Seagrasses provide important ecological functions and ecosystem services in coastal ecosystems. However, widespread and accelerated losses have been reported worldwide and some seagrass species are now under threat of extinction. Although seagrasses have attracted much attention for their functions to maintain marine biodiversity and mitigate climate change, information on their distribution and threats in the NOWPAP region is very limited. To help address these concerns, a feasibility study was conducted for the assessment of seagrass in the NOWPAP region in 2015 to investigate the usefulness of satellite images for the assessment of seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region. This report presents the results of the feasibility study and identifies the resources and tasks required for the assessment of seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region.
The Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP), launched in September 1994 by the People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation is part of the United Nations Environment Regional Seas Programme. NOWPAP implements its far-sighted mandate to protect the Northwest Pacific seas and coasts for present and future generations, guided by a six-year strategic framework of sectoral goals and implementation modalities. The 2018-2023 NOWPAP Medium-term Strategy aims to equip Member States with the evidencebased cooperative mechanism to ensure a healthy marine and coastal environment, thereby advancing regional progress towards achieving ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023 Vision is a resilient Northwest Pacific marine and coastal environment, supporting sustainable development for the long-term benefit of present and future generations. The major focus of the NOWPAP Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023 will be on the coordination of the regional implementation of the ocean-related SDGs using NOWPAP mechanism. Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023 identifies four core areas of work to prevent and reverse increasing degradation of the marine and coastal environment in one of the world’s most impacted by human activities and natural changes region.
It was a busy period for NOWPAP Regional Activity Centers and Coordinating Unit that culminated in the 22nd NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting held on December 19-21 in Toyama, Japan. The meeting was a prime time to reflect on our common achievements of the year and consider future development to be shaped in the emerging Medium-Term Strategy 2018-2023. But most importantly, it was a time for our extended NOWPAP family to get together to share progress, views and aspirations for the regional mechanism. It was a successful meeting that resulted in the approval of a record NOWPAP budget, fully fledged work programs of our Regional Centers reflecting upon evolving regional environmental priorities, and the introduction of a new NOWPAP Special Projects modality among several important meeting decisions.
After NOWPAP Member States approved an ambitious work programme for the next 2 years at the 22nd Intergovernmental Meeting in 2017, the Regional Coordinating Unit and Regional Activity Centers (RACs) spent valuable time in planning and preparing work plans for the biennium. Everyone is gearing up for busy spring and summer with all four RAC Focal Points Meeting planned and 2018 NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup Campaign and various workshops on marine litter to be held in Busan in Junein 2018.