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
||Establishment of a comprehensive data base and information management system
||Survey of national environmental legislation, objectives, strategies and policies
||Establishment of a collaborative regional monitoring programme
||Development of effective measures for regional cooperation in marine pollution preparedness and response
||Commence the establishment of regional activity centers and the network
||Public awareness of the marine, coastal and associated freshwater environment
||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.