The Sixteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting

The Sixteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting

The Sixteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting (FPM) was held on 10-11 May 2018 in Toyama, Japan. There were 25 people gathered for the meeting including CEARAC focal points and alternates from the four NOWPAP member states, representatives of Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) and other Regional Activity Centres (RACs) of NOWPAP as well as representatives of NOWPAP Partner organizations including IOC Sub-commission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC), North-East Asian Sub-regional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) Phase II. One representative of China National Environmental Monitoring Center and one FP of DINRAC also joined the meeting. They reviewed the results, outcomes and progress of CEARAC activities in 2016-2017 and 2018-2019 biennia during the meeting.

At first, the Secretariat of CEARAC reported the results of activities in 2016-2017. In recent years, CEARAC has been working on marine biodiversity and seagrass, and implemented two projects in the last biennium: assessment of major pressures on marine biodiversity in the NOWPAP region and feasibility study towards assessment of seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region. Results of these activities were compiled in respective reports and the Secretariat presented the major findings of both studies with other rather routine activities such as updating data/information and renewing CEARAC websites.

Next, the Secretariat presented the workplan and budget for 2018-2019 activities. Following the decision of the 22nd NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) held in December 2017, the draft workplan presented at FPM15 (August 2017) had been slightly revised. So, while the Secretariat explained the revised workplan in detail, the meeting reviewed it and discussed appropriateness and effectiveness of each activity to contribute to NOWPAP.

CEARAC plans to implement three projects in 2018-2019: Development of a CEARAC Medium-term Strategy on marine biodiversity, Development of a roadmap for Regional Action Plan for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Conservation (RAP BIO), and Development of a tool for mapping seagrass distribution in the NOWPAP region.

RCU has been working on NOWPAP Medium-term Strategy 2018-2023 (MTS) and conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity is one of the major themes in MTS. Therefore, the meeting mainly had a through discussion on CEARAC activities on marine biodiversity. Especially for development of a roadmap for RAP BIO, collaboration among the four RAC and RCU is essential, it was decided to include this CEARCA’s work in agenda items in other RACs’ FPMs to be held within the next few months.

Besides, the meeting agreed to develop a new tool to map seagrass distribution by utilizing cloud computer service.

After discussion, the meeting adopted all of the presented documents and workplans of respective activities in principle under conditions of applying some modifications reflecting suggestions/opinions provided from the meeting participants.

The Seventeenth CEARAC FPM will be held in fall 2019 to review the progress of the current CEARAC activities and discuss a draft workplan for 2020-2021.

See the Meeting Report and Documents of the Sixteenth NOWPAP CEARAC Focal Points Meeting.