The Action Plan for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) was adopted in September 1994 as a part of the Regional Seas Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Implementation of NOWPAP contributes to the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) in the Northwest Pacific region.
The overall goal of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan is “the wise use, development and management of the marine and coastal environment so as to obtain the utmost long-term benefits for the human populations of the region, while securing the region's sustainability for future generations”.
NOWPAP has four Regional Activity Centres (RACs) established. As agreed at the Fourth Intergovernmental Meeting in 1999, each NOWPAP member state hosts one RAC. Under the coordination of the Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU), these RACs are responsible for carrying out individual NOWPAP activities and projects approved by the NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting.