Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)


NOWPAP is one of the regional seas action plans fostered by UNEP, and adopted by four countries—China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia—in 1994, with the objective of preserving the marine environment of the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea.

2. Promotion of NOWPAP projects

The NOWPAP program consists of the following seven projects. A Regional Activity Center (RAC) has been established in each participating country, and is responsible for implementing the projects as well as promoting NOWPAP activities.

Seven prioritized projects
NOWPAP/1: Establishment of a comprehensive data base and information management system
NOWPAP/2: Survey of national environmental legislation, objectives, strategies and policies
NOWPAP/3: Establishment of a collaborative regional monitoring programme
NOWPAP/4: Development of effective measures for regional cooperation in marine pollution preparedness and response
NOWPAP/5: Commence the establishment of regional activity centers and the network
NOWPAP/6: Public awareness of the marine, coastal and associated freshwater environment
NOWPAP/7: Assessment and Management of Land-based activities

3. Activities in Japan

The Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center (NPEC) located in Toyama City is designated as the Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Center (CEARAC). NPEC takes charge of promotion of the NOWPAP/3 project.

Specific activities related to NOWPAP/3 in Japan include water quality surveys and information gathering of major rivers as a model. The program was initiated in FY 2000, with the aim of establishing techniques for monitoring pollution load caused by atmospheric pollutants and river inputs in the sea area concerned. Also underway is the acquisition of knowledge about the utilization of bioassay (an assessment method that uses a biological indicator) as a means of monitoring the marine environment. Since FY 2001, efforts have been moving ahead to upgrade the facility that receives and analyzes satellite-provided data for the real-time monitoring of the state of the sea area concerned, as well as to develop a system (Watch System of the Marine Environment in the Northwest Pacific Region) that disseminates information domestically and internationally--to NOWPAP participating and non-participating countries alike--via the Internet.

Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan