The first of a new HELCOM dealing with pressures from land to the Baltic Sea environment started today, to plan for the detailed work on mitigating nutrient and hazardous substance inputs as well as marine litter and underwater noise. Another key task is to improve follow-up on the HELCOM nutrient reduction , first adopted in 2007, with clear targets per country for less nutrient inputs to the sea. The aim is to increase transparency in monitoring progress achieved by each HELCOM member. The work has continued since the update of the nutrient reduction scheme, jointly approved in the 2013 HELCOM Ministerial as a result from a highly complex calculation process Excess nutrients cause eutrophication which deteriorates the marine environment. Photo: Metsähallitus NHS/Jan Ekebom & Mats Westerbom.One issue in need of further development for the group are core pressure indicators to complement the ongoing work to develop and agree on a common set of core indicators to describe Good Environmental Status and pressures on the marine environment. Such pressure indicators should link to human activities causing the releases of hazardous substances, and thus helping to scope which hazardous substances should be given priority and where exactly HELCOM can create added value comparing to existing regulations. Accordingly, the group will discuss where further joint or coordinated measures might be needed.Progress so far to mitigate marine litter in the Baltic Sea will be discussed, as after a fruitful workshop last week the more detailed draft for a regional action plan is currently consulted by each nation. The work is on schedule hence the deadline for a March 2015 release for the plan holds ast but not least, the Meeting will discuss underwater noise and the first steps of implementation of the 2013 HELCOM Ministerial Declaration commitment related to mitigation of the negative impact of noise on the marine environment. An expert team is prepared to start hands-on work in a on 26 November. . All documents will be public after the meeting. * * * Note for editorsThe working group on reduction of pressures from the Baltic Sea catchment area (tentative name: ) focuses on nutrient and hazardous substance inputs from diffuse sources and point sources on land, including the follow-up of the implementation of the HELCOM nutrient reduction scheme. The group ensures the necessary technical underpinning as well as develops solutions to the policy-relevant questions and needs. Marine litter and underwater noise are also coordinated by this group. 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 more information, please contact:Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky Professional Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 630 9933 Skype: helcom68 E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at)helcom.fi Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
The first meeting of a new HELCOM working group dealing with pressures from land to the Baltic Sea started today, to plan the detailed work for reducing nutrients and hazardous substances.