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NOWPAP: News Updates

Proposals for PICES 2015 accepted

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 NOWPAP

2014 NOWPAP oil spill response exercise

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 successfully.   Such full-scale exercises have been organized five times in NOWPAP member states the Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan was adopted in 2004.

19th NOWPAP IGM held in Moscow

The 19th 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.  Directors and 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 accounts.  The 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 regular NOWPAP IGM will be held in China in 2015.

Marking the 20th anniversary 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 recommendations.

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 coming years.  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.

Recently, PICES and NOWPAP jointly published the proceedings of the workshop on economic impacts of harmful algal blooms on fisheries and aquaculture.

NOWPAP at the 16th GMRS

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 16th Global Meeting of Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (GMRS) 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:

http://www.iisd.ca/oceans/rscap/2014/; http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/globalmeetings/default_ns.asp.

2014 NOWPAP ICC campaign and workshop

2014 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) was organized in Boryeong, Republic of Korea on 25-26 September 2014.

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 international cooperation.

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.

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.

12th POMRAC Focal Points Meeting and Workshop

NOWPAP Pollution 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.

 Last updated 6 November 2014

More information at http://www.nowpap.org/