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NOWPAP NEWS oCTOBER - DECEMBER 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. NOWPAP PROGRESS

1.1 Northwest Pacific nations to step up science-based cooperation to nurture marine wealth

1.2 Northwest Pacific regional ‘science diplomacy’ urged for Northeast Asian peace and prosperity

1.3 Japan’s prestigious Keio university takes the leap into a plastic-free future

1.4 Seventh NOWPAP DELTA Oil Spill Response Exercise held in Japan

1.5 NOWPAP at the 2018 PICES Annual Meeting

1.6 Developing a methodology for marine litter hot-spots assessment

1.7 New NOWPAP publications and portal of the NW Pacific Regional Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter launched

2. DIGEST OF MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

Options to be discussed at UNEA-4 for marine litter and microplastics: Full life cycle approach, consideration of global coordination & governance

Addressing marine plastic litter from ships – IMO action plan adopted

Global Sustainable Development Report outlines circular economy benefits, initiatives

MPAs can provide an economic boost

Pioneering global framework for sustainable ocean finance launched at Our Ocean global summit

Post2020 Timeline Outlines Key Events Leading to CBD COP 15

Ramsar Convention announces first 18 wetland cities

Sustainable Blue Economy Conference concludes with 62 Commitments

Circular Economy Forum highlights need for shared vision, leadership

China strictly regulates high-seas fishing

Joint Statement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on marine litter and plastics

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt

(Japan) Ministry to urge firms to cut use of microplastics amid marine pollution crisis

ASEAN, China and Japan agree to pitch in to reduce plastic waste

3. CONTACT US

1. NOWPAP PROGRESS

1.1 Northwest Pacific nations to step up science-based cooperation to nurture marine wealth

October 22, 2019, Moscow, Russian Federation: Acknowledging the economic and social importance of the ecological health of their seas, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation have endorsed a six-year strategy that will harness science-based cooperation for regional progress towards achieving ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Denis Khramov, First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation opens the meeting

Representatives of the four Member States of the United Nations Environment (UNEP) Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) attending the 23rd Northwest Pacific Region Intergovernmental Meeting from 9 – 11 October 2018 called for enhanced regional cooperation in support of SDG 14: Life Below Water in the Northwest Pacific. The annual Northwest Pacific Region Intergovernmental Meeting was convened to review implementation of the 24-year-old Northwest Pacific Action Plan.

“The effective implementation of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal 14 is now a top priority for UN Environment Regional Seas Programme’s organizations. The UN Environment Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region is an active mechanism for international collaboration for environmental protection, conservation of ecological capacity and preventing pollution of the marine environment in the Northwest Pacific Region,” said Denis Khramov, First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation while opening the meeting.

The Northwest Pacific Region’ medium-term strategy for 2018 – 2023, reaffirmed by the meeting, aims to align activities of the Northwest Pacific Region with national and regional priorities and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 14: ‘Life below water’.

Pollution from marine litter and oil spills, eutrophication, invasive species, habitat destruction and climate change are increasingly threatening the Northwest Pacific marine and coastal ecosystems.

The meeting launched an innovative project to produce up-to-date information on key species and habitats of transboundary concern in the Northwest Pacific Region that could be used as important indicators of biodiversity change caused by natural and human factors. The project will generate key information for a Regional Action Plan on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Conservation to be formulated as part of the medium-term strategy.

Member States also agreed to step up efforts to prevent, monitor and remove marine litter from their shores and seas and to identify and propose new projects to support implementation of the strategy.

Participants of the 23rd NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting

They also agreed in principle on how to monitor and evaluate its implementation using a number of criteria for:

(i) Effective coordination of regional implementation of ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals using NOWPAP mechanism

(ii) An ecosystem approach to achieve Ecological Quality Objectives agreed upon by Member States

(iii) Strengthening regional and global partnerships

(iv) Engaging in global processes and mechanisms in support of Sustainable Development Goals.

The meeting emphasized the importance of increasing public outreach and awareness of marine environmental problems and the role of NOWPAP addressing within the region and beyond.

The next Intergovernmental Meeting will be held in P.R. China in 2019.

1.2 Northwest Pacific regional ‘science diplomacy’ urged for Northeast Asian peace and prosperity

November 30, 2018, Iloilo, the Philippines, One of very few intergovernmental cooperative mechanisms in Northeast Asia, the UN Environment Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) can play a larger role in supporting regional peace and prosperity through ‘science diplomacy’, a major conference on East Asian seas in Iloilo City, Philippines, recommended.

The EAS Congress was held in Iloilo, the Philippines on 27-30 November 2018

A session, organized by NOWPAP, during the 27-30 November 2018 East Asian Seas Congress, reviewed the over two decades of regional cooperation it has promoted and concluded that the Action Plan plays a key role in the regional implementation of ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals. Marine science experts, representatives of other ocean organizations and Northwest Pacific Action Plan Regional Activity Centres attended the session.

NOWPAP organized a session, “Realizing the SDGs through Strategic Partnerships: A Future Trajectory for Action in the Northwest Pacific”, on 28 November 2018.

The session identified the following challenges for the UNEP's Northwest Pacific Action Plan in promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region:

•Building lasting regional peace through science diplomacy

•Supporting sustainable growth and prosperity

•Protecting the marine and coastal environment

Addressing the session, NOWPAP Coordinator, Lev Neretin, said that regional cooperation has been indispensable in producing scientific assessments that underpin good ocean governance. The Action Plan's Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023 is focused on regional coordination of ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 14: Life Below Water, he pointed out. The comprehensive Northwest Pacific regional environmental assessment to begin next year will also make an important contribution to the 2021-2030 Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Speakers emphasized to consider in the future greater integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development by expanding Northwest Pacific Action Plan’s technical focus to include new issues such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, transboundary marine spatial planning as well as enhanced preparedness and response capacities to deal the increasing threat of chemical spills in the region.

In a presentation, the Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-WESTPAC) of the United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) outlined the elements of good ocean governance as aiming for:

•A clean ocean with the sources of pollution identified, quantified and reduced, and pollutants removed from the seas

•A healthy and resilient ocean with maritime ecosystems mapped and protected, and impacts measured and reduced

•A ‘predicted ocean’ with social understanding of, and ability to forecast the health of the sea and its impact on human well-being

•A safe ocean where human communities are protected from sea-based hazards

•A sustainable productive ocean with its provision of food supply and livelihoods secured

•A transparent and accessible ocean where all nations and citizens have access to ocean information and are capable of making informed decisions for marine well-being.

Progress towards promoting good ocean governance in the region would require NOWPAP to strengthen existing and develop new partnerships and synergies with relevant global, regional and national institutions, speakers said.

Participants of the NOWPAP-organized session "Realizing the SDGs through Strategic Partnerships: A Future Trajectory for Action in the Northwest Pacific"

The Northwest Pacific Action Plan was also a participant in the Ocean Talk and Sea Exchange discussion during East Asian Seas Congress 2018, and highlighted the importance of Regional Action Plans on Marine Litter for better intra-regional coordination of policy and information exchange on this growing threat to the world’s oceans.

During the Ocean Talk and SEA Exchange, Lev Neretin shared NOWPAP experiences and noted the importance of regional action in addressing marine litter and microplastics
UNEP delegates, Habib N. EI-Habr, Lev Neretin and Jerker Tamelander, on the panel of the Marine Pollution and Clean Water session.

“Preventive action remains insufficient. There is an urgent need for scaling up action aimed at behavioural change and developing quantitative targets and indicators of progress. There is also a need to integrate the principles of the plastics circular economy of after-use, reduced leakage and decoupling”, Neretin said.

NOWPAP booth at the EAS 2018 Exhibition hall

Co-organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Government of the Philippines and Partnerships in Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), East Asian Seas Congress 2018 brought together over 900 participants from across Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.

In a high-level Ministerial Forum comprising 11 countries bordering seas in East Asia, the Congress adopted the “Iloilo Ministerial Declaration on East Asian Region, Moving as One to Secure Healthy Oceans, People and Economies”, reaffirming commitment to sustainable development of coastal and marine resources in the region.

1.3 Japan’s prestigious Keio university takes the leap into a plastic-free future

At this year’s Fujisawa Campus annual festival at Japan’s prestigious Keio University, a large number of the over 10,000 mostly young visitors were drawn to a peculiar display booth.

The booth was set up by the civil society group UMINARI

The attraction was understandable—visitors to the booth, mostly students from Keio and other universities as well as pre-university students and members of the public, were encouraged to change their lifestyles and reduce dependence on plastics. Reusable bags, drinking straws and bottles were displayed at the booth along with material about the UNEP Regional Seas Programme.

“I didn’t know that it takes only such simple action in our daily lives to protect our environment,” said a surprised university graduate student after studying the displays at the booth.

“It is good for us to start to learn to change our behaviour while still at university,” said a young woman. “This will give us a stronger sense of commitment and shared values later in life to protect our environment.”

‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ banners and environment-friendly substitutes for plastics were displayed. The booth was set up by the civil society group UMINARI to launch the Beat Plastic Pollution campaign during the 13 October University festival held in Fujisawa—a city on Japan’s mid-western Pacific Ocean coast. UMINARI, coordinator of the network, had teamed with the UNEP Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), a Regional Seas Programme headquartered in Toyama, Japan, for its anti-plastic campaign designed for campuses.

The campaign was launched on behalf of Onewave network, a nationwide platform that brings together non-profit, civil society and private sector groups in Japan to promote public awareness of working together to protect the shared global environment.

Young and old, everyone was encouraged to act. “I am glad to see the young learning to take care of the environment and ready to give up some conveniences,” said a woman visitor in her late sixties. Many students visiting the booth made a formal pledge to switch to using sustainable alternatives to plastics on campus.

“We are very encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by students and their readiness to stop using plastics. Our goal was to get students involved, change their minds and act. We can now continue the Plastic-Free Campus campaign both online and offline for lasting and widespread impact,” said Takanobu Date, Chief Executive Officer of UMINARI and Coordinator of Onewave network.

“According to estimates by UMINARI, every second, about 1,000 single-use plastic bags are used in Japan. While the country is well known for its modern and efficient waste management practices, the significance of reducing single-use plastics is no less important here than in other parts of the world,” said Lev Neretin, Coordinator of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan. “We are delighted to support the first public initiative of this very promising youth movement,” he added.

The campaign also resulted in some businesses and research organizations agreeing to provide support to Onewave network in making Japanese campuses plastic-free.

1.4 Seventh NOWPAP DELTA Oil Spill Response Exercise held in Japan

The 7th NOWPAP DELTA (Joint Oil Spill Response) Exercise was held from 2 to 4 October 2018 in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan and was led by Japan Coast Guard (JCG) together with the Marine Rescue Service of ROSMORRECHFLOT, Russian Federation. Member States of the UNEP NOWPAP Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) conduct the NOWPAP DELTA Exercises biennially on a rotational basis in order to enhance mutual emergency response capacities and promote regional and international cooperation.

The 7th NOWPAP DELTA (Joint Oil Spill Response) Exercise was held from 2 to 4 October 2018 in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (Credit: NOWPAP MERRAC)

A total of nine response vessels, eight from Japan and one from the Russian Federation, including a helicopter, an unmanned aerial vehicle, (drone) from JCG as well as over 200 personnel took part in the exercise. Some 25 observers representing governments, institutes and relevant organizations also attended .

(Credit: NOWPAP MERRAC)

The main objective of this DELTA exercise was to enhance oil spill response equipment handling capabilities, working with government organizations in Japan such as the ‘Council for Spilled Oil Response in Maizuru port’, the ‘National Strike team’ and the 8th Regional Headquarter of JCG.

(Credit: NOWPAP MERRAC)

The Exercise was conducted successfully and participants expressed appreciation for its organization by Japan and the Russian Federation.

The 8th NOWPAP DELTA Exercise will be held in 2020 as a Joint Spill Response Exercise by the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.

