NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) was established by the decision of the Fourth NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) in 1999 “to ensure the integrated and well-managed execution from within the region of projects under the Action Plan” and to function as a secretariat for NOWPAP. At the Sixth Intergovernmental Meeting in 2000, the NOWPAP Members agreed in principle to establish a co-hosted NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) in Toyama, Japan, and in Busan, Republic of Korea. The RCU Toyama and Busan Offices were established in November 2004.

The RCU is the nerve center directing and promoting the NOWPAP activities. It has the overall responsibility for the implementation of the NOWPAP Members' decisions regarding the operation of the Action Plan. The RCU maintains close contacts with and supports the work of the Regional Activity Centers (RACs). Establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with other international organizations is also an important mission of the RCU. At the request of NOWPAP Member States, RCU was established by UNEP with the staff being employees of the United Nations.

Revised Terms of Reference of the NOWPAP RCU approved by the Twenty Second NOWPAP IGM in 2017 are available here.


RCU Staff in the Toyama Office

Dr. Lev Neretin, Senior Coordinator

Dr. Neretin serves as Senior Coordinator of NOWPAP since July 2016. He has over 15 years of experience in environmental science, policy-making and management, primarily leading and managing complex environment and development programs and the intergovernmental processes at the UNEP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). As a Programme Officer of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the GEF (STAP) from 2008 to 2016, he provided technical advice to GEF policies, strategies, and programs on various global environmental issues, including marine litter, emerging chemicals, climate mitigation and resilience, and environmental dimension of sustainable development. Prior to joining the STAP, Mr. Neretin served as a GEF portfolio manager responsible for the implementation of the Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and UNEP and the regional project portfolio in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and P.R. China. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Biodiversity Expert in the Caspian Environment Programme (2005-2006) and held a joint position a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbology and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (Germany) (from 1997 to 2005).

Ms. Chika Kimura, Programme Management Assistant

Ms. Chika KIMURA joined UNEP NOWPAP RCU Toyama Office in Japan as a Programme Management Assistant in July, 2016. She has more than 10 years of working experience at United Nations offices in Japan, mainly as an assistant in the Administration,  HR,  and Finance units. Before joining UN, she worked as a personal assistant and interpreter at several foreign-affiliated private companies with colleagues from other countries/backgrounds.

RCU Staff in the Busan Office

Dr. LIU Ning, Programme Officer

Dr. LIU Ning joined NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit in Busan office in August 2016. He has two decades of experience of enforcement of trade-related conventions and laws, working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the General Administration of China Customs, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Freeland Foundation. Before his assignment with the UNEP Asia Pacific Regional Enforcement Network Project addressing the trans-boundary movement of harmful chemicals and waste, he supervised a US$ 13 million Freeland Foundation anti-wildlife trafficking program in Asia, took part in China’s FTA (Free Trade Agreement) negotiations and facilitated intelligence exchange on illegal trade among Asian countries.  

Ms. Jihee Yi, Programme Management Assistant

Jihee Yi has been hired by United Nations Environment, Northwest Pacific Action Plan Regional Coordinating Unit in Busan as a General Service Staff since 2016. Before joining the UN, she was responsible for the administration of different U.S. colleges for over a decade. She focused on helping both prospective and current undergraduate and graduate students  reach their educational and career goals by communicating, training students with information resources, counseling students in their social and professional lives, and liaising with other campus offices to resolve students’ problems.