*[Enwl-eng] Baltic-wide monitoring improves as HELCOM indicators develop

ENWL.Bellona enwl.bellona at gmail.com
Tue May 12 02:13:26 MSD 2015

Baltic-wide monitoring improves as HELCOM indicators 

11 May 2015
Final touches for the key set of region-wide indicators is a prominent point 
in this week’s 
of the HELCOM Working 
Group<http://helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/groups/state-and-conservation> on the 
State of the Environment and Nature Conservation. Environmental managers and 
experts from all the riparian states are gathered to discuss and agree on 
new or improved procedures, guidelines and recommendations for regional 
monitoring and assessment of Baltic marine environment.

HELCOM core set of indicators, currently 25, are shared tools which help to 
better measure the status of the entire sea. Many of the HELCOM core 
indicators are about the status of different species, ranging from seals and 
seabirds to coastal fish and zooplankton. Other indicators concern hazardous 
substances, and pressures on the environment such as introduction of alien 
species and inputs of nutrients.

The core indicators will now be given a final technical review before the 
HELCOM Heads of Delegation are expected to decide on them in June.

The agreed core indicators will be used as a basis for future HELCOM 
assessments. Furthermore, each fully developed indicator has a boundary 
value for Good Environmental Status (GES) defined which reflects the 
acceptable level of contamination. All in all, the operational indicators 
thus assist in constantly evaluating progress towards the agreed objectives 
of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and other relevant policies aiming at reaching 
a healthy sea by 2021.

In addition to the first batch of proposed HELCOM core set indicators, over 
20 more are considered for further development to join the core set later.

The State and Conservation Group meeting will also review the progress in 
renewal of the regional database for the coastal and marine Baltic Sea 
protected areas and agree on a method for the next HELCOM assessment of 
ecological coherence of protected areas to be carried out during this year. 
Moreover, clarifications are expected on the HELCOM Recommendation on 
conservation of Baltic Sea species categorized as threatened, whether the 
Contracting Parties are ready to proceed on adoption. New plans to upgrade 
the HELCOM work on monitoring and assessment of benthic habitats and birds 
are also on the agenda.

Other items in the 5-day meeting include two HELCOM Recommendations, on new 
procedures for notifying neighbouring countries about the use of autonomous 
monitoring devices in the Baltic Sea, and about the revised procedures for 
granting monitoring permits. Both of the recommendations, proposed for 
agreement, are important to facilitate monitoring and research in the Baltic 
Sea. These proposed procedures are part of the many results of the recently 
completed BALSAM Project on improving monitoring in the region, presented to 
the Meeting and summarized in a new booklet (link).

The second meeting of the Working Group on the State of the Environment and 
Nature Conservation will be co-chaired by Urmas Lips, Marine Systems 
Institute at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia and Penina Blankett, 
Ministry of the Environment of Finland.

All documents will be public after the meeting.

* * *
Note for editors:
HELCOM Working Group on the State of the Environment and Nature Conservation 
(State & Conservation 
group<http://helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/groups/state-and-conservation>) covers 
monitoring and assessment functions as well as issues related to nature 
conservation and biodiversity protection in HELCOM. The group works across 
the monitoring-indicators-assessment chain for the coordinated development 
of HELCOM thematic assessment tools, as well as coherent holistic assessment 
of the ecosystems health.

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as 
HELCOM<http://www.helcom.fi/>, is an intergovernmental organization of the 
nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect 
the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and 
to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been 
the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine 
Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki 

* * *
For more information, please contact:
Ulla Li Zweifel
Professional Secretary
Tel. +358 46 850 9198
Skype: helcom64
E-mail: ullali.zweifel(at)helcom.fi

Johanna Laurila
Information Secretary
Tel: +358 40 523 8988
Skype: helcom70
E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi

[cid:image001.jpg at 01CEF011.F43E0AA0]<http://www.helcom.fi/>
Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission

From: "Johanna Laurila" <johanna.laurila at helcom.fi>
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2015 4:23 PM
Subject: Baltic-wide monitoring improves as HELCOM indicators develop

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