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Blue October for World Oceans Renaissance


NOWPAP International Coastal Cleanup and Workshop on Marine Litter Management:
‘Blue October for World Oceans Renaissance’

By Muneerah Bee


In October, the Onna Village-based NPO Okinawa Culture & Environment Action Network (O.C.E.A.N.) will host the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and Workshop on Marine Litter Management, organized jointly with NOWPAP’s Regional Coordinating Unit.

The ICC is a regional movement promoting trash-free oceans in cooperation with the Ocean Conservancy and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

This has come about after a proposal submitted by O.C.E.A.N., in collaboration with NOWPAP promoting the ICC, was accepted for funding at the 18th Inter-Governmental Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research in April 2013.

O.C.E.A.N. was formed in 1995 by the Okinawa International Clean Beach Club (OICBC) with members focusing on a wide range of environmental activities. They aim to educate Okinawa’s youth on the importance of marine conservation and take direct action in trying to solve marine environmental problems. This NPO has been actively organizing beach cleanups and the “Okinawa Adopt-a-Beach/Reef” program, which encourages the public to participate in sustainable marine environmental conservation of the Ryukyu Islands.

The workshop and ICC will take place from Oct. 24 to 26, aiming to build capacity for the effective management of marine trash in the NOWPAP region and increase public awareness of environmental issues. The event also hopes to strengthen cooperation between government agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the NOWPAP region and neighboring countries in dealing with marine trash.

The NOWPAP member states and partners will also share relevant experience at the workshop, which will be held at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University. The Beach Cleanup on Oct. 26 will take place at Kuraha Beach in Onna Village.

Prior to the workshop, on Oct. 22 and 23 the Okinawa Asia-Pacific Environment NGO Forum, made possible with the support of the Japan Fund for Global Environment, will take place at OIST’s Seaside House, where NPOs will discuss the theme “World Chura Oceans Towards the 22nd Century.

“Chura” means “beautiful” in the Okinawan dialect. Every 22nd of the month is a designated prefecture-wide“ cleanup day.


NPO leaders from outlying islands including Miyako, Ishigaki and Iriomote will be in attendance along with those from Hawaii, mainland US, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and the United States. The recommendations from the NPOs will then be presented at the NOWPAP workshop.

As marine trash, especially plastic, is continually weakening the ocean’s resilience, the forum hopes to create a shift in policy and lead to a renaissance for the world’s oceans by 2033, creating new baselines following “Blue October” 2013.

Oct. 26 will also see the anniversary event of the OICBC’s “I Love Okinawa Campaign®” which will be held in conjunction with the first “Blue Peace Live” and a special pre-22nd century BBQ party at the Coconut Moon Beach Bar. The bar is located next to the Renaissance Okinawa Resort in Onna Village.

For more information, visit  HYPERLINK “” and  HYPERLINK “”



Event name: Beach Cleanup (ICC workshop)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
Time: 12:30-17:00
Place: Kuraha Beach, Onna Village
Admission: Free


Event name: Okinawa Asia-Pacific Environment NGO Forum
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Time: 9:00-18:00
Place: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (Seaside House), Onna Village
Admission: Free


Event name:  I Love Okinawa Campaign® 20th anniversary event
Date: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
Time: 18:00
Place: Coconut Moon Beach Bar, Onna Village
Admission: 2,000 yen



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