HELCOM and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Ms. Gabriella Lindholm
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HELCOM and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Ms. Gabriella Lindholm



Baltic Danube Strategy Workshop, Budapest, Hungary, 5 April 2011

Baltic Danube Strategy Workshop, Budapest, Hungary, 5 April 2011



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HELCOM and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Ms. Gabriella Lindholm HELCOM and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, Ms. Gabriella Lindholm Presentation Transcript

  • HELCOM and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Ms. Gabriella Lindholm, HELCOM Chairlady Workshop on Baltic Region experience for the Danube Strategy 5 April 2011, Budapest, Hungary
  • Contents• What is going wrong with the Baltic?• HELCOM and its role• Major environmental challenges• New regional environmental strategy• From programmes to actions
  • What’s in the Baltic Sea for us?• Area: 415,000 km2• 9 Coastal States• Catchment area: – 4 times sea itself – 14 countries – 85 million people• Natural specifics: – low temperature – low water exchange rate – brackish water – sensitive to human pressures Baltic Sea value: >5 Billion Euro/year ? Source: What’s in the Sea for me? Swedish EPA, 2009
  • The poor state of the Baltic Sea• Eutrophication: – decreases water quality, enhances toxic blooms, changes underwater habitats, and has impacts on fisheries• High levels of toxins: – Toxins accumulate in food web resulting in marine mammals and fish suffer from reproductive and immunological disorders. Some Baltic fish are unsafe for human consumption• Intentional and accidental oil spills: – polluting beaches, killing marine birds and mammals
  • HELCOM Helsinki Commission• Governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (signed in 1974, updated in 1992)• Major body of the international environmental co- operation in the Baltic region• For the past 30 years has served as the main environmental policy-maker for the Baltic Sea area, developing common objectives and actions
  • Main priority areas in HELCOM work• Combating eutrophication caused by excessive nutrient loads• Preventing pollution by hazardous substances• Improving navigational safety and accident response capacity• Protecting and conserving marine and coastal biodiversity
  • HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan Natural levels Viable Natural marine Nutrients on populations and coastal of oxygen and natural levels of species landscapes algal blooms Natural Thriving and distribution of balancedfauna and flora communitiesEUTROPHICATION BIODIVERSITY MARITIME HAZARDOUS TRAFFIC SUBSTANCES Hazardous No alien substances on species natural levels Minimum No illegal or Healthy All fish sewage and air accidental wildlife healthy to eat pollution discharges
  • Eutrophication Segment- To reduce nutrient inputs to the sea toacceptable levels (BSR Strategy)• Waste water treatment – advanced P-removal from sewage – sewage from single houses and settlements – sewage discharge from ships – phosphorus-free detergents• Agriculture – proper handling of manure and application of fertilizers – use of wetlands to trap nutrients• Airborne deposition – control of nitrogen emissions from shipping
  • EU BSR Strategy: Eutrophication• Strategic actions: – Implement actions to reduce nutrients – Promote measures and practices which reduce nutrient losses from farming and address eutrophication• Cooperative actions: – Establish and restore more wetlands – Set up the BONUS 169 scheme – Facilitate cross-sectoral policy-oriented dialogue• Flagship projects – Remove phosphates in detergents in countries where this is not yet the case as recommended by HELCOM BSAP – Cleaner waste water – Putting best practices in agriculture into work – Full implementation of the Water Framework Directive in order to maximize the environmental benefits for the Baltic Sea – Cooperate with Russia and Belarus on a comprehensive regional pollution risk assessment
  • Biodiversity Segment- To preserve natural zones and biodiversityincluding fisheries (BSR Strategy)• Maintaining a well-functioning and coherent network of Marine Protected Areas• Introduction of cross-sectoral marine spatial planning• Nature conservation measures – Update of HELCOM Red Lists of habitats• Measures to reduce fisheries impacts on ecosystem – long-term management plans for commercial fish stocks – prevention of by-catch of mammals and birds – elimination of IUU – sustainable management of coastal fish
  • Hazardous Substances Segment- To reduce the use and impact ofhazardous substances (BSR Strategy)• Application of innovative methodologies for better knowledge on sources, pathways and effects – COHIBA Project (including Whole Effluent Assessment) – Biological effects monitoring (BEAST Project)• Introduction of restrictions for the selected substances – bans and substitutions for relevant uses (REACH) – application of BAT and BEP in relevant industries• Development of chemical product registers• Awareness raising and capacity building• Influence work in other regional, European and global forums
  • Maritime Segment- To become a model region for cleanshipping (BSR Strategy)• Baltic contribution to international fora – Maritime safety – Air emissions (SOx and NOx Control Area) – Ballast water management – Antifouling systems• Improvement of response capacities – Assessment of risks (BRISK Project) – Mitigation measures (response capacities, places of refuge, etc.)Stakeholder dialogue with shipping sector is important
  • Coherent implementation Source: What’s in the Sea for me? Swedish EPA, 2009• HELCOM Ministerial Meeting, 20 May 2010, Moscow – Reports on status of the Baltic Sea – Reports on national implementation programmes – Reports on overall status of the BSAP implementation• HELCOM high-level segment, 9 March 2011, Helsinki• HELCOM Ministerial Meeting 2013
  • ConclusionsRecipe for success• Strong commitment to implementation of the agreed actions• Use of common Baltic knowledge and priorities – In EU and global policy making and implementation – To align priority setting for use of financial instruments• Additional momentum with the EU Baltic Sea Region Strategy is adopted
  • Thank you!For more information please contact: Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Katajanokanlaituri 6 B FI-00160 Helsinki Finland www.helcom.fi