Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

 

Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Latvia starts its two-year chairmanship of HELCOM today

As of 1 July 2022, Latvia will be the Chair of HELCOM until 30 June 2024. The chairmanship rotates between Contracting Parties every two years, in alphabetical order.

Ms Evija Šmite, Deputy Director General and the Director of Fisheries Control Department, State Environmental Service of Latvia starts as the new Chair of HELCOM. She has worked on matters regarding marine environment protection and fisheries control in the public administration of Latvia since 1997.

The priorities of the Latvian Chairmanship will focus on:

  1. HELCOM as an effective and well-functioning organisation of regional cooperation which is capable of action, including in unforeseen and force majeure situations.
  2. Implementation of the updated Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP 2021), with particular attention paid to:
    1. protection of marine biodiversity
    2. advancing ecosystem based sustainable marine management by integration of environmental objectives with socio-economic goals
  3. Strengthening the role of regional cooperation in the context of international ocean governance. 

Read more here about the Latvian priorities for HELCOM in 2022-2024.

Ms. Ilona Mendzina has been selected as the Vice-Chair. She is the 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.

A new HELCOM leaflet summarizing German chairmanship

Coincidingly, a leaflet on current HELCOM work and to celebrate the conclusion of the German Chairmanship, ending on 30 June 2022, is now free for downloading in our website:


Vacancy in the HELCOM Secretariat: Project Researcher on Biological Effects of Contaminants

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization (Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) with its headquarters (Secretariat) in Helsinki, Finland, working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. At present, we are around 30 staff members at the HELCOM Secretariat, and our working language is English. We offer an open, friendly, dynamic and energetic, often fast-paced, international working environment offering all staff members the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to achieving our common goals. For more information about HELCOM, please visit our home page: www.helcom.fi.

We are currently seeking to recruit an enthusiastic expert to strengthen our team as a Project Researcher in the field of hazardous substances, specifically on the Biological Effects of Contaminants (marine/aquatic/environmental contaminants).

Biological Effects of Contaminants project

The recent update of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP 2021) and preparatory work leading up to this have identified the need for a strengthening of work related to the Biological Effects of Contaminants in HELCOM (i.e. in the Baltic Sea marine environment). The main focus of this work is to make significant steps towards achieving action HL13 in the BSAP 2021: ‘By 2028 develop further relevant monitoring for the biological effects of hazardous substances in order to facilitate a reliable ecosystem health assessment’. To support the fulfilment of this regionally agreed action and take steps towards it this project will initially focus on reviewing existing methodologies and exploring possible harmonisation, developing and testing an integrated approach that can be applied across the region, and developing a series of relevant recommendations for future use or future development regionally in this field.

The work builds on previous processes within HELCOM, including the following:

Responsibilities

The Project Researcher’s task is to review suitable Biological Effects of Contaminants methodologies, carry out the development and testing of an integrated assessment approach for the region, and develop recommendations on future work and harmonisation options with relevance to the Baltic Sea (HELCOM) region. The activities include:

  • Developing an initial proposal/work plan for the tasks to be carried out;
  • Taking guidance from the relevant regional Experts within the EGs and WGs;
  • Carrying out relevant review and preparatory steps, e.g., taking stock of current status quo in HELCOM, reviewing relevant methodologies and indicators available and evaluating current integrated assessment approaches;
  • Drafting a summary of available methodologies and their potential for application;
  • Further developing and applying an integrated assessment approach for the region;
  • Evaluating best options for harmonisation and future work in the form of recommendations;
  • Supporting other associated processes as considered needed by relevant Secretariat staff.

The tasks are expected to be carried out independently. However, the Project Researcher will cooperate with the HELCOM staff involved, who will provide comments and general guidance on the overall HELCOM framework. The HELCOM Expert Group on Hazardous Substances (EG HAZ), in particular the recently formed sub-team focussing on Biological Effects, will support and guide the work. EG HAZ is an international network of regional experts that works to enhance regional collaboration and serves as a platform for information exchange. The work carried out in the project will also be reviewed and guided by relevant HELCOM Working Groups (WGs). Relevant work may also enter the Third Holistic Assessment of the Baltic Sea report (see the 2018 version).

The Project Researcher is responsible for reporting and communicating of project work and outcomes to relevant HELCOM groups. In addition, the person may be requested to work in other processes and projects related to the same topics/field.

Qualifications and experience

The tasks require a background in the Biological Effects of Contaminants, including mixture and combined effects and statistical approaches for their identification. Expertise in a closely related field, such as marine biology, ecology, ecotoxicology, or environmental chemistry, will be beneficial. Documented expertise and knowledge related to the statistical evaluation of multiple drivers of physiological response in aquatic organisms, the impacts of contaminants in the marine/aquatic environment, and interdisciplinary work are also a significant benefit.

The successful candidate shall have:

  • University degree (minimum Master’s degree or equivalent) related to the Biological Effects of Contaminants or another related field;
  • Minimum of two years of relevant professional experience at the national or international level;
  • Familiarity and experience in several of the following:
    • Biological effects of environmental contaminants;
    • Physiological ecology;
    • Mixture and combined effects in aquatic environments;
    • Use of biomarkers and bioindicators of animal health;
    • Statistical and analytical approaches for analysis of biological effects;
    • Environmental/marine policy at the national or international level;
    • Interdisciplinary work in environmental sciences.
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills and proven ability to deliver to tight timelines;
  • Ability to work independently, take responsibility and initiative;
  • Excellent social and team skills;
  • as well as high competence in IT skills;

Experience in the following work will be considered an asset:

  • Projects related to the marine environment/Baltic Sea;
  • Environmental chemistry, stress ecology, ecotoxicology or similar;
  • Multivariate statistical analysis of large data sets;
  • National or international management of environmental contaminants;
  • Experience of international cooperation;
  • Policy implementation experience.

Terms of appointment

The appointment is planned to be full time, starting in September or early October 2022 and for a duration of 18 months. The monthly salary is 2.800 € per month. Please note, that the HELCOM salaries are exempt from Finnish income tax.

How to apply?

Candidates with the required expertise and qualifications are invited to submit their application (consisting of a CV and a motivation letter) via e-mail to recruitment@helcom.fi no later than 21 August 2022. Please write “Project Researcher HAZ Biological Effects” in the subject field of the message. Interviews are tentatively planned to take place at the Secretariat on 31 August 2022.

Vacancy in the HELCOM Secretariat: Project Researcher on strengthening the HELCOM framework for hazardous substances

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization (Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) with its headquarters (Secretariat) in Helsinki, Finland, working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. At present, we are around 30 staff members at the HELCOM Secretariat, and our working language is English. We offer an open, friendly, dynamic and energetic, often fast-paced, international working environment offering all staff members the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to achieving our common goals. For more information about HELCOM, please visit our home page: www.helcom.fi.

We are currently seeking to recruit an enthusiastic expert to strengthen our team as a Project Researcher in the field of hazardous substances (marine/aquatic/environmental contaminants).

Strengthening the HELCOM framework for hazardous substances project

The recent update of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP 2021) and preparatory work leading up to this have identified the need for the development of a well-defined and functional strategic framework for addressing hazardous substances in HELCOM (i.e. for the Baltic Sea region). The main focus (or final outcome) of the project is to develop a document that represents a strategic holistic approach to manage hazardous substances (with an action plan). To achieve this final aim a number of preparatory steps are needed to build on previously carried out work and identified gaps.

The work builds on previous processes within HELCOM, including the following:

Responsibilities

The Project Researcher’s task is to carry out the preparatory work needed and subsequently develop a strategic framework for addressing hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea (HELCOM) region. The activities include:

  • Developing an initial proposal/work plan for the tasks to be carried out;
  • Taking guidance from the relevant regional Experts within the EGs and WGs;
  • Carrying out relevant review and preparatory steps, e.g. taking stock of current status quo in HELCOM, identifying links and overlap and addressing gaps between relevant policy initiatives, and reviewing priority substances;
  • Drafting the document that represents a strategic holistic approach to manage hazardous substances (with an action plan);
  • Supporting other associated processes as considered needed by relevant Secretariat staff.

The tasks are expected to be carried out independently. However, the Project Researcher will cooperate with the HELCOM staff involved, who will provide comments and general guidance on the overall HELCOM framework. The HELCOM Expert Group on Hazardous Substances (EG HAZ), in particular the recently formed sub-team focussing on the strategic approach, will support and guide the work. EG HAZ is an international network of regional experts that works to enhance regional collaboration and serves as a platform for information exchange. The work carried out in the project will also be reviewed and guided by relevant HELCOM Working Groups (WGs) and presented for adoption to the Heads of Delegation (HODs) at a final stage.

The Project Researcher is responsible for reporting and communicating of project work and outcomes to relevant HELCOM groups. In addition, the person may be requested to work in other processes and projects related to the same topics/field.

Qualifications and experience

The tasks require a background in environmental chemistry, managing hazardous substances /environmental contaminants, or a corresponding field. Previous expertise and knowledge related to environmental policy (e.g. the Baltic Sea Action Plan, related HELCOM Recommendations, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Water Framework Directive, REACH, Industrial Emissions Directive, or the Stockholm Convention), national action plans and measures to address contaminants in the marine environment, marine biology and interdisciplinary work are also a significant benefit.

The successful candidate shall have:

  • University degree (minimum Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental chemistry or other related field (e.g. environmental policy);
  • Minimum of two years of relevant professional experience at the national or international level;
  • Familiarity and experience in several of the following:
    • Environmental chemistry
    • Marine/aquatic pollution/contamination
    • Environmental/marine policy at the national or international level
    • Interdisciplinary work
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills and proven ability to deliver to tight timelines;
  • Ability to work independently, take responsibility and initiative;
  • Excellent social and team skills;
  • Thorough knowledge of the English language as well as high competence in IT skills;
  • Experience from working in multinational projects.

Experience in the following work will be considered an asset:

  • Projects related to the marine environment/Baltic Sea;
  • Management of contaminants/hazardous substances;
  • National or international management of hazardous substances;
  • Experience of international cooperation;
  • Policy implementation experience.

Terms of appointment

The appointment is planned to be full time, starting in September 2022 or early October and for a duration of 18 months. The monthly salary is 2.800 € per month. Please note, that the HELCOM salaries are exempt from Finnish income tax.

How to apply?

Candidates with the required expertise and qualifications are invited to submit their application (consisting of a CV and a motivation letter) via e-mail to recruitment@helcom.fi no later than 21 August 2022. Please write “Project Researcher HAZ strategic” in the subject field of the message. Interviews are tentatively planned to take place at the Secretariat on 1 September 2022.

Federal Minister of Germany, Steffi Lemke to open the Side Event, Delivering global commitments in the Baltic Sea Region

Ms Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, Germany will be among the high-level representatives opening the Side Event on 30 June 2022, taking place during the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ms Lemke will be joined by Ms Terhi Lehtonen, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of the Environment of Finland, as well as Mr. Antti Tooming, Deputy Secretary General, from the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia.

One key aim of the event is to present marine protection as a concrete example of the instrumental role of the regional sea conventions in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life under water – in particular and other global commitments in general, at the macro-regional and sea-basin levels.

HELCOM achievements in delivering global goals

A brand new video exhibits the many sides of HELCOM work, from the vision and goals to strategic tools and concrete work, and how it all delivers to reaching SDG 14 – Life under water.

The 75-minute side event will present HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) 2021–2030 as a best practice example for an ecosystem-based approach to marine management from science to action. The BSAP provides concrete tools for reaching the regional commitments, such as the establishment of a coherent MPA network, which has made substantial progress in the Baltic Sea Region. Moreover, the growing importance of the so called Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) will be explored as a more novel method to holistically conserve biodiversity.

