HELCOM - Coordination platform for healtrier Baltic Sea

HELCOM - Coordination platform for healtrier Baltic Sea

HELCOM - Coordination platform for healtrier Baltic Sea

Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organisation that works for the protection of the Baltic marine environment based on a regional treaty from 1974. HELCOM’s members are all the nine Baltic coastal nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, as well as the EU. Various international organisations also contribute as HELCOM observers. HELCOM has become the focal point for Baltic marine environment issues towards global, European and regional demands. HELCOM’s cooperation is unique in bringing together various types of actors from different institutions, sectors and interest groups to find common solutions to improve the state of the Baltic and to ensure the sustainable use of the sea.

Building on its experiences from close to forty years, and deriving from its key position in bridging science and policy-making, HELCOM today leads and coordinates many different processes for an improved marine environment to benefit all. The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, central to the Commission’s work, is an all-embracing programme for reaching Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea by 2021. The plan provides an integrated and holistic approach to address all major environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea in four priority areas: eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity and maritime activities.

HELCOM – Helsinki Commission | Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, FI-00160 Helsinki, Finland Phone: +358 207 412 649 | Fax: +358 207 412 645 | firstname.surname@helcom.fi The environmental status in the Baltic Sea 2003–2007 Areas in green represent good environmental status, while areas in yellow, orange and red represent areas disturbed by anthropogenic impacts. High Good Moderate Poor Bad Source: HELCOM Initial Holistic Assessment, BSEP No.122, 2010 HELCOM’s vision A healthy Baltic Sea environ- ment with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status and supporting a wide range of sustainable human economic and social activities.

L A Y O U T : A H O Y | | c o v e r p hoto : s a m ul i k o r p i n e n / h e l c o m | PRIN T IN G : L I B RIS

HELCOM - Coordination platform for healtrier Baltic Sea

Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organisation that works for the protection of the Baltic marine environment based on a regional treaty from 1974. HELCOM’s members are all the nine Baltic coastal nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, as well as the EU. Various international organisations also contribute as HELCOM observers. HELCOM has become the focal point for Baltic marine environment issues towards global, European and regional demands. HELCOM’s cooperation is unique in bringing together various types of actors from different institutions, sectors and interest groups to find common solutions to improve the state of the Baltic and to ensure the sustainable use of the sea.

Building on its experiences from close to forty years, and deriving from its key position in bridging science and policy-making, HELCOM today leads and coordinates many different processes for an improved marine environment to benefit all. The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, central to the Commission’s work, is an all-embracing programme for reaching Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea by 2021. The plan provides an integrated and holistic approach to address all major environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea in four priority areas: eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity and maritime activities.

HELCOM – Helsinki Commission | Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, FI-00160 Helsinki, Finland Phone: +358 207 412 649 | Fax: +358 207 412 645 | firstname.surname@helcom.fi The environmental status in the Baltic Sea 2003–2007 Areas in green represent good environmental status, while areas in yellow, orange and red represent areas disturbed by anthropogenic impacts. High Good Moderate Poor Bad Source: HELCOM Initial Holistic Assessment, BSEP No.122, 2010 HELCOM’s vision A healthy Baltic Sea environ- ment with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status and supporting a wide range of sustainable human economic and social activities.

L A Y O U T : A H O Y | | c o v e r p hoto : s a m ul i k o r p i n e n / h e l c o m | PRIN T IN G : L I B RIS

HELCOM - Coordination platform for healtrier Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is a particularly sensitive sea area. For this reason, it requires special care mainly due to the enormous pressures placed upon it by the 85 million people living in its catchment area. The Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007-2021) is based on the common understanding of what we want our sea to be like in the future. It is an ambitious programme which aims to safeguard the Baltic’s natural ecosystems by reducing environmental pressures, while allowing the valuable marine ecosystem and its goods and services to be used sustainably. The application of the Action Plan involves actors from many levels, mainly governments, but also international organisations, various sectors, scientific communities and individual citizens.

