Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Latvian Chair and Vice-Chairs

Evija Šmite

Chair of HELCOM 2022-2024

Deputy Director General and the Director of Fisheries Control Department, State Environmental Service of Latvia

Since 1997 Evija Šmite works in public administration of Latvia regarding marine environment protection and fisheries control. As a Deputy Director General and Director of Fisheries Control Department of State Environmental Service since 2013, Ms. Šmite is responsible for strategic planning, supervision and methodological guidance of marine pollution and fisheries control in Latvia, implementation of sea pollution prevention regulations, participation in HELCOM Response and Maritime groups, response to marine pollution incidents in cooperation with the Latvian Navy`s Coast Guard as well as managing projects of European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and other EU’s funds.

Ms. Šmite has obtained a Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Latvia specializing in marine biology. Her research topics were related on increasing of efficiency of phytoplankton pigment monitoring in the Gulf of Riga and ecotoxicological testing of sediments of the Baltic Sea.

From 2002 to 2003 as a fellow of Hubert H. Humphrey programme, Ms. Šmite participated in one-year program of graduate study and professional development in Cornell University, USA, where studied environmental policy, governance and management, as well as was a trainee in Dredging and Sediment Management Team in Environmental Protection Agency of the USA, Region 9 in San Francisco. Ms Šmite has also participated in training at the Uppsala University, Erken Laboratory, Sweden on water management and Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and Danish Energy Agency on upstream petroleum exploration and resource management.

Ms. Šmite has been a lecturer at the University of Latvia for 10 years and a supervisor of the master’s thesis at the Latvian Maritime Academy.


llona Mendzina

Vice-Chair of HELCOM 2022-2024

Deputy Director of the Nature Protection Department, and the Head of Species and Habitats Protection Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.