC activities
in 2014 and 2015, including development of ecological
quality objectives (EcoQOs) for the NOWPAP region, capacity
building on integrated coastal and river basin management
and public awareness raising on marine litter problem.
Prior to the meeting, a workshop was convened on 3
September 2014 on setting EcoQOs for the region where NOWPAP
partners played an important role sharing their
experience and expertise.
(released on 5 September 2014)
|Korea increased annual contribution
|As pledged at the 18th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting, Korea increased its annual financial contribution to the NOWPAP Trust Fund to USD 125,000 (from previous level of USD 100,000). With the continuous efforts made by the NOWPAP member states in the past years, NOWPAP is currently only short of USD 25, 000 in meeting the target annual contribution to the Trust Fund of USD 500,000.
| (released on 16 July 2014)
|Donors approached for possible funding
|The Toyota Environment Activity Fund, the Nippon Foundation and Toyota
Foundation were approached by a representative of NOWPAP Regional Coordinating
Unit (RCU) in May and June for possible funding of projects to be implemented
by experts from the NOWPAP region. Through attending a workshop of the
Toyota Environment Activity Fund and visits in person to the offices of
the Nippon Foundation and Toyota Foundation in Tokyo, details of their
donor programmes, including focal areas and application schedules, have
become available which will be useful for the development of project proposals
initiated by the NOWPAP RCU.
| (released on 16 July 2014)
|Implementation plans agreed at three RACs Focal Points Meetings
|Three of the four NOWPAP regional activity centers (MERRAC, DINRAC and CEARAC) have convened their focal points meetings (FPMs) in June-July 2014 in Daejeon, Korea, Beijing, China, and Toyama, Japan, respectively. While reviewing the activities carried out since their previous FPMs, the focal points of MERRAC, DINRAC and CEARAC discussed and agreed on the implementation plans for the activities and projects to be implemented in 2014-2015 biennium which were approved by the 18th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) in December 2013.
• Pilot assessment of impacts of major threats to marine biodiversity in selected sea areas.
• Trial application of the screening procedure of the NOWPAP common procedure for eutrophication assessment.
• Case studies of sea grass mapping in selected sea areas.
• Annual update of existing DINRAC databases and website pages.
• Collection of information on endangered/threatened marine species in the NOWPAP region.
• NOWPAP DELTA exercise (full-scale oil spill response exercise) in Russia.
• Database update on oil and HNS spill response equipment and experts.
• Development of an online pollution reporting system.
• Risk assessment of oil spill incidents.
In addition, the three RACs will carry out activities related to marine
litter according to the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP
MALI), covering case studies of marine litter management in river basin,
distribution and impact of floating marine litter, and enriching database
on marine litter. In order to enhance cooperation between NOWPAP and its
major partners, the RAC focal points as well as representatives from PICES,
NEASPEC, YSLME, and IOC WESTPAC exchanged information and discussed ways
of collaboration in the future, including co-convening workshops.
POMRAC will have its FPM in September 2014 in Busan, Korea.
| (released on 16 July 2014)
|NOWPAP at EAS Partnership Council Meeting
| In order to strengthen the relationships with the Partnerships in
Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), NOWPAP RCU
representative attended the 6th East Asian Seas (EAS) Partnership Council
Meeting held on 23-24 June 2014 in Manila, the Philippines. Many NOWPAP
activities are contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development
Strategy for the Seas of East Asia adopted in 2003 by PEMSEA countries
and NOWPAP has served as a non-country member of the EAS Partnership Council
since 2007. The NOWPAP representative made a presentation at the meeting
on NOWPAP activities and discussed possible joint activities between NOWPAP
and PEMSEA in 2014 and 2015. As a result, PEMSEA will send an expert to
participate in the NOWPAP POMRAC workshop on Ecological Quality Objectives
to be held in Busan in September 2014, and PEMSEA experts have also reviewed
the drat ICARM Guidelines prepared by NOWPAP POMRAC. In 2015, PEMSEA and
NOWPAP POMRAC are expected to organize a joint training course on ICARM.
| (released on 16 July 2014)
|Two workshops convened for Regional Seas
|UNEP convened two technical workshops from 30 June to 4 July 2014 in Geneva which a NOWPAP representative attended together with other participants from individual Regional Seas Programmes and relevant international organizations.
The technical workshop on selecting indicators for the state of Regional Seas marked the starting point of setting a “core set” of indicators to be used by the Regional Seas to assess the state of marine environment, pressures, response, etc. A plan of NOWPAP POMRAC to develop of the Ecological Quality Objectives for the NOWPAP region was introduced during the workshop.