More Sustainable Agriculture Pollution loads originating from agri- culture is one of the current key chal- lenges in protecting better the Baltic Sea environment. The HELCOM Agriculture and Environ- ment (AGRI/ENV) Forum enhances knowl- edge and shares experiences on sustainable agricultural practices. Improved dialogue and cooperation between the agriculture and environment administrations and stakeholders are central in order to success- fully achieve the goals of the Baltic Sea Ac- tion Plan. The main focus of the Forum has been on national best practices and case studies in agro-innovative techniques for manure handling, fertilization practices as well as other measures to prevent nutrients from leaching into the Baltic Sea.

Moreover, the Forum endeavours to harmonize methods with which to assess point-source and dif- fuse pollution loads from agriculture. Cleaner Shipping Nutrient pollution loads originating from waste water discharges from ships add to the severe eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Following HELCOM efforts, the Baltic Sea has been designated as a Special Area for sewage discharges from passenger ships by the International Maritime Organiza- tion (IMO). Passenger ships operating in the Baltic Special Area will be required to treat sewage onboard, or deliver it to a port re- ception facility.

HELCOM countries are working to up- grade reception facilities for waste waters in their passenger ports to ensure that the new IMO regulation comes into effect by 2015 at the latest. The Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities (PRFs) promotes a dialogue on provision of adequate PRFs among the key stakeholders, including passenger ports, shipping industry, national administrations and municipal wastewater treatment plants. It focuses on operational and technical aspects of sewage delivery and facilitates implementation of the 2010 HELCOM Road Map for PRFs.

Coordinated Ecosystem Approach The HELCOM Group for Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach (GEAR) initiates and strengthens actions to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive for those HELCOM countries that are also EU member states.

The ecosystem approach is the key in- gredient of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and a driving principle in the Directive. The ap- proach, which also considers humans as part of the ecosystem, is about using scientific knowledge as the basis of protection and the sustainable use of the marine environ- ment as well as prioritizing and applying management actions. It also incorporates the learning-by-doing principle of adaptive management.

The GEAR group relies on strong, re- gional coordination. At the managerial lev- el, it steers HELCOM’s efforts to restore the Good Environmental Status of the sea. The Group complements HELCOM’s scientific- technical activities. All Fish Safe to Eat Healthy and abundant fish stocks are cen- tral to thriving Baltic fisheries and, at the same time, to the balanced and well-func- tioning marine ecosystems. The HELCOM Fisheries and Environ- ment (FISH/ENV) Forum develops common solutions for sustainable fisheries and the enhanced protection of Baltic Sea biodi- versity. Fisheries management, the environ- mental protection authorities and stake- holders all work together to ensure the sustainable use of the Baltic Sea’s marine resources.

Joint perspectives are being de- veloped for long-term management plans of commercial fish species in the Baltic and for fisheries management in the Baltic Ma- rine Protected Areas.

Other equally important challenges dis- cussed include the ecosystem-based man- agement of coastal fish communities as well as the state of populations and habitats of migratory fish species. Joint Planning of the Common Sea As envisioned by the ecosystem approach, Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) provides the possibility of widening the horizon be- yond purely sectorial policy measures to- wards an integrated spatial approach with- in the Baltic marine area. The Baltic Sea countries work together in the HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group, jointly launched by HELCOM and the Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB) in 2010.

The group has emerged as the key Baltic re- gional intergovernmental forum on trans- boundary spatial planning at sea. The HELCOM-VASAB regional MSP Principles, adopted by the two organizations, provide valuable guidance for achieving better co- herence in the development of MSP systems in the region.

The Working Group focuses on the practical application of the ecosystem ap- proach in spatial planning at sea; minimum international legal requirements for trans- boundary MSP; and spatial data require- ments. It also serves as a forum for consider- ing the outcomes of projects and initiatives. Eutrophication • Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels • Clear water • Natural level of algal blooms • Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals • Natural oxygen levels Hazardous Substances • Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels • All fish safe to eat • Healthy wildlife • Radioactivity at pre-Chernobyl level Biodiversity • Natural marine and coastal landscapes • Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals • Viable populations of species Maritime Activities • Enforcement of international regulations – no illegal discharges • Safe maritime traffic without accidental pollution • Efficient emergency and response capabilities • Minimum sewage pollution from ships • No introductions of alien species from ships • Minimum air pollution from ships • Zero discharges from offshore platforms • Minimum threats from offshore installations Synergies with the EU Strategy Having the Baltic Sea Action Plan objectives and approaches integrated into the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region shows the value of HELCOM’s pioneering work.

The Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Strategy are implemented in synergy, ensur- ing that all countries are involved in joint actions to save the sea. Equally important, HELCOM is constantly working to identify gaps and areas in need of progress, thus setting future priorities for action. The work deriving from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan provides a major contribution to many Priority Areas of the Strategy within the environmental and safety and security pillars of the Strategy, including its flagship projects. Together with VASAB, HELCOM also coordinates the Horizontal Action on Maritime Spatial Plan- ning.

HELCOM’s experience on setting joint targets and designing indicators supports the further development of the Strategy.

HELCOM - Coordination platform for healtrier Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is a particularly sensitive sea area. For this reason, it requires special care mainly due to the enormous pressures placed upon it by the 85 million people living in its catchment area. The Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007-2021) is based on the common understanding of what we want our sea to be like in the future. It is an ambitious programme which aims to safeguard the Baltic’s natural ecosystems by reducing environmental pressures, while allowing the valuable marine ecosystem and its goods and services to be used sustainably. The application of the Action Plan involves actors from many levels, mainly governments, but also international organisations, various sectors, scientific communities and individual citizens.

More Sustainable Agriculture Pollution loads originating from agri- culture is one of the current key chal- lenges in protecting better the Baltic Sea environment. The HELCOM Agriculture and Environ- ment (AGRI/ENV) Forum enhances knowl- edge and shares experiences on sustainable agricultural practices. Improved dialogue and cooperation between the agriculture and environment administrations and stakeholders are central in order to success- fully achieve the goals of the Baltic Sea Ac- tion Plan. The main focus of the Forum has been on national best practices and case studies in agro-innovative techniques for manure handling, fertilization practices as well as other measures to prevent nutrients from leaching into the Baltic Sea.

Moreover, the Forum endeavours to harmonize methods with which to assess point-source and dif- fuse pollution loads from agriculture. Cleaner Shipping Nutrient pollution loads originating from waste water discharges from ships add to the severe eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Following HELCOM efforts, the Baltic Sea has been designated as a Special Area for sewage discharges from passenger ships by the International Maritime Organiza- tion (IMO). Passenger ships operating in the Baltic Special Area will be required to treat sewage onboard, or deliver it to a port re- ception facility.

HELCOM countries are working to up- grade reception facilities for waste waters in their passenger ports to ensure that the new IMO regulation comes into effect by 2015 at the latest. The Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities (PRFs) promotes a dialogue on provision of adequate PRFs among the key stakeholders, including passenger ports, shipping industry, national administrations and municipal wastewater treatment plants. It focuses on operational and technical aspects of sewage delivery and facilitates implementation of the 2010 HELCOM Road Map for PRFs.

Coordinated Ecosystem Approach The HELCOM Group for Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach (GEAR) initiates and strengthens actions to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive for those HELCOM countries that are also EU member states.

The ecosystem approach is the key in- gredient of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and a driving principle in the Directive. The ap- proach, which also considers humans as part of the ecosystem, is about using scientific knowledge as the basis of protection and the sustainable use of the marine environ- ment as well as prioritizing and applying management actions. It also incorporates the learning-by-doing principle of adaptive management.

The GEAR group relies on strong, re- gional coordination. At the managerial lev- el, it steers HELCOM’s efforts to restore the Good Environmental Status of the sea. The Group complements HELCOM’s scientific- technical activities. All Fish Safe to Eat Healthy and abundant fish stocks are cen- tral to thriving Baltic fisheries and, at the same time, to the balanced and well-func- tioning marine ecosystems. The HELCOM Fisheries and Environ- ment (FISH/ENV) Forum develops common solutions for sustainable fisheries and the enhanced protection of Baltic Sea biodi- versity. Fisheries management, the environ- mental protection authorities and stake- holders all work together to ensure the sustainable use of the Baltic Sea’s marine resources.

Joint perspectives are being de- veloped for long-term management plans of commercial fish species in the Baltic and for fisheries management in the Baltic Ma- rine Protected Areas.

Other equally important challenges dis- cussed include the ecosystem-based man- agement of coastal fish communities as well as the state of populations and habitats of migratory fish species. Joint Planning of the Common Sea As envisioned by the ecosystem approach, Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) provides the possibility of widening the horizon be- yond purely sectorial policy measures to- wards an integrated spatial approach with- in the Baltic marine area. The Baltic Sea countries work together in the HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group, jointly launched by HELCOM and the Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB) in 2010.

The group has emerged as the key Baltic re- gional intergovernmental forum on trans- boundary spatial planning at sea. The HELCOM-VASAB regional MSP Principles, adopted by the two organizations, provide valuable guidance for achieving better co- herence in the development of MSP systems in the region.

The Working Group focuses on the practical application of the ecosystem ap- proach in spatial planning at sea; minimum international legal requirements for trans- boundary MSP; and spatial data require- ments. It also serves as a forum for consider- ing the outcomes of projects and initiatives. Eutrophication • Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels • Clear water • Natural level of algal blooms • Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals • Natural oxygen levels Hazardous Substances • Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels • All fish safe to eat • Healthy wildlife • Radioactivity at pre-Chernobyl level Biodiversity • Natural marine and coastal landscapes • Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals • Viable populations of species Maritime Activities • Enforcement of international regulations – no illegal discharges • Safe maritime traffic without accidental pollution • Efficient emergency and response capabilities • Minimum sewage pollution from ships • No introductions of alien species from ships • Minimum air pollution from ships • Zero discharges from offshore platforms • Minimum threats from offshore installations Synergies with the EU Strategy Having the Baltic Sea Action Plan objectives and approaches integrated into the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region shows the value of HELCOM’s pioneering work.

The Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Strategy are implemented in synergy, ensur- ing that all countries are involved in joint actions to save the sea. Equally important, HELCOM is constantly working to identify gaps and areas in need of progress, thus setting future priorities for action. The work deriving from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan provides a major contribution to many Priority Areas of the Strategy within the environmental and safety and security pillars of the Strategy, including its flagship projects. Together with VASAB, HELCOM also coordinates the Horizontal Action on Maritime Spatial Plan- ning.

HELCOM’s experience on setting joint targets and designing indicators supports the further development of the Strategy.

The Baltic Sea is a particularly sensitive sea area. For this reason, it requires special care mainly due to the enormous pressures placed upon it by the 85 million people living in its catchment area. The Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007-2021) is based on the common understanding of what we want our sea to be like in the future. It is an ambitious programme which aims to safeguard the Baltic’s natural ecosystems by reducing environmental pressures, while allowing the valuable marine ecosystem and its goods and services to be used sustainably. The application of the Action Plan involves actors from many levels, mainly governments, but also international organisations, various sectors, scientific communities and individual citizens.

More Sustainable Agriculture Pollution loads originating from agri- culture is one of the current key chal- lenges in protecting better the Baltic Sea environment. The HELCOM Agriculture and Environ- ment (AGRI/ENV) Forum enhances knowl- edge and shares experiences on sustainable agricultural practices. Improved dialogue and cooperation between the agriculture and environment administrations and stakeholders are central in order to success- fully achieve the goals of the Baltic Sea Ac- tion Plan. The main focus of the Forum has been on national best practices and case studies in agro-innovative techniques for manure handling, fertilization practices as well as other measures to prevent nutrients from leaching into the Baltic Sea.

Moreover, the Forum endeavours to harmonize methods with which to assess point-source and dif- fuse pollution loads from agriculture. Cleaner Shipping Nutrient pollution loads originating from waste water discharges from ships add to the severe eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Following HELCOM efforts, the Baltic Sea has been designated as a Special Area for sewage discharges from passenger ships by the International Maritime Organiza- tion (IMO). Passenger ships operating in the Baltic Special Area will be required to treat sewage onboard, or deliver it to a port re- ception facility.

HELCOM countries are working to up- grade reception facilities for waste waters in their passenger ports to ensure that the new IMO regulation comes into effect by 2015 at the latest. The Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities (PRFs) promotes a dialogue on provision of adequate PRFs among the key stakeholders, including passenger ports, shipping industry, national administrations and municipal wastewater treatment plants. It focuses on operational and technical aspects of sewage delivery and facilitates implementation of the 2010 HELCOM Road Map for PRFs.

Coordinated Ecosystem Approach The HELCOM Group for Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach (GEAR) initiates and strengthens actions to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive for those HELCOM countries that are also EU member states.

The ecosystem approach is the key in- gredient of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and a driving principle in the Directive. The ap- proach, which also considers humans as part of the ecosystem, is about using scientific knowledge as the basis of protection and the sustainable use of the marine environ- ment as well as prioritizing and applying management actions. It also incorporates the learning-by-doing principle of adaptive management.

The GEAR group relies on strong, re- gional coordination. At the managerial lev- el, it steers HELCOM’s efforts to restore the Good Environmental Status of the sea. The Group complements HELCOM’s scientific- technical activities. All Fish Safe to Eat Healthy and abundant fish stocks are cen- tral to thriving Baltic fisheries and, at the same time, to the balanced and well-func- tioning marine ecosystems. The HELCOM Fisheries and Environ- ment (FISH/ENV) Forum develops common solutions for sustainable fisheries and the enhanced protection of Baltic Sea biodi- versity. Fisheries management, the environ- mental protection authorities and stake- holders all work together to ensure the sustainable use of the Baltic Sea’s marine resources.

Joint perspectives are being de- veloped for long-term management plans of commercial fish species in the Baltic and for fisheries management in the Baltic Ma- rine Protected Areas.

Other equally important challenges dis- cussed include the ecosystem-based man- agement of coastal fish communities as well as the state of populations and habitats of migratory fish species. Joint Planning of the Common Sea As envisioned by the ecosystem approach, Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) provides the possibility of widening the horizon be- yond purely sectorial policy measures to- wards an integrated spatial approach with- in the Baltic marine area. The Baltic Sea countries work together in the HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group, jointly launched by HELCOM and the Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea (VASAB) in 2010.

The group has emerged as the key Baltic re- gional intergovernmental forum on trans- boundary spatial planning at sea. The HELCOM-VASAB regional MSP Principles, adopted by the two organizations, provide valuable guidance for achieving better co- herence in the development of MSP systems in the region.

The Working Group focuses on the practical application of the ecosystem ap- proach in spatial planning at sea; minimum international legal requirements for trans- boundary MSP; and spatial data require- ments. It also serves as a forum for consider- ing the outcomes of projects and initiatives. Eutrophication • Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels • Clear water • Natural level of algal blooms • Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals • Natural oxygen levels Hazardous Substances • Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels • All fish safe to eat • Healthy wildlife • Radioactivity at pre-Chernobyl level Biodiversity • Natural marine and coastal landscapes • Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals • Viable populations of species Maritime Activities • Enforcement of international regulations – no illegal discharges • Safe maritime traffic without accidental pollution • Efficient emergency and response capabilities • Minimum sewage pollution from ships • No introductions of alien species from ships • Minimum air pollution from ships • Zero discharges from offshore platforms • Minimum threats from offshore installations Synergies with the EU Strategy Having the Baltic Sea Action Plan objectives and approaches integrated into the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region shows the value of HELCOM’s pioneering work.

The Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Strategy are implemented in synergy, ensur- ing that all countries are involved in joint actions to save the sea. Equally important, HELCOM is constantly working to identify gaps and areas in need of progress, thus setting future priorities for action. The work deriving from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan provides a major contribution to many Priority Areas of the Strategy within the environmental and safety and security pillars of the Strategy, including its flagship projects. Together with VASAB, HELCOM also coordinates the Horizontal Action on Maritime Spatial Plan- ning.

HELCOM’s experience on setting joint targets and designing indicators supports the further development of the Strategy.

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