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National Efforts of NOWPAP Member States
to Address the Marine Litter Problem

Over the last 4 years of NOWPAP having addressed the marine litter problem, the member states have made outstanding efforts in improving the marine litter management at the national level as well as through cooperation with neighbouring countries sharing a common water body of the Northwest Pacific region. These national efforts will be further strengthened through the implementation of RAP MALI; recent developments are briefly described below.

People's Republic of China:

  • A National Action Plan on Marine Litter is currently under preparation; expected to be completed in 2009.
  • Several domestic laws and regulations related to the marine litter management were revised and/or approved: Law on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution (2008); Regulations on Prevention of the Marine Environmental Pollution by the Coast Construction (2007); and Regulations on Prevention of Marine Environmental Pollution by Marine Construction Project (2006).
  • An Inter-Department Experience-Sharing Meeting on Marine Litter was held in 2008 as a national cooperation mechanism to address the marine litter problem at the national level. The meeting consisted of 5 key ministries/agencies such as Ministry of Environmental Protection, Maritime Safety Administration, Fishery Bureau, State Oceanic Administration and People’s Liberation Army Navy.
  • Providing free plastic bags in all shops was prohibited from 1 June 2008.
  • The State Oceanic Administration initiated a National Marine Litter Monitoring Programme in 2006 and released annual reports since then.
  • China has joined the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Campaign in 2007 and thereafter organized the annual ICC campaigns


  • A High-Level Inter-Ministry Meeting on Marine Litter was established in 2006, consisting of Cabinet Secretariat; Cabinet Office; Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fisheries Agency; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Meteorological Agency; Japan Coast Guard; and Ministry of Environment. A report of the high-level inter-ministry meeting was published in March 2007, in particular addressing (1) monitoring on the state of marine litter pollution; (2) control of sources of marine litter (including international cooperation); and (3) policies and measures for the areas that are severely contaminated by marine litter.
  • A Basic Plan on Establishing the Sound Material-Cycle Society, including marine litter issues, was revised in March 2008.
  • Market-based economic instruments (e.g., ban on free plastic bag) are being implemented by some local governments.
  • Ministry of the Environment issued a booklet on marine litter (in Japanese), which briefs on: harmful effects, steps to decrease, nature and composition of marine litter.

Republic of Korea:

  • Marine Environmental Management Act came into force in January 2008 based on the earlier Marine Pollution Prevention Act.
  • According to the Marine Environment Management Act, a Marine Litter Management Plan was developed and is being implemented since January 2009. The plan aims at establishing an advanced national marine litter management system and has four strategies: (1) preventing litter from entering seas; (2) strengthening the removal and treatment capacity; (3) improving management system; and (4) encouraging public participation while promoting international cooperation.
  • Under the Marine Litter Management Plan, a variety of projects are being implemented including management measures and technology development. For sea-based marine litter, projects on the development of biodegradable fishing gear, providing Styrofoam buoy compactors and fishing farm cleanup are on-going. For land-based marine litter, projects on the river-basin management, installing trash-booms in major rivers and waterways, and providing waste treatment facilities for dams and estuaries are being undertaken. The ongoing projects also include the development of treatment and/or disposal systems, recycling technologies, beach cleanup campaigns, national marine litter monitoring activities and public awareness raising. In addition, the existing projects such as waste fishing gear buyback programme and marked fishing gear project are continued.
  • Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs published a booklet "Achievements and challenges of marine litter management in Korea" and a DVD which illustrate threats, compile countermeasures and encourage the public to join forces.

Russian Federation:

  • Under the Primorsky Kray Governor, an inter-departmental cooperation commission was established in 2005 to protect the southern Primorsky Kray coastal areas (known as the hot spot of marine litter in the Russian Far East) from pollution. The commission consists of representatives of the Federal and local environment protection agencies, major water users, state administration of sea ports and navy.
  • According to programmes "Clean Primorsky Kray" and "Clean Port", a Law of Primorsky Kray on Solid Waste Management is currently under development.
  • In the Russian Far East, the annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Campaign has firstly been organized in 2007 as a pilot study during the NOWPAP MALITA project. Thereafter, it became the annual event.

This webpage will compile further national efforts to be made in context of NOWPAP RAP MALI.

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