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Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP)

About the partner:

1.      Organisation/Project Name

The Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP)


2.      Brief Introduction of the Partner

NOWPAP is an integral part of the Regional Seas Programme (RSP) of UNEP initiated in 1974.  It was adopted by Japan, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation in 1994. The overall goal of NOWPAP is “the wise use, development and management of the coastal and marine environment so as to obtain the utmost long-term benefits for the human populations of the region, while securing the region’s sustainability for future generations”. In order to achieve this goal, several objectives were agreed upon.

Objective 1: To assess regional marine environmental conditions by coordinating and integrating monitoring and data-gathering systems on a regional basis, making the best use of the expertise and facilities available within the region on a collective and consistent basis.


Objective 2: To collate and record environmental data and information to form a comprehensive database and information management system which will serve as a repository of all relevant available data, act as a sound basis for decision-making, and serve as a source of information and education for specialists, administrators and others throughout the region.


Objective 3: To develop and adopt a harmonious approach towards costal and marine environmental planning on an integrated basis and in a pre-emptive, predictive and precautionary manner.


Objective 4: To develop and adopt a harmonious approach towards the integrated management of the costal and marine environment and its resources, in a manner which combines protection, restoration, conservation and sustainable use


Objective 5: To develop and adopt a regional framework for collaboration in the management of contiguous bodies of water, and cooperation in the protection of common resources as well as in the prevention of coastal and marine pollution.

The decision-making body of NOWPAP is the Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM).  NOWPAP activities are being implemented mainly by its four Regional Activity Centres (RACs) with the coordination and support provided by the Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) which is co-hosted by Toyama, Japan and Busan, Republic of Korea, respectively.

Recent developments and achievements of the NOWPAP RACs are as follows.

n        Special Monitoring & Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre (CEARAC) in Toyama, Japan coordinates activities related to monitoring and assessment of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) and remote sensing applications for marine environment monitoring in the region ( National reports and integrated reports on HAB and on applications of remote sensing were published in 2005 and widely distributed. New activities to be initiated by CEARAC (in close collaboration with other RACs) will be related to marine litter and to land-based sources of pollution.

n        Data & Information Network Regional Activity Centre (DINRAC) in Beijing, China is developing a region-wide data and information management system. Regional databases of institutions and individual experts on coastal and marine environment in the region as well as national reports on available data and information networks were already completed in 2004. In 2006-2007, more information and links to available environmental data will be provided at the DINRAC website ( In the future, the DINRAC will play a role of a NOWPAP Clearing House.

n        Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness & Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) in Daejeon, Korea coordinates activities related to effective measures for marine pollution preparedness and response ( Three regional reports on shoreline clean-up, environmental sensitivity mapping and dispersant applications were completed in 2005. Due to the work of MERRAC enthusiastic staff and kind support from IMO and UNEP, the NOWPAP Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan (RCP) and associated MOU were signed by the ministers of the NOWPAP member states in 2004-2005. In 2006, the RCP geographical coverage will be increased in order to include the offshore oil and gas fields along the Sakhalin Island. In 2006-2007, MERRAC will expand its activities to deal with marine litter, spills of hazardous chemicals and other issues.

n        Pollution Monitoring Regional Activity Centre (POMRAC) in Vladivostok, Russia is responsible for cooperative activities related to monitoring of contaminant inputs from atmosphere and from rivers ( National reports on atmospheric deposition of contaminants and on river and direct inputs of contaminants to the marine and coastal environment were published in mid-2006. The regional overview of contaminant inputs from land-based sources will contribute to the implementation of the UNEP Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.

In addition to the activities mentioned above, in 2006 NOWPAP has launched the Marine Litter Activity (MALITA) and will start a GEF PDF-B project on land-based sources of Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS) in 2006-2007.

3.      Roles and Activities as a Member of the Yellow Sea Partnership

The geographical coverage of NOWPAP includes the Yellow Sea. So the Yellow Sea is one of the sea areas where NOWPAP activities are being implemented.  NOWPAP is working closely with its member countries, including governments, academic institutions, NGOs and general public in order to achieve its goal and objectives.  Since the establishment of NOWPAP, it has been actively seeking cooperation and coordination with other international organizations, programmes and projects in the region.  NOWPAP has also actively participated in the Yellow Sea Partnership and suggested several joint activists for implementation. NOWPAP will join hands with other Yellow Sea partners to realize the Yellow Sea Partnership Strategy.

4.      Contact Information

Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) Regional Coordinating Unit

Toyama Office

5-5 Ushijimashin-machi, Toyama 930-0856, Japan

Phone: (81-76)-444-1611,

Fax: (81-76)-444-2780



Busan Office

408-1 Shirang-ri, Gijang-up,Gijang-gun, Busan 619-902, Republic of Korea
Phone: (82)51-720-3000
Fax: (82)51-720-3009

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