The visioning workshop for the future of Regional Seas was designed to
get a preliminary consensus among individual Regional Seas programmes regarding
their possible areas of work in the coming 5-10-40 years. After a few plenary
and breakout sessions, four broad areas were agreed upon for the next 10
years (and probably beyond); a) ecosystem services (with focus on extraction
of living and non-living resources); b) pollution; c) governance; and d)
climate change impacts (including ocean acidification).
| (released on 16 July 2014)
|The second State of the Marine Environment Report (SOMER-2) for the NOWPAP region has recently been published. The SOMER-2 has been prepared by NOWPAP POMRAC in collaboration with other three NOWPAP RACs, based on the first State of Marine Environment Report (published in 2007) and taking into account developments in recent years. The SOMER-2 presents the current status of marine environment, assessing the marine and coastal areas of the NOWPAP region by analyzing major marine environmental problems and issues including contamination by hazardous substances through atmospheric deposition as well as river and direct inputs, oil and chemical spills, harmful algal blooms, marine litter, non-indigenous and invasive species, habitat transformation, endangered species, and climate change impacts.
| (released on 16 July 2014)
|Impacts of Global Warming on Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in the Northwest
|Initiated by NOWPAP and sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global
Change Research (APN), the project “Impacts of Global Warming on Coastal
and Marine Ecosystems in the Northwest Pacific” has been completed recently.
Led by Professor Sukgeun Jung from Jeju National University, the experts
from China, Japan, Korea and Russia conducted in 2012-2014 retrospective
analysis of climate and oceanographic data collected during the past 40
years. The experts tried to forecast changes in potential production and
habitat ranges of major commercial fish species and tried also to evaluate
risks and vulnerabilities, induced by climate change, in fishery-dependent
sectors of economy across NOWPAP countries.
The project confirmed that a strong climatically induced ecosystem regime shift has occurred in the NOWPAP region in the late 1980s. The project found also that the habitat ranges of five of the several commercially important fish species examined (Horse mackerel, Pacific sardine, Common squid, Spanish mackerel and Yellowtail), will shift 20-70 km poleward between the years of 2000 and 2030. It was concluded that the distribution range of large pelagic species will be more affected by ocean warming comparing with small pelagic species.
It is expected that artisanal and coastal fisheries will become less competitive
than industrialized fisheries in adapting to possible climate–driven range
shifts. Therefore, more attention should be paid to artisanal, small-scale
fisheries while developing fisheries policies related to climate change
adaptation in the region.
| (released on 19 May 2014)
|Northwest Pacific Regional Node of the Global Partnership for Marine Litter
|With the support of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), a regional node of the GPML will be co-hosted by the Northwest Pacific Environmental Cooperation Centre (NPEC) and NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). Based on the networks already established by NPEC and NOWPAP as well as the experience obtained from the implementation of the marine litter related activities, the northwest Pacific GPML regional node is expected to play the following roles:
• Further developing regional marine litter networks, maintaining communication and coordination across relevant stakeholders, convening regional learning and collaboration events, including workshops and topic-specific events, such as beach cleanup campaigns;
• Providing information to the GPML Secretariat on regional priorities;
• Facilitating technical collaboration and coordination of marine litter activities in the region and support activities of key GPML partners.
For contributing to the GPML regional node, a special website is being developed with the financial support from GPA to share information
and reports on marine litter in English and four languages of the NOWPAP
countries. The activities planned under the framework of NPEC and NOWPAP
Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter will also contribute to the development
of the regional node, including, among others, annual International Coastal
Cleanup campaign and workshop; monitoring marine litter quantities, composition
and distribution; regular assessment of marine litter situation; and development
of technical reports and guidelines.
| (released on 23 April 2014)
|First Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting of NOWPAP
|NOWPAP convened its first Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) on 9-10 April 2014 in Seoul, Republic of Korea to discuss possible measures to address financial sustainability of the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) offices in Toyama and Busan. Representatives of member states (China, Korea, Japan and Russia) as well as UNEP Headquarters attended the two-day special meeting which was requested by the chairperson of the 18th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting. As the resolutions of the 18th IGM have been adopted by the member states through correspondence, approving the 2014-2015 NOWPAP programme of work, the extraordinary IGM focused on the issue of RCU restructuring aiming to keep the staffing costs within the current contributions of two RCU host countries (Japan and Korea). After intensive discussions, the meeting has decided to reduce the total number of RCU UNEP staff members to four. The functions of the new posts for the two RCU offices will be discussed at next ordinary IGM which is scheduled for late 2014 in Russia.
| (released on 16 April 2014)
|By the end of 2013, several reports have been developed and published by NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers and partners.
With the generous support from the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for
the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, three
reports related to marine litter management were prepared: a) National Report of China’s Environmental NGOs role in Marine Litter Control; b) Promotion
of Best Practices for Minimizing Marine Litter in Fisheries, Aquaculture and Shipping; and
c) Best Practices for Prevention of Marine Litter Input from Land-based Sources in the NOWPAP Region. Based on the last two reports, brochures for general public were prepared and translated into four NOWPAP languages in addition to English (for wide dissemination and use of best practices).
Under the leadership of Dr. Konstantin A. Lutaenko, experts from NOWPAP
member countries collected information on marine invasive species (MIS)
in the region and compiled an atlas of MIS. The recently completed Atlas contains information about taxonomic and common names, maps of regional
distribution, possible origins and ways of introduction, and bibliographies
related to 79 species of marine organisms, including 15 species of plants
(macroalgae, vascular plants and phytoplankton) and 64 species of animals
in the NOWPAP region.
| (released on 24 January 2014)