1.5 NOWPAP at the 2018 PICES Annual Meeting

NOWPAP Special Monitoring and Coastal Environment Assessment Regional Activity Centre (CEARAC) attended the business meeting of the Study Group on Marine Microplastics (SG-MMP) organized during the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) Annual Meeting 2019 held in Yokohama, Japan from 25 October to 4 November 2018. The SG-MMP was set up to identify issues related to microplastics pollution in the North Pacific and to coordinate research priorities of PICES member states with those of other international and regional initiatives on microplastics. The meeting emphasized that the North Pacific region is the most polluted sea area in the world.

The SG -MMP proposed establishing a new working group on marine microplastics to develop the list of indicator species on marine microplastics and guidelines on risk assessment of microplastics including chemical pollution. It was also proposed to organize a session on microplastics at the next PICES Annual Meeting to be held in 2019 in Victoria, Canada. NOWPAP is invited as a co-convenor of the session.

NOWPAP is expected to be a partner of the proposed new working group on marine microplastics . As NOWPAP is preparing a new special project on microplastics, closer collaboration between NOWPAP and PICES is desirable.

NOWPAP CEARAC also attended the business meeting of the Advisory Panel of Marine Non-indigenous Species (AP-NIS), held on 27 October to share information from its feasibility assessment at the next AP-NIS business meeting. CEARAC collaboration with PICES will be strengthened if NIS is selected as a priority issue for future CEARAC activities.

The business meeting of the Section on Ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms in the North Pacific (S-HAB) held on 30 October was informed that Cochlodinium bloom occurred after many years in Korea and that green tides have become an annual occurrence in China. The S-HAB meeting proposed a session on the impact of HAB on the marine environment,t to be organized at the next PICES annual meeting in 2019 and CEARAC is expected to co-chair the proposed session on the issue which is central to ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a high priority for NOWPAP.

1.6 Developing a methodology for marine litter hot-spots assessment

NOWPAP attended the Review Workshop on the Methodology for Marine Litter Hotspot Assessment organized by the UNEP Asia Pacific Office and the East China Normal University in Shanghai, P.R. China on 10-11 December 2018. to discuss the draft methodology developed by the East China Normal University to identify marine litter hot-spots. NOWPAP shared its decade-long experience in addressing marine litter including best practices for the fisheries sector, waste management and data collection.

Participants at the Shanghai workshop

Participants suggested strengthening the chapter “Review of data and knowledge on marine litter in Asia and the Pacific” using the latest information available adding an executive summary, a conclusion and recommendations section, and considering developing the chapter into a separate product. It was also recommended that other chapters in the methodology be revised into second product as a methodology and that a side event on the topic be organized during the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4) to be held in March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

UNEP Global Programme of Action (GPA), Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of Indonesia, University of California – Riverside, and the East China Normal University and UNEP Asia and the Pacific Office as well as NOWPAP representative attended the workshop.

1.7 New NOWPAP publications and portal of the NW Pacific Regional Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter launched

NOWPAP CEARAC released two new publications. Read them online:

NOWPAP Data and Information Network Regional Activity Centre (DINRAC) launched the new portal for the Northwest Pacific Regional Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter. The information and data on the portal will be updated continuously.

2. Digest of Marine Environmental News

Options to be discussed at UNEA-4 for marine litter and microplastics: Full life cycle approach, consideration of global coordination & governance

Delegates at the 2nd Ad-Hoc Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics

The Second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics held on 3-7 December 2018 in Geneva was tasked with analyzing the barriers and options for combating marine litter and microplastics. After two meetings and many days of discussion involving Member States, active civil society from across the world, and industry representatives, the Expert Group highlighted for the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly the following options for work :

● Consider the full life cycle of plastics in a holistic, evidence-based approach for eliminating marine plastic pollution.

● Act urgently, as the explosion in new plastic production - with another 33% increase in the works -has already eclipsed our capacity to recycle and manage it .

● Focus on prevention.

● Take into account SDG 12.4 (sound management of chemicals) in addition to SDG 14.1 - affirming that plastics are chemicals and should be managed as such.

● Evaluate approaches to extended producer responsibility to address the industry’s partial financial responsibility for plastics and its impacts on the marine environment.

● Consider the establishment of a global knowledge hub to share standard science and methodologies (including citizen science), information on additives, and national inventory information on plastic production.

● Consider the feasibility of a global legally binding instrument.

Addressing marine plastic litter from ships – IMO action plan adopted

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has pledged to further address the significant problem posed by plastics to the marine environment, with the adoption of an Action Plan which aims to enhance existing regulations and introduce new supporting measures to reduce marine plastic litter from ships.

IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted (on 26 October) the action plan, to contribute to the global solution for preventing marine plastic litter entering the oceans through ship based activities.

Global Sustainable Development Report outlines circular economy benefits, initiatives

The Finnish Environment Institute released a report on the concept of circular economy as a background contribution to the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019. The authors note that in Europe alone, a circular economy could create “direct primary resource benefits” worth €600 billion by 2030.

The report titled, ‘Circular Economy for Sustainable Development,’ outlines various benefits of a circular economy, including: minimizing pollution, climate emissions, waste and the use of raw material; preserving natural systems; increasing competitiveness and creating new markets; and providing employment opportunities and social benefits. It states that circular economy is much more than waste management, and also requires policy instruments that focus on upstream phases such as product design and service development. It notes that the transition from the linear, “take-make-dispose” economic model to a more circular economic system will require fundamental changes in technologies, markets, user practices and institutions.

MPAs can provide an economic boost

A new EU report has highlighted the economic benefits European Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can provide. Similar studies in the Northwest Pacific environment are limited but the conclusions of the research are equally applied.

MPAs have already been shown to have wide beneficial impacts from environmental, ecological and socio-economic perspectives. There has in some areas, however, remained a question mark looming over economic benefits, with the suggestion that, rather than give it a boost, MPAs can add restrictions and costs to the economy.

To investigate this in more detail, PML teamed up with ICF and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and comprehensively assessed the links between MPAs and the different sectors of the blue economy. In doing so, they have answered the question: Yes, there are economic benefits stemming from MPAs, and while the main beneficiaries tend to be from the fisheries and tourism, they are not the only sectors to gain.

Pioneering global framework for sustainable ocean finance launched at Our Ocean global summit

The world’s first global framework to finance a sustainable ocean economy was launched at the Our Ocean conference held in Bali, Indonesia on October 2018.

The Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles were developed by the European Commission, WWF, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Started as a commitment by a dozen financial institutions and key stakeholders just a year ago, they are now set to become the gold standard to invest in the ocean economy—the “blue economy”—in a sustainable way.

Ocean ecosystems are under enormous pressure. With growth of the blue economy expected to double over the next decade, action is urgently needed to reverse this trend. Sustainable finance is a powerful solution. By engaging investors, insurers and banks, the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles bring sustainability into the boardrooms of all ocean-based industries, from shipping, fisheries and tourism, to aquaculture, energy and biotechnology.

Post2020 timeline outlines key events leading to CBD COP 15

The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have prepared a timeline outlining key events between June 2017 and October 2020 that will contribute to the deliberations on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. At its meeting in 2020, the Conference of the Parties to CBD is expected to update the Convention’s strategic plan in the context of the 2050 Vision of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ramsar Convention announces first 18 wetland cities

Eighteen cities from seven countries, including two from the NOWPAP region – China, France, Hungary, Madagascar, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Tunisia – received the prestigious accreditation during a boisterous ceremony at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) in Dubai following the adoption of the Wetland Cities resolution at the Ramsar Convention COP12 in Uruguay in 2015.

This flagship ceremony was the culmination of a process that began back in 2012 – a process that WWF has supported wholeheartedly since the start, including backing the adoption of the Wetland Cities resolution at COP12 in Uruguay.

Sustainable Blue Economy Conference concludes with 62 commitments

The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference concluded with hundreds of pledges to advance a sustainable Blue Economy, including 62 concrete commitments related to: marine protection; plastics and waste management; maritime safety and security; fisheries development; financing; infrastructure; biodiversity and climate change; technical assistance and capacity building; private sector support; and partnerships.

