NOWPAP at the 5 th Global Oceans Conference and 8 th IOC WESTPAC Intergovernmental Session
NOWPAP representatives recently attended the 5 th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands held on 3-7 May 2010 in Paris, France and the 8th Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) held on 10-13 May in Bali, Indonesia.
As for the conference in Paris, NOWPAP representative attended several sessions under Policy, Science and Technical Symposium related to issues of interest to NOWPAP such as ecosystem based adaptation to impacts of climate change, biodiversity conservation, governance of large trans-boundary marine ecosystems, and the Policy Conference where the outcomes from the symposium, round table discussions and working group meetings were presented and the way forward drafted. It was learned from the conference that there are challenges and long way to go before reaching the 2010 and 2012 biodiversity targets including 10 percent of world ocean coverage by protected areas. Using the opportunity, the NOWPAP representative had short meetings with UNEP MCEB Director, COBSEA Coordinator, GOOS Office representative and other experts. In particular, practical steps to enhance collaboration between NOWPAP and NEAR-GOOS were discussed as well as possibility to have marine and coastal biodiversity forum (suggested by Toyama Prefecture as a side event during CBD COP10) during the “Oceans Day at Nagoya”.
The 8 th Intergovernmental Session of IOC WESTPAC was attended by member states and international organizations which reviewed the programmes and projects implementation since the last WESTPAC Intergovernmental Session, including activities on HAB, ocean remote sensing, oil spill response, NEAR-GOOS, marine and coastal biodiversity (with the focus on invasive species), data and information network (ODIN WESTPAC), which are relevant to NOWPAP. A statement was delivered at the meeting stressing the need of further cooperation between NOWPAP and IOC WESTPAC and suggesting development of joint activities. During the discussion on NEAR-GOOS, the meeting was informed of a recent consultation between UNEP Regional Seas Programme and IOC GOOS office which encouraged cooperation between the NEAR-GOOS and NOWPAP. As a result, a NOWPAP-initiated joint training course on remote sensing data analysis was accepted at the meeting. In addition, NOWPAP was invited to be involved in a newly established WESTPAC working group on Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment. Representatives of DPR Korea indicated that they would like to consider participation in the 15 th NOWPAP IGM scheduled later this year in Russia.
NOWPAP Marine Litter Workshop and ICC in Hirado
With the kind support of the Japanese government, the NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and Workshop on Marine Litter Management were successfully organized on 26-28 March 2010 in Hirado, Nagasaki, Japan. Focusing on ICC campaigns, marine litter and solid waste management, the workshop was attended by marine litter focal points and government officials of NOWPAP member states, officials from Nagasaki Prefectural Government and Hirado Municipal Government, several NOWPAP partners (PEMSEA, YSLME and UNEP IETC), directors and representatives of NOWPAP Regional Activities Centres, environmental NGOs, experts on marine litter and local citizens.
During the workshop, past NOWPAP ICC campaigns were reviewed with experiences and lessons of promoting and organising the beach cleanups shared. The workshop also discussed the marine litter management in NOWPAP countries, in particular solid waste management which is considered as a key factor to the control of marine litter generation. While recognizing the trans-boundary nature of marine litter and need of building up public awareness, the meeting participants wished to continue the NOWPAP ICC campaigns in the region.
Korean government kindly offered to organize the next NOWPAP ICC event in September-October 2010 in the Republic of Korea. On the day a fter the workshop, the workshop participants together with local citizens participated in the cleanup at Tanoura beach where hundreds of kilograms of marine litter were collected, sorted and recorded. The marine litter data has been complied and shared on NOWPAP website. In conjunction with these events, the NOWPAP RAP MALI (Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter) working meeting was held to finalize the RAP MALI work plan and budget for 2010-2011 biennium.
Activities on Biodiversity Assessment
14 th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting decided to develop a project on assessment of the current status of marine and coastal biodiversity in the NOWPAP region, which should cover the main threats, pressures, impacts and trends at the ecosystem, community, habitat and key species level.
Implementing this decision, NOWPAP RCU, together with RACs, has been working on preparation of the project. As a first step, NOWPAP is participating in the UNEP-initiated global outlook on marine and coastal biodiversity, contributing regional input. A consultant is being contracted, using funds provided by UNEP, to collect and compile regional data and information to be reflected in the global assessment. This global outlook is due to be released for the upcoming 10 th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. At the same time, NOWPAP RCU is preparing a proposal for long term biodiversity assessment which will involve NOWPAP national experts to produce a regional report on the biodiversity issues mentioned above. Currently project proposal has been drafted, competent experts and project proponent to be involved have been identified as well as potential donors for the project funding.
The results of the biodiversity assessment activities will be reported to the 15 th NOWPAP IGM later this year.
2010 NOWPAP ICC and Workshop in Hirado
With the kind financial support offered by the Japanese government, NOWPAP is going to organize its 2010 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and Workshop on Marine Litter Management in Hirado City (Japan) from 26 to 28 March 2010. As part of the implementation of the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI), the 2010 NOWPAP ICC and Workshop will focus on solid waste management which is considered critical for the reduction of marine litter generation. The three-day event will bring participation of officials, experts and environmental activists from NOWPAP member counties, as well as partners from the region and beyond, to share experience and information in dealing with marine litter. At the same time, NOWPAP Marine Litter Focal Points and representatives of its Regional Activity Centres will discuss in detail the implementation of the RAP MALI for 2010 and 2011.
14th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting
The 14th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting was held from 8 to 10 December 2009 in Toyama, Japan. Representatives of NOWPAP member states (China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation) participated in this annual meeting. Representatives from UNEP and from NOWPAP partners (COBSEA, PICES, and YSLME) also attended the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the implementation of NOWPAP in 2008-2009 and discussed the major NOWPAP activities in the coming two years. In addition to the work plan and budget for 2010-2011, the meeting has approved the following activities/documents:
• development of a project on assessment of the current status of marine and coastal biodiversity in the NOWPAP region;
• preparation of the NOWPAP medium-term strategy to facilitate its effective and efficient implementation,
• the draft work plan and budget for implementing NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI),
• further enhancement of the NOWPAP RCU role in the smooth implementation of NOWPAP, including possible revision of RCU Terms of Reference.
The next NOWPAP IGM will be held in Russia in the second half of 2010.
UNEP ROAP Director visit to NOWPAP RCU
Dr. Young-Woo Park, Director of UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), visited NOWPAP RCU Busan office on 9 June 2009. Dr. Park was attending the 3rd International Conference on Children’s Health and the Environment (held in Busan, Korea on 7-10 June), where he made an opening statement and chaired one of the sessions. During his short visit to Busan office, Dr. Park shared his ideas related to NOWPAP implementation (e.g. using information technologies and geographic information systems (GIS) for internet training) as well as information on research being done in Korea on using algae for carbon sequestration and also for biomass production. Dr. Park also stressed importance of coordination with government agencies to get any relevant information that might help implementing NOWPAP activities. NOWPAP RCU staff members briefed Dr. Park on recent projects implemented by NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers and Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU).
Conference participants congratulated UNEP on its work related to mercury (including GC 25 decisions). Partnership between WHO and UNEP on environment and health linkage was also highly appreciated.
NOWPAP MERRAC update
At its 12th Focal Points Meeting (FPM) and the 4th Competent National Authorities (CNA) Meeting for NOWPAP Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan held in Daejeon on 1-3 June 2009, NOWPAP Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) approved the workplan and budget for the 2010-2011 biennium. In conjunction with the FPM and CNA Meeting, an International Workshop on the Response to Marine Pollution in the NOWPAP Region was also held on 5 June in Incheon, where representatives from the NOWPAP member states shared information and practices on oil spill preparedness and response.
As the region is at the high risk of oil spill incidents demonstrated by the real disaster of Hebei Spirit in December 2007, NOWPAP members pay great attention to regional cooperation on the issue and tried to be better prepared. In 2008, Second NOWPAP Oil Spill Exercise was held in Qingdao, China. In 2009, two NOWPAP BRAVO exercises were successfully conducted to check the communication efficiency among member countries in response to oil spill under the NOWPAP Regional Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substances Contingency Plan (RCP). In addition, MERRAC has shared it successful story recently with the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) in order to help them to get their oil spill contingency plan adopted.