Main organizers of the event are the Ministries of the Environment of Estonia and Germany (HELCOM Chair).

UN Ocean Conference, postponed due to the covid pandemic, will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. from 27 June until 1 July, 2022.

Please find here more information about the event and stay tuned for updates!

Help us prevent litter at sea: Survey on mass releases of balloons and use of plastic confetti outdoors

Released balloons are a part of the litter problem.

Mass balloon releases and confetti are sometimes used outdoors to celebrate special occasions. While they may look pretty, pieces of them often end up on beaches and in the sea, contributing to the marine litter problem and becoming a serious hazard to marine animals and birds.

KIMO International and HELCOM invite you to take part in a survey, which collects information from each Baltic nation on mass releases of balloons and of plastic confetti outdoors. The results will contribute to a report which will help to complete the picture of the situation in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Moreover, the information will feed into HELCOM’s regional work against marine litter.

By completing this survey, you will be contributing to the achievement of actions RL12 and RL13 of HELCOM’s Regional Action Plan on marine litter, as well as joining the global community working in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.1 Life below water.

The survey takes only about 10 minutes to complete. The individual answers will be handled anonymously. Please answer by 31 August 2022.

Your participation is key to understanding the extent of problem and how it can best be addressed. Thank you for your contribution!

If you have any questions or comments please email: info@kimointernational.org

HELCOM meetings remain suspended until further notice

The present Chairmanship of HELCOM, Germany, in agreement with the European Union and Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention that are Member States of the European Union, has opted to prolong the suspension of all official HELCOM meetings until further notice. The suspension was initially announced in a statement issued on 4 March 2022.

All meetings of the official HELCOM bodies including the Helsinki Commission, Heads of Delegations, Working Groups, Experts Groups and other subsidiary bodies thus remain suspended.

Side Event at UN Ocean Conference 30 June: delivering global commitments in the Baltic Sea Region

The success of the Baltic Sea region in nominating Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the emerging plans regarding Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) will be in key focus in a side event on 30 June 2022, taking place during the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

The aim is to present marine protection as a concrete example of the instrumental role of the regional sea conventions in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life under water – in particular and other global commitments in general, at the macro-regional and sea-basin levels.

The side event will present HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) 2021–2030 as a best practice example for an ecosystem-based approach to marine management from science to action. The BSAP provides concrete tools for reaching the regional commitments, such as the establishment of a coherent MPA network, and the “30/10 target” referring to the expansion aim of the MPA coverage to 30 % of the Baltic Sea, with one third being strictly protected. The latter has a straight link to processes under Convention on Biological Diversity as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

In addition to MPAs, the event focuses on the areas that are achieving the effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity outside of protected areas, so called Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs), as referred to in Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

Main organizers of the event are the Ministries of the Environment of Estonia and Germany (HELCOM Chair).

UN Ocean Conference, postponed due to the covid pandemic, will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. from 27 June until 1 July, 2022.

Please find here more information about the event and stay tuned for updates.

Survey: What are the key challenges in bringing into use green technologies and alternative fuels in the Baltic Sea shipping?

HELCOM Green Team needs your help in identifying the main barriers, obstacles and challenges that are hindering the development of green technologies and alternative fuels in the Baltic Sea region, by answering a survey.

Replies from both current and former shipping stakeholders on green technologies and alternative fuels are welcome. You are kindly invited to provide any information and share challenges you have faced in e.g. a project, investment, development, plan or any other specific case related to green technologies and/or alternative fuels in shipping.

The survey, which has been ongoing since 2018, is part of the HELCOM Green Team reporting mechanism that seeks to gather constant feedback from shipping stakeholders on green technologies and alternative fuels. The results, compiled once a year, are used to facilitate knowledge and information sharing among the private sector, decision makers and the general public, and to promote an early introduction of new technological solutions and alternative fuels.

We also encourage to share the survey with relevant stakeholders (shipowners, technology developers, shipyards, port operators, R&D etc.) and projects in the field.

It should take you about 10 minutes to complete the survey. All answers are handled anonymously.

Take the survey now