The Conference, which convened from 26-28 November 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on the theme, ‘The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ Over 18,000 participants from 184 countries registered to participate in the three-day event, which was organized around nine themes: smart shipping, ports, transportation and global connectivity; employment, job creation and poverty eradication; cities, tourism, resilient coasts and infrastructure; sustainable energy, mineral resources and innovative industries; managing and sustaining marine life, conservation and sustainable economic activities; ending hunger, securing food supplies and promoting good health and sustainable fisheries; climate action, agriculture waste management and pollution-free oceans; maritime security, safety and regulatory enforcement; and people, culture, communities and societies – the inclusive blue economy.

Circular Economy Forum highlights need for shared vision, leadership

The second World Circular Economy Forum 2018 (WCEF2018) called for action across all countries and regions, highlighting that a circular economy is good for business, trade and job creation, but the world lacks a shared circular economy vision, and noting an urgent need for stronger leadership and international collaboration.

The Forum took place from 22-24 October 2018, in Yokohama, Japan, and brought together more than 1,100 experts and decision-makers from more than 80 countries. The WCEF is the world’s biggest global gathering on circular economy solutions. It provides a platform for consideration of the role that a circular economy can play as a vehicle for de-coupling economic growth from the ecological impact of natural resource consumption and as a means to implement the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

China strictly regulates high-seas fishing

China will strictly control the scale of its high-seas fishing ships and continuously enhance the industrial threshold for enterprises, and will severely punish domestic vessels that violate laws and regulations in high-seas fishing. China's high-seas fishing and industrial policies and regulations over the sector have attracted much attention from the world as Chinese fishing boats have had disputes with countries such as Argentina, Ecuador and Indonesia for cross-border fishing or illegal transshipment of rare marine life in recent years.

Joint Statement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Marine Litter and Plastics

On the occasion of the third annual dialogue between H.E. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore on November 14, 2018, both sides acknowledged that plastic pollution resulting from current practices have negative impacts on ocean health, biodiversity, economic sustainability, and potentially on human health. Both leaders recognized the importance of taking a sustainable lifecycle approach to the management of plastics to reduce the threat to the environment and, particularly, to reduce marine litter in oceans. Both sides committed to move towards more resource-efficient management of plastics across their entire life-cycle which will improve efficiency while decreasing environmental impacts.

Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt

Microplastics were found in sea salt several years ago. But how extensively plastic bits are spread throughout the most commonly used seasoning remained unclear. Now, new research shows microplastics in 90 percent of the table salt brands sampled worldwide. Of 39 salt brands tested, 36 had microplastics in them, according to a new analysis by researchers in South Korea and Greenpeace East Asia. Using prior salt studies, this new effort is the first of its scale to look at the geographical spread of microplastics in table salt and their correlation to where plastic pollution is found in the environment.

(Japan) Ministry to urge firms to cut use of microplastics amid marine pollution crisis

The Japan's Environment Ministry plans to urge companies to reduce their use of microplastics, amid heightened global concern over marine pollution. Under an updated policy that the Ministry plans to compile by year-end, companies would be asked to curb use of microbeads in face wash and toothpaste. Restaurants and shops would also be asked to refrain from using plastic bags and straws.

ASEAN, China and Japan agree to pitch in to reduce plastic waste

China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN will work together to address the issue of plastic waste in the ocean, which is affecting fishery, tourism and possibly people's health. Leaders from the three countries and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations discussed the launch of the ASEAN+3 Marine Plastics Debris Cooperative Action Initiative during the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Singapore in November 2018.

3. Contact us

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). Toyama Office:

5-5, Ushijima-shinmachi, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0856, Japan | Tel (+81)-76-444-1611 | Fax (+81)-76-444-2780

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). Busan Office

216 Gijanghaean-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan 46083, Republic of Korea | Tel (+82)-51-720-3001 | Fax (+82)-51-720-3009

Credits:

Created with images by John Mark Arnold - "Underwater Algae" • Tim Foster - "Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse" • freestocks.org - "untitled image" • Victoriano Izquierdo - "Paradox of choice" • Silvo - "nemo clown fish fish" • Alexey Marchenko - "Sunset tide" • Brian Boyd - "untitled image" • photosforyou - "food nature dry" • Daria-Yakovleva - "salt pepper spoons"

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