8 th DINRAC Focal Points Meeting convened
NOWPAP Data and Information Network Regional Activity Centre (DINRAC) has recently completed its 8 th Focal Points Meeting in Beijing. During the three-day meeting on 19-21 May 2009, DINRAC Focal Points approved the workplan and budget for 2010-2011 that is to be submitted to NOWPAP 14 th IGM at the end of this year for adoption. DINRAC will form a working group to develop an activity on alien species, visualize the current DINRAC website using the web-based GIS and maintain its internet communication system among member states. In addition to DINRAC Focal Points and national experts, Directors of each NOWPAP RAC and representatives of NOWPAP RCU also attended the meeting where they had sideline interviews with a consultant for NOWPAP RCU performance review.
NOWPAP representatives attended the World Ocean Conference
The NOWPAP representatives attended the World Ocean Conference in Manado, Indonesia on 11-15 May 2009. The Conference was aimed at creating a forum for the world community to discuss current marine and ocean issues which are related to climate change. The Manado Declaration was adopted at the conference by the participating governments and the outcomes from the conference will be brought to the current climate change negotiation process at the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2009 in Copenhagen. The Coral Triangle Summit was also held at the same time. In addition, there were also parallel International Science, Technology and Policy Symposium, Exhibition and UNEP workshops which the NOWPAP representatives also attended and distributed NOWPAP publications and promotional items.
NOWPAP participation in the Global Gathering 2009 in Busan, Korea
NOWPAP participated in the Global Gathering 2009 in Busan, Korea on 23 May 2009. A NOWPAP exhibition booth was set up at the event which was designed by Busan municipal government as a cultural exchange event to promote international cooperation. This is the second time that NOWPAP has participated in this annual event since 2008.
Cooperation with Korea UNEP National Committee developed
Starting from information exchange, linking websites and sharing publications, NOWPAP has developed cooperative relationship with the Korea UNEP National Committee. After attending and delivering a lecture at a workshop organized by the Committee last year on the oil spill in Taean, Korea, NOWPAP representative will participate in another event sponsored by the Committee: international video conference on Global Green New Deal in Seoul on 5 June 2009.
New programme officers at the NOWPAP RCU
Recruited by UNEP as NOWPAP Administrative Officer and Scientific Affairs Officer, Mr. Masakatsu OHYAMA and Mr. Sangjin LEE have recently reported respectively to NOWPAP RCU offices in Toyama (Japan) and Busan (Republic of Korea).
Mr. Ohyama, a Japanese national, had been working at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs for more than 10 years, being in charge of financial and programme management before joining NOWPAP. He also worked at an investment institution for four years, dealing with corporate finance and investments. His rich experience with the UN system and financial affairs will benefit NOWPAP administration and finance management.
Dr. Lee, a Korean national, had been a branch director and research centre manager in the Korean Coast Guard, responsible for oil spill preparedness and marine pollution related project management since 2004. He was also involved in university research projects on toxic waste management. His academic achievements and project management skills will contribute to successful implementation of NOWPAP activities.
With the arrival of the two new staff members, NOWPAP RCU will continue to provide its assistance to the member states and Regional Activity Centers.
NOWPAP recent developments
According to the decision of the 12th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM), the relocation of the NOWPAP Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator between Toyama and Busan RCU offices took place in December 2008. Now both offices are fully operational. After the relocation, a courtesy call has been paid respectively by the Coordinator and the Deputy Coordinator to Seoul and Tokyo.
The 2nd NOWPAP BRAVO exercise has been conducted successfully in January 2009 by NOWPAP member countries under the coordination of MERRAC. This exercise aimed at testing the communication between among NOWPAP members in response to oil spill incident.
A process for conducting RCU performance review has been started. According to the member countries’ suggestion and with the help from the UNEP Headquarters, a consultant is being hired to implement the review. Consultations on the dates and the agenda of the 14th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting are also on the way.
With the leaving of the NOWPAP Administrative Officer and the Scientific Affairs Officer in April 2009, recruitment of their successors is being finalized by UNEP Headquarters.
NOWPAP and PICES are developing cooperation as both sides are planning to have a joint session during the 2009 annual PICES meeting on marine spatial planning in support of integrated management - tools, methods, and approaches. In addition, NOWPAP is considering contribution to the PICES North Pacific Ecosystem Status Report and the Satellite Oceanography Summer School through providing experts for a relevant workshop and lecturer and materials for the summer school.
