CEARAC - Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Center
The 1st Workshop on Major Pressures on Marine Biodiversity in the NOWPAP Region
The 1st Workshop on Major Pressures on Marine Biodiversity in the NOWPAP Region was held on 24 October 2017 in Tokyo, Japan to review the first draft of the “Assessment of Major Pressures on Marine Biodiversity in the NOWPAP Region”.
The draft was prepared by CEARAC Secretariat based on the pilot assessments in 2014-2015. The report aims to show current status of three major pressures (eutrophication, non-indigenous species and habitat modification) in the NOWPAP region. To explain the current status of major pressures, CEARAC used the DRIVERS, PRESSURES, STATES, IMPACTS and RESPONSES or DPSIR framework, an assessment methodology revealing relationship between the cause and effects of the status of marine biodiversity.
After reviewing the draft, it was decided to look for additional data to refine the DPSIR assessment. The report will be finalized in early 2018.
2017 CEARAC Expert Meeting on Eutrophication Assessment in the NOWPAP Region
The 2017 CEARAC expert meeting on eutrophication assessment in the NOWPAP region was held on 18 October 2017 in Qingdao, China to review the on-going CEARAC activity on trial application of the Screening Procedure, a preliminary assessment in the NOWPAP Common Procedure for eutrophication assessment.
Four experts from NOWPAP member states reported their assessment results. CEARAC Secretariat introduced a WebGIS map for eutrophication assessment. Two invited experts provided informative reports on eutrophication and Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) in the NOWPAP region, and introduced eutrophication operational monitoring program conducted by China.
The meeting also discussed how to refine the current assessment method and developed a plan for future activities. Participants agreed to continue coastal eutrophication assessment in the NOWPAP region, refine uniform criteria in the Screening Procedure and the WebGIS map, refine the Screening Procedure including selection of parameters, and reconstruct the WebGIS map to make it accessible from China.
DINRAC - Data and Information Network Regional Activity Center
The following is a summary of DINRAC activities between October and December 2017.
- DINRAC representative attended the 14th NOWPAP POMRAC Focal Points Meeting in 25-26 October 2017 in Vladivostok, Russia.
- DINRAC representative has attended the NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting in 19-21 December in Toyama, Japan, and reported about DINRAC activities on Marine Environmental Data, Marine Environmental Standards, the Information Collection on Endangered/Threatened Marine Species.
- DINRAC coordinated among leading experts in finalizing the compilation on the data and information on Endangered/Threatened Marine Species.
- DINRAC was continuously adjusting and compiling the data and information into the new ZCMS Information Management System with more user-friendly interfaces such as graphics, search functionality by years and sub-categories of data.
- DINRAC was preparing the draft programme of work and contract for the 2018-2019 biennium.
MERRAC - Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness & Response Regional Activity Centre
the 2017 International Maritime Disaster Response Conference
December 7th 2017 marked the 10 years since the Hebei Spirit oil spill incident. During the incident that occurred near the Port of Daesan, Republic of Korea, some 10,900 tons of crude oil spilled, polluting about 70km of the western coast of Korea. Damage claim requisition reached USD 3.8 billion and the affected coastal ecosystems took about 4 years to show signs of recovery.
In commemoration of this historic incident, around 240 participants from international and national organizations, including delegations from NOWPAP member countries (People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Russian Federation), Canada, USA, IMO, IOPC Funds, ITOPF, OSRL and IPIECA gathered in Busan for the 2017 International Maritime Disaster Response Conference, which included the NOWPAP MERRAC Expert Meeting. The conference was organized by Korea Coast Guard and co-organized by NOWPAP MERRAC.
The conference was held to develop a future work plan for the increased capacity to address maritime disasters. As input for future plans, 13 presentations were made reviewing major oil spills, the latest national policies, technologies and future outlooks of maritime disaster response.
Combined with the Conference, the R&D technology exhibition was prepared outside of the conference room and also, maritime disaster response exercise were carried out at the pre-arranged exclusive port of Busan by Korean Coast Guard and Marine Environment Research and Training Institute of KOEM.
Though the international conference with 3 sessions in 2 days seemed too short to share all valuable experiences, the conference was a great success with fruitful results.
POMRAC - Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Center
Since 1 October 2017 to the end of 2017, NOWPAP POMRAC participated in three major events related to NOWPAP and partners activities.
On 25-26 October 2017, NOWPAP POMRAC organized its 14th Focal Points Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia. The Meeting discussed the results of POMRAC activities during 2016/2017 biennium, developed the workplan and budget for 2018/2019, and discussed NOWPAP Medium-Term strategy for 2018-2023.
NOWPAP POMRAC representatives took part in the joint PEMSEA-NOWPAP Regional Integrated Coastal Management Training of Trainers (ICM ToT) Workshop on 20-24 November 2017 in Quezon City and Batangas (Philippines). The course was designed to equip participants with better understanding and enhanced knowledge, skills and resources in organizing and conducting Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) training for their national agencies and local governments. During this event, NOWPAP member countries presented their national efforts on ICM implementation and shared views on further development of the ICM cooperation in the NOWPAP framework.
POMRAC also made contributions at the Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific in support of the second cycle of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects, held on 29-30 November in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop organized under the auspices of the United Nations, enabled participants to put forward their views on the scope and structure of the second cycle of the Regular Process.
POMRAC attended the 22nd NOWPAP IGM, where the budget and workplan for POMRAC activities in the biennium of 2018-2019 were approved.
NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit
the 22nd NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting Agrees To Update Strategies for Marine and Coastal Protection
From 19 to 21 December, representatives of Japan, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation gathered in Toyama, Japan for the Twenty-second Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) of the Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP).
Addressing the opening session, H.E. Mr. Tamaki TSUKADA, Deputy Assistant Minister of International Cooperation Bureau, Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, said that NOWPAP provides an effective regional cooperation platform for dealing with emerging and shared marine environmental issues. “There is no better time than now for NOWPAP member states to assess developments in ocean protection, review their strategy and adopt policy guidelines,” he said.
The 2017 IGM endorsed NOWPAP priorities for the next six years set out in the NOWPAP Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2018-2023, which aim to align its vision with the global sustainable development agenda. The proposed MTS 2018-2023 envisions "a resilient Northwest Pacific marine and coastal environment, supporting sustainable development for the long-term benefit of present and future generations". This is to be promoted by leveraging the best scientific knowledge to inform policy- and decision-making and promoting intra-regional cooperation and synergy among project activities.
The 22nd IGM also approved a significant step up in funding to US$1,300,000 for NOWPAP activities for the 2018-2019 period, to be implemented by four Regional Activity Centres and RCU that focus on assessing the state of the coastal environment, monitoring pollution levels and developing marine disaster preparedness and response capacities of member states.
Taking note of the growing threat to the Northwest Pacific coastal and marine environment from marine litter, in particular microplastics, the Meeting called on NOWPAP member states to step up Action Plan activities to prevent, monitor and remove marine litter at national and local level, working through the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter adopted in 2008. It endorsed a proposed special project to monitor and assess the impact of the growing microplastics pollution in the region, which will be led by the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.
Joint PEMSEA-NOWPAP Integrated Coastal Management Training of Trainers (ICM ToT) Course Held
From 20-24 November 2017, PEMSEA Resource Facility and NOWPAP co-organized the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) training course in Manila and Batangas, Philippines, aimed at mid-career professionals working in the field. 15 participants from PEMSEA Network of Learning Centers and 4 participants from NOWPAP POMRAC learned how to deliver effective ICM training courses on the ground in their countries.
The course covered basic principles of ICM development and implementation, including case studies and fieldwork culminating in the formulation of ICM action plans. On November 23rd, NOWPAP organized a session on marine litter management for workshop participants, followed by a special joint NOWPAP-PEMSEA session on further development of ICM related activities as a part of the NOWPAP Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023. Leading experts from NOWPAP member states attended the session. The training and dialogue among participants were important steps in further strengthening ICM in the region through the NOWPAP mechanism in cooperation with PEMSEA.
Mr. Nikolai Kozlovskii, participant from POMRAC, noted that the training was impressive due to the large scope of issues covered and the participation from the two large areas – the Northwest Pacific and Southeast Asia. He stated that, “It was one of the best events we joined this year,” and stressed how his specialist field on microplastics is an integral part of ICM, alongside eutrophication and biodiversity management.
NOWPAP attends Global Dialogue on Technology for Resilient Cities
On October 17th and 18th 2017, NOWPAP attended the Global Dialogue on Technology for Resilient Cities organized by the UN Environment International Environment Technology Centre in Osaka, Japan. Over 100 participants including city/state/ministerial officials from Asia, international organizations, NGOs, and universities attended the dialogue to explore how technologies can contribute to urban resilience against environmental impacts, especially on waste issues.
Some of the themes covered in the presentations were Global Technology Mechanism, national to city scale waste management strategies, project finance, and public education. One distinctive case study that made participants grin was the North-South city exchange between Sao Paolo, Brazil and Copenhagen, Denmark where Sao Paolo, inspired by Copenhagen’s “Recycling is gold” campaign, successfully raised awareness about waste issues by painting their waste collection trucks into gold.
NOWPAP Presents at the "Productive sea and marine environmental conservation" Symposium in Toyama, Japan
On December 21st, 2017, Toyama Prefecture of Japan jointly with the Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center organized an international environment symposium on environmental cooperation in the Northwest Pacific region. Toyama Prefecture Governor Mr. Takakazu Ishii made an opening remarks followed by the Director of the Asia and the Pacific Office of the UN Environment, Dr. Dechen Tsering.
Various presenters, including all four Directors of the NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers and NOWPAP Senior Coordinator and well-known Japanese researchers talked about environmental issues and solutions for the protection of the marine and coastal environment of the Northwest Pacific region at the symposium. Students of Takaoka High School made an engaging presentation about the use of digital media in schools to mobilize students for action combating marine litter. The meeting was well attended with more than 60 people present; many were high school students from Toyama Prefecture.
International Exchange Festival 2017 in Toyama
On November 12, 2017, NOWPAP RCU communicated the importance of international cooperation on tackling marine environmental issues, and explained the role of NOWPAP by holding an information booth at the International Exchange Festival 2017. The Festival was held to foster understanding of different cultures and was attended by citizens of all ages and nationalities of Toyama City.
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