North-West Pacific




NOWPAP + Regional Activity Centres
China, Japan, Russia and Korea (the Republic of Korea and the Peoples Republic of Korea) share a common sea. This shared resource also requires co-operative management. UNEP through its Regional Seas programme is assisting the four nations in developing pollution control and disaster response in the shared ocean environment.

Action plan : The Action Plan for the North-West Pacific (NOWPAP) was adopted by the countries in 1994. The 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 protecting human health, ecological integrity and the region's sustainability for future generations.

Priority projects : Five priority projects have been adopted — on information management, survey of national environmental legislation and policies, a regional pollution monitoring programme, cooperation in marine pollution emergency preparedness and response. Oil has been identified as one of five priority issue for the region.

Regional coordinating unit: NOWPAP's Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU), co-hosted by Japan and the Republic of Korea, serves as "nerve centre and command post" of NOWPAP activities.

Four regional activity centres: A network of regional activity centres (RACs) is being developed to coordinate activities relevant to specific components of NOWPAP.

  • The Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) has been established within the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO)/ Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) in Taejon, Republic of Korea. •• MERRAC, with support from UNEP and IMO, coordinates the development of effective measures for regional cooperation in marine pollution preparedness and response. •• IMO, as being the secretariat for the International Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Convention, in co-operation with UNEP, is assisting the MERRAC and NOWPAP member states in the development of a NOWPAP Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan.

  • The Northwest Pacific Region Environment Centre (NPEC) has been designated as the NOWPAP Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Center (CEA/RAC).

  • A Data and Information Network Monitoring Regional Activity Center (DIN/RAC) is hosted by China.

Tokyo MoU
According to the Memoradum of Understanding on Port State Control for the Asia and Pacific Region (Tokyo MoU), each authority will establish and maintain an effective system of Port State Control with a view of ensuring that, without discrimination as to flag, foreign merchant ships visiting the ports of its State comply with the standards laid down in the relevant international instruments.

UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Working closely with the Division of Regional Co-operation and Representation in UNEP's Nairobi-based headquarters, the UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) looks to adopt global environmental policy to regional priorities and needs. It acts as a catalyst, co-ordinator, facilitater and mobilizer of resources. It puts particular emphasis on building partnerships with regional and sub-regional intergovernmental fora, other UN agencies, national governments, NGOs, the private sector, academic and research institutions, and civil society, and the media.

UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific
In Asia and the Pacific Region, UNEP's Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) is implemented through the facility of UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and Pacific (RRC.AP) situated within the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand. UNEP RRC.AP was initially established in 1989 as a GRID facility, which was later expanded, to encompass DEWA activities. There are three components in the programme: (i) Capacity Building and Servicing, (ii) Data Management, and (iii) Assessment and Reporting. Assessment reports and Early Warning Systems are being developed through these three components. At present, RRC.AP is focusing on four early warning issues based on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee: GLOF, Water, Land Cover and Air. Activities have been carried out under the direct supervision of the DEWA, in close coordination with UNEP's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP).

UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) organizes seminars and workshops on various issues relating to water resources, including: Water resources assessment; Integrated water resources development and management; Protection of water resources, water quality and aquatic ecosystems; River basin development and management; Promotion of infrastructure development and investment for drinking water supply and sanitation; Water pricing and promotion of private investment in the water sector; Water demand management, water saving and economic use of water; and Mitigation of water-related natural disasters, particularly flood loss reduction.

Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center
The Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center (NPEC) has been designated as the Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Center for NOWPAP. Among research and studies relevant to environmental protection (1) a Survey of Submerged and Floating Matter on Beaches is listed with the objective to create an awareness for environmental protection among residents of the Northwest Pacific Region. Together with Russian self-governing bodies and NGO groups of the coastal region, NPEC will continuously investigate the current conditions of sea pollution, including submerged and floating matter on the coasts of the Sea of Japan.

North Pacific Marine Science Organization
The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) is an intergovernmental scientific organization. It was established in 1992 and its present members are Canada, People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, and the United States of America. The purposes of PICES are to promote and coordinate marine research in the northern North Pacific and adjacent seas especially northward of 30 degrees North; to advance scientific knowledge about the ocean environment, global weather and climate change, living resources and their ecosystems, and the impacts of human activities; and to promote the collection and rapid exchange of scientific information on these issues.