The renowned efforts of HELCOM on marine protected areas (MPAs) are addressed today in a high level visit of Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias. The side-event organized by the Ministry of the Environment of Finland showcases the work being done in implementing CBD and its programmes of work. HELCOM Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz has presented regional achievements. HELCOM marine protected areas (MPAs) are established to protect valuable marine and coastal habitats in the Baltic Sea. This is done by designating areas with particular nature values as protected areas, and by managing human activities within those areas. HELCOM MPAs base on HELCOM Recommendation 15/5 and this week, a new MPA Recommendation matching better the present situation expects adoption in the HELCOM Annual Meeting. Currently a proud 12% of the Baltic Sea area has been designated as protected, three-fold more than in 2004 and clearly exceeding the 10% target set by CBD. The number of management plans in marine protected areas has also increased. However, the network is not yet ecologically coherent. The latest of MPAs in the Baltic Sea was prepared for the 2013 HELCOM Ministerial Meeting. Convention on Biological Diversity is a global agreement addressing all aspects of biological diversity: genetic resources, species, and ecosystems. The international legally binding treaty entered into force on 1993. Note for editors:The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organisation 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 further information, please contact:Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail:
Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Dr. Braulio Dias visits today a side event organized by Finnish Ministry of Environment.