Prevent and reduce land- and sea-based pollution

One of the most densely populated parts of the world with rapid economic growth, the NOWPAP region faces multiple anthropogenic stresses. Industry, urban areas, agriculture, aquaculture and shipping are major sources of marine pollution.  Marine litter, particularly single-use and non-degrading plastics, is damaging the ecological, economic, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of Northwest Pacific seas and coasts. A high shipping density, with more than half of the world’s 20 top container terminals located in the NOWPAP region makes it highly vulnerable to marine spill incidents.  Eutrophication, a cause of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia, is a growing concern, particularly in the southern Yellow Sea, the Amursky Bay in the Russian Federation and the Masan Bay in Korea.

NOWPAP supports Member States with information, guidelines and best practices to prevent and reduce land- and sea-based pollution, including eutrophication. Over the past decade, Northwest Pacific countries have been implementing the NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) which aims to prevent, control and remove marine litter, including through annual marine litter management workshops and International Coastal Clean-up campaigns. NOWPAP hosts the Northwest Pacific Regional Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML), a major information portal on marine litter data in the region.

A Common Procedure has been developed to assess eutrophication including land-based sources of HAB-producing nutrients, an online portal on HABs and countermeasures against HABs.

Support is provided to enhance regional capacities to respond to the threat from oil and hazardous and noxious substance (HNS) spills at sea including through the NOWPAP Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan (RCP).

This priority area of work supports regional progress towards SDG Target 14.1: By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution. It also contributes to achievement of several targets of SDGs 6, 8, 11 and 12.

Read more about NOWPAP work on marine litter

Read more about NOWPAP work on oil and harzadous and noxious substances spills

Read more about NOWPAP work on eutrophication