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  • Terms of Reference for MERRAC
  • In accordance with the Terms of the Reference for NOWPAP MERRAC at the MOU among UNEP, IMO and MOERI/KORDI concerning the establishment and operation of MERRAC, which was agreed at the Fourth Intergovernmental Meeting on NOWPAP (April 1999), the Centre has taken on the responsibility of the following tasks.

    MERRAC coordinates regional activities relevant to Objective 4, tasks (d) and (e) and Objective 5 tasks (c) and (d) of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), in particular, the priority project NOWPAP:4 Development of Effective Measures for Regional Cooperation in Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response. In particularly, MERRAC promotes the work of the NOWPAP Forum on Marine Pollution Preparedness and Response (hereinafter referred to as the "NOWPAP Forum"). Generally, MERRAC cooperates with NOWPAP RCU (before its establishment, UNEP as interim secretariat), IMO, and other international/regional organizations for establishment of a regional cooperation framework to prepare for and respond to marine pollution emergency.

    • Objective 4:
      To develop and adopt a harmonious approach towards integrated management of the coastal and marine environment and its resources, in a manner which combines protection, restoration, conservation and sustainableuse:

    • Tasks (d):
      In an effort to improve water quality throughout the region, cooperation is also necessary in the prevention, control and combatting of marine pollution from sea-based sources, inter alia, through the implementation of existing international conventions concerned.
    • Tasks (e):
      Cooperate in the enhancement of national and regional capacities to prepare for and respond to marine pollution emergencies;
    • Objective 5:
      To develop and adopt a regional framework for collaboration in the management of contiguous bodies of water, and cooperation in the protection of common resources as well as in the prevention of coastal and marine pollution:
    • Tasks (c):
      Develop and adopt effective measures for regional cooperation in combatting pollution resulting from accidental causes.
    • Tasks (d):
      Seek and obtain advice and assistance to enable regional States to harmonize environmental legislation and to facilitate their participation in, and compliance with, existing relevant international agreements.


  • Specially, MERRAC carries out designated activities:
  • (a)
  • To maintain contacts with the members of the NOWPAP Forum on Marine Pollution Prepared- ness and Response, and also relevant national/regional/international institutions/organizations in the NOWPAP member States for achieving the designated objectives and tasks of the Action Plan as mentioned above;
  • (b)
  • To assist the member States in hosting of the meetings of the NOWPAP Forum, and meetings of expert advisory groups, in line with the timetable agreed upon among the member States at the Intergovernmental Meetings;
  • (c)
  • To function as secretariat for the NOWPAP Forum with technical assistance from UNEP and IMO;
  • (d)
  • To organize meetings, symposiums and missions in the field, useful for achieving the designated objectives and tasks of the Action Plan. The meetings and international conferences organized by the Regional Activity Centre and financed with the Trust Fund are open to representatives designated by the competent authorities of the NOWPAP member States;
  • (e)
  • To keep close contacts with other regional programmes, so that coordination and cooperation with these programmes would be enhanced;
  • (f)
  • To oversee intersessional tasks and work designated by the NOWPAP Forum and carried out during the NOWPAP Forum meetings;
  • (g)
  • To compile and store results of the tasks of the NOWPAP Forum as set out in the Terms of Reference for the NOWPAP Forum;
  • (h)
  • To maintain the NOWPAP MERRAC homepage for effective exchange of information on the work of the NOWPAP Forum;
  • (i)
  • To collect and compile information on pollution reporting and to function as mediator to pass such reporting to relevant national institutions;
  • (j)
  • To provide technical advice to the participating institutions on technical issues relevant to marine pollution preparedness and response;
  • (k)
  • To plan and organize training courses and relevant technical workshops, in consultation with competent national training institutions in the NOWPAP member States, as deemed necessary by the NOWPAP Forum, taking into consideration the IMO model courses;
  • (l)
  • To publish technical publications, manuals and newsletters, etc. as results of the NOWPAP Forum;
  • (m)
  • To summarize the work of the Regional Activity Centre and to report to the NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meetings on its progress, results and expenditure;
  • (n)
  • To gather relevant information contributing to the implementation of NOWPAP/4 and to communicate it, upon request, to the members of the NOWPAP Forum;
  • (o)
  • To collect information on technologies and leading-edge know-how in the field of marine pollution preparedness and response in the NOWPAP region and to transfer it to the members of the NOWPAP Forum;
  • (p)
  • To encourage the harmonization of approaches and methodologies utilized for marine pollution preparedness and response;
  • (q)
  • To review and, in consultation with NOWPAP RCU, take any other appropriate initiatives for achieving the designated objectives and tasks of the Action Plan, which are mentioned above.;
  • (r)
  • To disseminate information and raise public awareness, in particular, that of populations directly concerned with marine pollution preparedness and response in the NOWPAP region;
  • (s)
  • To mobilize human, financial and material means and resources in order to meet, where appropriate, the requests of members of the Forum; and
  • (t)
  • To carry out any other tasks that are requested by the NOWPAP Forum to achieve the designated objectives and tasks of the Action Plan, as mentioned above.

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