Full outcome of the 51st HELCOM Heads of Delegation meeting published
Another significant site of contamination – a HELCOM Hot Spot – has been removed from the Baltic Sea polluters' list, as the high-level HELCOM delegates conceded last week that the environmental standards have adequately improved in the Kehra pulp and paper mill in Estonia (current name: Horizon Pulp and Paper).
The fish pass of the Kehra pulp and paper mill, built in 2014 to reduce the impacts of the mill's water reservoir to fish migration.
The list of significant pollution sites around the Baltic Sea – HELCOM Hot Spots – was established in 1992, as a part of the Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP, 1992-2013). By now, three quarters of the Hot Spots, 117 out of 162, have been deleted from the list. The HELCOM members have committed for removing the remaining sites from the list.
HELCOM Hot Spot No. 23, toxic waste landfill Krasnyi Bor in Russia, was also discussed by the delegates. Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) has recently decided to take actively part in the work related to remediation of the site, and Russia repeated that they are prepared to cooperate. HELCOM Pressure Group will continue following up on the actions taken and progress made.
HELCOM delegates from all Baltic countries as well as the EU gathered last week to also address rather complex final clearances needed for finalizing the HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea report. The successful outcome means that all countries can now agree on the key tools and indicators used in the holistic assessment, with its initial release set for mid-2017.
In addition, the outline was approved for the HELCOM high-level segment on ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and how they are considered regionally, held on 28 February 2017 during HELCOM Annual Meeting. The session will debate about how the shared targets could be achieved by 2030, how to improve cooperation and which partnerships in particular could be strengthened.
The 51st Meeting of the Heads of Delegation was held on 14-15 December 2016 in Helsinki, Finland and chaired by HELCOM Chair Ms Marianne Wenning, DG Environment, European Union.
Meeting site. Access to all documents and the full outcome.
Table: Status of HELCOM Hot spots as of December 2016 (total number: 162)
* * *HELCOM Heads of Delegation, nominated by the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention which are the nine Baltic coastal states as well as the EU, usually meet twice a year. The highest decision-making body of HELCOM, Annual Meeting, convenes usually in March.
* * *The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as HELCOM, 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 Convention.
* * *For more information, please contact:
Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi