*[Enwl] FW: Green light expected for next holistic assessment for the Baltic Sea - PRESS RELEASE

ENWL.Bellona enwl.bellona gmail.com
16 14:26:58 MSD 2014

Green light expected for next holistic assessment for the Baltic Sea
16 September 2014

Comprehensive holistic assessment of the Baltic Sea is to be set off in the 
starting today, joined by the Heads of Delegations of 
HELCOM<http://helcom.fi/> from all Baltic coastal countries as well as the 
EU and representatives of major organizations within the region. The 
Meeting, held in Helsinki, Finland, is also expected to decide on a new 
working structure for HELCOM as well as to endorse and discuss several other 
topics to advance the state of the marine environment.

The Meeting is expected to endorse the project to develop the second HELCOM 
Holistic Assessment of the Ecosystem Health of the entire Baltic Sea. The 
need for the next comprehensive assessment has been agreed on by the HELCOM 
2013 Ministerial Meeting<http://helcom.fi/Ministerial2013> and the proposed 
date of final release, taking into account the cycles of other international 
frameworks and related national consultations, is set for mid-2018.

“This major indicator-based assessment will result in improved knowledge of 
the status of the marine environment as well pressures and cumulative 
impacts from human activities. It will also inform decision-makers on 
effectiveness of the established measures. As in case of the first HELCOM 
Holistic Assessment<http://helcom.fi/Lists/Publications/BSEP122.pdf> (2010), 
the new assessment will be a crucial instrument to follow up on the 
implementation of HELCOM Baltic Sea Action 
Plan<http://helcom.fi/baltic-sea-action-plan> to achieve a good 
environmental status of marine waters by 2021”, says Monika Stankiewicz, 
HELCOM Executive Secretary.

Another key item in the agenda is the decision on the format for the HELCOM 
action plan on marine 
developed under the lead of Germany. Options under consideration include a 
new HELCOM Recommendation, constituting the so called “soft” law, an 
amendment to the Helsinki Convention, or a high-level agreement by the 
coastal countries. Such a plan, expected to be ready by 2015, is another 
commitment by the regional leaders in the 2013 Ministerial Declaration, and 
also a priority for the Estonian 
Chairmanship<http://helcom.fi/about-us/chairmanship/priorities/> for HELCOM. 
Its aims is to significantly reduce marine litter by 2025, compared to 2015, 
and should entail concrete measures for prevention and reduction of marine 
litter from its main sources; develop common indicators and associated 
targets related to quantities, composition, sources and pathways of marine 
litter; and identify the socio-economic and biological impacts of marine 
litter. The second workshop to prepare the marine litter action plan is 
taking place in October 2014 in Germany.

Other topics of the Meeting include the expected deletion of one site in the 
so-called HELCOM Hot Spot 
itemizing significant regional sources for pollution. If all the members 
allow, the major sewage collector in St. Petersburg north – Hot Spot No. 
18.1 – will be cleared from the list. Moreover, the establishment of a 
special group for data regarding maritime spatial planning will be addressed 
by the Meeting. The need for comprehensive, up-to-date and reliable spatial 
data for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) has been recognized in different 
fora and HELCOM, having been in the forefront of regional MSP, would have 
the structures ready to nurture and host such activity.

Major HELCOM delegate meetings take place few times a year, to ensure the 
continuous identification of any knowledge gaps and to assess other needs 
and best measures for optimal end use for decision makers in the region. All 
the Meeting 
will be public after the Meeting has ended in the HELCOM Meeting Portal.

* * *
Note for editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as 
HELCOM<http://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 further information, please contact:
Johanna Laurila
Information Secretary
Tel: +358 40 523 8988
Skype: helcom70
E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi

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HELCOM - Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission

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From: "Johanna Laurila" <johanna.laurila  helcom.fi>
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 9:45 AM
Subject: FW: Green light expected for next holistic assessment for the 

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