(Released on 10 February 2009)
NOWPAP Training Course on Remote Sensing Data Analysis
The Second NOWPAP training course on remote sensing data analysis was organized jointly by the NOWPAP Special Monitoring & Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre (CEARAC) and the Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute (KORDI) at Cheju National University (Korea) on1-5 November 2008.
The training course was conducted for 23 selected trainees, including postgraduate students, professional researchers and local government officers working in the field of marine sciences, from China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, France and Thailand. 12 lecturers from the NOWPAP countries (China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation) and Germany, India and USA delivered lectures on remote sensing applications for monitoring and assessment of the marine and coastal environment in the Northwest Pacific Region.
3rd Workshop of the Yellow Sea Partnership
A representative of NOWPAP RCU participated in the 3rd Workshop of the Yellow Sea Partnership (YSP) in Changwon, the Republic of Korea on 2 November 2008. The meeting was attended by about 30 people from more than 20 organizations. Participants shared with each other the information on activities that have been implemented or being planned in relation to the protection of the Yellow Sea. The meeting participants heard 12 short presentations focusing on regional efforts and local actions taken in the Yellow Sea region and beyond. NOWPAP delivered a presentation introducing the recent NOWPAP activities on marine litter, harmful algal blooms, oil spills and integrated coastal and river basin management.
It was suggested that the next YSP workshop should be organized in China in 2009 (two previous workshops were held in China in 2006 and in Korea in 2007).
13th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting
20-21 October 2008
Jeju, Republic of Korea
The 13th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting was held on 20-21 October 2008 in Jeju, Republic of Korea. The meeting was attended by representatives of the NOWPAP member states (China, Japan, Korea and Russia), UNEP (Marine Ecosystems Unit and Division of GEF Coordination) and NOWPAP partners (COBSEA, PEMSEA and YSLME). Although not able to dispatch representatives to the meeting in person, IOC/WESPAC and PICES sent written statements to the meeting for enhancing cooperation with NOWPAP. The meeting reviewed the programme of work for 2007-2008 and approved the report of the Executive Director of UNEP on the progress of the implementation of NOWPAP activities and budget; adopted the NOWPAP Regional Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substance Spill Contingency Plan; and approved the new directions of work for NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres for 2008-2011. The meeting encouraged member states to facilitate and promote the implementation of the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI). The next NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting will be held in Japan in 2009.
2008 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup
and Training Workshop
The NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) is being implemented since March 2008, after its approval by the four NOWPAP member states. The 2008 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and Training Workshop were held in Vladivostok, Russian Federation on 26-28 September, as one of RAP MALI activities. Representatives of the member states and the Regional Activity Centres (RACs) of NOWPAP and its partners such as COBSEA (Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia), YSLME (Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem) and Ocean Conservancy (which initiated the ICC campaigns in 1986) attended the events. In addition, Russian students, NGOs, media representatives and general public also participated.
At the training workshop on 26 September, 12 presentations were given to share national case studies on the ICC campaigns and related activities in the NOWPAP region as well as beyond the region (e.g., East Asian countries). The global vision of the ICC campaign as a year around movement was presented by the representative of Ocean Conservancy. An on-site training for ICC beach cleanup was conducted in Schitovaya Bay, Vladivostok on 27 September. Fifty participants collected approximately 40 kg of marine litter. After the on-site training, there was a small group meeting to exchange views on the annual ICC campaign in the NOWPAP region as part of outreach strategies to address marine litter issues. The meeting encouraged China and Russia to continue their efforts to organize national ICC campaigns after they have recently joined this kind of activity through the NOWPAP projects on marine litter implemented over last three years.
A working meeting was held on 28 September, back-to-back with the workshop and on-site training of ICC, to discuss the current progress on the implementation of RAP MALI. Further activities to be carried out in the 2008-2009 biennium were also discussed in-depth.
ICC in Dalian
As one of the activities of the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, an International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) campaign was held in Dalian, People’s Republic of China on 11 September 2008. This event brought several hundred volunteers from local governmental agencies, industries, universities and non-governmental organizations together with international participants representing Japan, Ocean Conservancy and NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit. As a direct result of the activity, over one hundred kilogram of marine litter has been collected on a swimming beach and more from the adjacent seabed where scuba divers were involved. Immediate prior to the ICC, a domestic meeting on marine litter was organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to build up awareness on the issue and share experiences among relevant governmental authorities such as Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Safety Administration and State Oceanic Administration in tackling the problem nationwide. Right after the ICC, an international marine litter prevention and control workshop was also organized for the similar purpose. It is the first time that Ocean Conservancy, the initiator of the ICC campaign worldwide, has sent a senior vice president to China to participate and promote the ICC in China. Similar ICC activities are being organized in Shanghai and other parts of China.
2nd Joint NOWPAP Oil Spill Exercise
The 2nd Joint NOWAP Oil Spill Exercise was conduced on 2 September 2008 in Qingdao, China. This exercise was jointly organized by China Maritime Safety Administration and the Korea Coast Guard as one of the activities under the NOWPAP programme of work for 2008. The purpose of having this joint activity was to check the coordination between Chinese and Korean authorities in dealing with oil spill emergency preparedness and response. More than two dozen vessels, including two from Korea, an airplane and helicopter participated in the drill with more than 500 people observing the exercise. Representatives from 16 national and local agencies and related industries participated in the event. International observers included NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit and the Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (NOWPAP MERRAC), International Maritime Organization, Japan Coast Guard and a Singapore based oil spill-response company.
The exercise presented a scenario where a vessel lost control due to a fire caused by a circuit failure in the engine room and collided with an oil tanker anchored nearby. As a result of the incident, about 1,000 tones of oil were spilled and the crew needed to be evacuated. The exercise, which was divided into rescue effort and oil spill response, was conduced smoothly and successfully. Both national and local media have widely reported the event.
This is the second NOWPAP joint oil spill exercise. The first one was held in Aniva Bay (Sakhalin Island, Russia) in 2006 and was jointly organized by Russia and Japan.
5 June 2008: NOWPAP links with partners strengthened
NOWPAP has recently increased its exchange with partners through participation in a number of international meetings and workshops.
On 7-10 April 2008, NOWPAP presented its activities at the 4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands (attended by over 400 patricians from 70 countries). NOWPAP is trying to bring interested partners, such as PEMSEA, to share their experience in Integrated Coastal and River Basin Management (ICARM), and have received positive response.
At the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup Conference on 23-25 April, NOWPAP marine litter activities and future plans were introduced to 60 attendees, including the ICC national coordinators from the US and around the world. NOWPAP publications on marine litter were distributed to participants. The Ocean Conservancy, the ICC initiator and advocate, has expressed its willingness to participate in a training workshop planned by NOWPAP in September 2008, in order to further promote the ICC campaign in the region.
Presentation on NOWPAP efforts in marine litter monitoring has been made at the Meeting of the UNEP/IOC Technical Working Group (TWG) on 1-3 May 2008. TWG members discussed the first draft of the UNEP/IOC Operational Guidelines on Survey and Monitoring of Marine Litter. Experience accumulated by NOWPAP member states in marine litter monitoring will be taken into account while finalizing the UNEP/IOC Guidelines, along with expertise from OSPAR, HELCOM and other programmes.
In order to strengthen partnerships with other organizations and programmes in the region, NOWPAP also participated in the 7th IOC/WESTPAC International Scientific Symposium “Nature Hazards and the Changing Marine Environment in the Western Pacific and the 12th Session of the NEAR-GOOS Coordinating Committee which took place on 21-25 May 2008. Both meetings were organized in conjunction with 7th Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific on 26-29 May 2008. Presentations on NOWPAP current and future activities were delivered for strengthening further cooperation with partners.
20 January 2008: An update on NOWPAP activities
NOWPAP members join hands in fighting the oil spill in Korea
China, Japan and Russia joined hands in fighting the worst ever oil spill incident in the Korean history after activating the NOWPAP Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan on 10 December 2007. With the assistance from the NOWPAP Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) and NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit, China sent a ship with experts and sorbents on board while Japan dispatched a team of experts to join the international efforts to help clean-up the oil spilled off the coast of Taean, Republic of Korea. Since the response operations at the sea have come to an end and the clean-up efforts are now focusing on the shore, NOWPAP deactivated the contingency plan on 14 January 2008. Realizing the risk of oil spills in the region and importance of cooperation among members, NOWPAP plans to have the second joint oil spill exercise in October 2008 in China.
