Northwest Pacific

International actors and agreements in the region

See Global action and Global actors.

UNEP Regional Seas Programme. ••>

UNEP Global programme of action for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities (UNEP GPA). ••>

Regional conventions, agreements, action plans and actors

Action Plan for the North-West Pacific (NOWPAP) • Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU). ••>

Regional Activity Centres (RECs) of NOWPAP: ••>

  • Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Center (CEA/RAC) — see also Northwest Pacific Region Environment Centre (NPEC);
  • Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MER/RAC);
  • Data and Information Network Monitoring Regional Activity Center (DIN/RAC).

Memoradum of Understanding on Port State Control for the Asia and Pacific Region (Tokyo MoU). ••>

UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP). ••>

UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRCAP). ••>

UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). ••>

North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). ••>

Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center (NPEC) . ••>

Eco Asia (Environment Congress for Asia and the Pacific). Consists of high-level government officials (including ministers), experts from international organizations and private organizations and environment researchers in the region, "where they can freely exchange viewpoints in their personal capacities". The purpose of ECO ASIA is to "promote long-term activities for environmental protection by governments and relevant organizations in Asia and the Pacific Region toward the realization of sustainable development of the Region".

Regional and national reports on the state of the marine and coastal environment

UNEP Regional Seas: "The North-West Pacific is among the most highly populated parts of the world, resulting in enormous pressures and demands on the environment. Its people are particularly dependant on the sea for their food and livelihoods. Yet their health – and the health of their environment – are under growing threat, mainly from land-based activities and sources of pollution. Coastal development, industry, transport, and activities such as land reclamation and intensive mariculture take an ever-greater toll on coastal ecosystems. Chemical and industrial wastes, untreated municipal sewage, agricultural pesticides and nutrients in run-off cause widespread damage and stimulate eutrophication and harmful algal blooms (red tides). Added to these are oil pollution from wastewaters and accidental spills, atmospheric pollution and marine and coastal litter.".

State of the Environment in Asia and the Pacific 2000. UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

UNEP: Global Environment Outlook 3 (GEO3). Coastal and marine areas.

University of Rhode Island: Large Marine Ecosystems (LME): The region includes East China Sea, Yellow Sea, Kuroshio Current, Sea of Japan, Ohashio Current, and Sea of Okhotsk.

China State of the Environment Report (1998). In the section on coastal and marine environment, 20 oil spills (one of which was large) were reported in 1997. UNEP Net.

Conservation of the marine environment, Japan. Ministry of the Environment.

Private sector and NGOs actors and initiatives

Oilwatch. ••>

International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). ••>

International Directory of Oil Spill Cleanup Contractors and Response Organisations. ••>

International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA). ••>

Pacific Environment. A U.S.-based international environmental organization that supports the work of over 80 environmental NGOs in China, and Russia. See the case of oil drilling at the Sakhalin Island, off the coast of Russia and just north of Japan.

National action

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan: Maritime Department

Japan Coast Guard. The tasks of the Japanese Coast Guard and Rescue Department include maintainence of public order, oil pollution response and search and rescue.

In January 1997, in the sea of Japan (off the Oki Islands of Simane Prefecture), the Russian tanker Nakhodka, with a cargo of about 19,000 tonnes of heavy oil, en-route from Shanghai, China to Petropavlovsk, Russia, broke up in the stormy weather. The stern section of the tanker sank soon after the incident down to the sea bed at a depth of about 2,500 metres with an estimated 12,500 tonnes of cargo onboard. The upturned bow section continued to drift and grounded on rocks near the shore of Antou, Mikuni town, Fukui Prefecture within the Echizen-Kaga Coast Quasi National Park. The incident resulted in an estimated 6,240 tonnes of oil spill, most of which reached the coasts and damaged the environment and human activities.

Photo:© Fukui Prefecture, Japan.