HELCOM, having completed regional in 2013 for all biotopes, habitats and biotope complexes in the Baltic Sea, hosts a three-day workshop this week on the Baltic Sea part of the European-wide assessment work currently carried out for marine habitats. Learning from the Baltic Sea experiences, other marine regions – the North-East Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea – will follow later in the year to make Red List assessments for their marine habitats. Red Lists provide invaluable knowledge on which biotopes and habitats are most threatened by complete collapse, as well as the threats that have affected the biotopes and habitats negatively. Such information is essential when planning sustainable use of the sea space and protecting the marine environment. The key outcome of the concerned EU project ‘Establishment of a European Red List of Habitats’ will be a pan-European online data platform for fact sheets on all terrestrial and marine habitats, including a threat category assessment according to the IUCN categories and criteria. Based on information in this platform the project will produce and overview publication as well as posters, expected publishing by mid-2016. The ultimate aim is to develop a regionally comparable Red List of marine habitats to support prioritization of conservation efforts and policies on an EU-level. For the Baltic Sea, the online data platform will contain much of the same information as HELCOM Biotope Information produced in the HELCOM Red List of Biotopes project and biotope classification . The overview publication and the posters of the EU project will be produced by the Project Management Team (Alterra and NatureBureau together with IUCN), based on the data provided by the Regional Working Groups. * * *Note for editors:The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , 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 further information, please contact:Janica Borg Project Researcher (EU Red List)HELCOM Tel: +358 40 662 0101 Skype: helcom57 E-mail: janica.borg(at)helcom.fi Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
Learning from the Baltic Sea experiences, other marine regions will follow later in the year to make Red Lists for their marine habitats.