NOWPAP Marine Litter Activity is moving into next phase
After more than two years since its inception, NOWPAP Marine Litter Activity (MALITA) is progressing to the end with success. At a meeting held on 20-21 November in Toyama, Japan, the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) was finalized. The finalization of the RAP MALI is one of the import outcomes of the NOWPAP MALITA.
During the MALITA implementation, NOWPAP has convened several regional workshops and working meetings, set up a marine litter database, compiled regional overviews on marine litter situation and related legislation and policies, developed a number of guidelines and brochures and launched International Coastal Cleanup Campaigns in all the member countries. Those outcomes will be further reflected during the implementation of RAP MALI in the years to come.
12th NOWPAP IGM held in Xiamen
The 12th Intergovernmental Meeting of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) was held on 23-25 October 2007 in Xiamen, the People’s Republic of China. Representatives of the NOWPAP member states (China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation), UNEP Regional Seas Programme and NOWPAP partners (COBSEA, IOC/WESTPAC, PEMSEA and YSLME) participated in the meeting. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea attended the meeting as an observer. The meeting adopted the report of the Executive Director of UNEP on the progress in the implementation of NOWPAP during the 2006-2007 biennium and approved the work plan and budget for 2008-2009. The meeting approved also in principle the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, as a major outcome of the NOWPAP Marine Litter Activity (MALITA) which has been implemented for the last two years. The meeting reviewed the evaluation report on the four Regional Activity Centres (RACs) aiming at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the RACs. A Regional Oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Spill Contingency Plan was also adopted at the meeting.
For more information about NOWPAP, visit the NOWPAP website: http://www.nowpap.org
27-28 June 2007: International Coastal Cleanup in Rizhao, China
An International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) was successfully organized on 28 June 2007 in Rizhao city, China, with kind sponsorship of the State Environmental Protection Administration of China and the Rizhao municipal government. It was the first time the ICC was formally introduced to the newly emerging city. The ICC was connected to NOWPAP's advancing implementation of its Marine Litter Activity that launched two years ago.
Two dozens representatives from Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia and regional programmes and projects such as COBSEA, PEMSEA and YSLME joined hand in hand with two hundreds local participants in this beach cleanup in an effort to raise public awareness on marine litter and promote public participation in the cleanup. The Rizhao ICC attracted great attention in China. The local participants was ranging from central government officials, vice mayors and experts to elementary school kids. The central and local media covered this activity widely on television and in newspapers.
Prior to the ICC activity, an associated workshop addressing marine litter prevention and control was held on 27 June 2007. NOWPAP will continue organizing ICC campaigns in Busan, Republic of Korea and Vladivostok, Russia later this year and next year as part of its Marine Litter Activity.
For more information about NOWPAP, visit the NOWPAP website: http://www.nowpap.org
12 June 2007: NOWPAP builds up partnership and efficiency
At the First COBSEA Marine Litter Workshop held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 8-9 May 2007, representatives from the NorthWest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) introduced the overall progress on the implementation of its Marine Litter Activity (MALITA) which was launched one and half years ago. As sister programmes of UNEP Regional Seas, both NOWPAP and COBSEA are carrying out activities addressing the marine litter issue in line with UNEP's global marine litter initiative. The two bodies keep in close contact to exchange information and to share their experiences in dealing with the marine litter problem.
In addition, the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit signed a Letter of Cooperation with the Project Management Office of the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) project on 24 May 2007 in Beijing. The Letter of Cooperation will serve as the basis for the two sides to conduct cooperative activities.
The first joint activity with partners this year (2007) will be carried out during the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) campaigns in China and Korea (in June and September, respectively) in which YSLME, COBSEA and PEMSEA all will participate. In addition, the Yellow Sea Partnership workshop in October is also planned
According to the decision of the 11th NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM), an evaluation of the performance of the four NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres (RACs) has been carried out. The RACs were established between 2000 and 2002 and have played an important role in implementing NOWPAP activities since then. In order to review the achievements and further improve the efficiency of the RACs work, an independent international consultant has recently interviewed all RAC directors in Beijing. An evaluation report will be prepared by the consultant based on the interviews and responses to the questionnaires distributed earlier. The results of the evaluation will be presented to the next IGM in October 2007 in China.
For more information about NOWPAP, visit the NOWPAP website: http://www.nowpap.org