The Fifteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting
The Fifteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting (FPM) was held on 29-30 August 2017 in Toyama, Japan. 15 people including focal points and alternates from the four NOWPAP member states, representatives of Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) and other Regional Activity Centres (RACs) of NOWPAP and a representative of IOC Sub-commission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC) and one Japanese researcher attended the meeting to review the implementation of CEARAC activities for the current 2016-2017 biennium and to discuss a workplan for the 2018-2019 biennium.
At first, the Secretariat of CEARAC reported the progress of the on-going activities focusing on 2 specific projects: assessment of major pressure on marine biodiversity in the NOWPAP region and feasibility study towards assessment of seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region. Since there are only four months left by the end of 2017, the meeting requested the Secretariat punctual completion of the planned activities.
Next, the Secretariat explained a draft workplan and budget for the next biennium. CEARAC plans to continue focusing on marine biodiversity and seagrass distribution and implement two projects: development of a CEARAC Medium-term Strategy on marine biodiversity; and development of a tool for mapping seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region. While NOWPAP RACs have considered respective workplans for the coming biennium, NOWPAP RCU has also been developing NOWPAP Medium-term Strategy (MTS) 2018-2023. NOWPAP MTS 2018-2023 will be a guideline for NOWPAP RACs to set up their directions of activities for the next five years, a draft version was explained during the FPM to clarify the significance of planned activities of CEARAC. In addition, if the budget increase for CEARAC activities for the 2018-2019 biennium is adopted at the 22nd NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM), CEARAC will implement another activity on marine biodiversity: consideration of future direction of NOWPAP marine biodiversity activities.
Problematic issues in the NOWPAP region which each RAC deals with are inter-related; therefore, the meeting expected more active cooperation and collaboration among RACs and NOWPAP partner organizations, such as IOC/WESTPAC as well as information sharing with RAC FPs.
After discussion, the draft workplan of CEARAC activities for the 2018-2019 biennium was adopted in principle with some modifications to reflect the discussion at the meeting and agreed to be submitted to the 22nd NOWPAP IGM to be held in Toyama, Japan in December 2017.
See the Meeting Report and Documents of the Fifteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting.