Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM seminar at EUSBSR forum

Latest status of the sea revealed – What can we do about it together?

Time:   13th June, 15.15 – 16.45    
Venue:  Weltsaal, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin
Link: Event Website​


The new HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea assessment will provide a holistic view on the latest status of the sea and human activities affecting it. The assessment can be used to better connect implementation, reporting and follow-up of various national, regional and global marine and maritime policies, including UN Sustainable Development Goals, HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, and EUSBSR.​


  • Michael Gilek, Södertörn University, Sweden

1st panelists:      

  • Erja Tikka, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Thomas Johansson, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
  • Monika Luxem-Fritsch, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany
  • Mikhail Durkin, Coalition Clean Baltic

2nd panelists:     

  • Benjamin Boteler, Ecologic Institute
  • Heini Ahtiainen, HELCOM


  • Monika Stankiewicz, HELCOM
  • Heini Ahtiainen, HELCOM

Organiser & contact details:


HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea report, to be released in June 2017, will provide a holistic view on the latest status of the marine environment. The pressures and cumulative impacts from human activities and social and economic dimensions in the whole Baltic Sea are also assessed. The regional report is a coordinated assessment and a major undertaking of all Baltic Sea countries. It can be used to analyze the progress for achieving the shared goal of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and of the EUSBSR to achieve a healthy Baltic Sea. It will also provide a baseline for following-up the ocean-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the Baltic Sea to be achieved by 2030.

The first aim of the seminar is to explore how to better connect and improve implementation of various national, regional and global marine and maritime policies and requirements and their reporting and follow-up. Further, we will try to identify issues, especially cross-cutting ones, which are not yet sufficiently addressed in the work in the region.

Issues for consideration are related to the need for:

  • connecting land and sea as well as connecting sectors utilizing best available knowledge on marine ecosystems as this is essential for a blue economy to be sustainable
  • further recognition of the role of local and municipal level actors in implementation effort
  • clear and coordinated monitoring and communication of the progress towards the same goals
  • coherent reporting by the countries of their common efforts to protect the sea and the use of the shared marine resources.

The second aim is to concretely discuss how new knowledge and results of economic and social analysis incorporated in the status report for the first time could open up new approaches and better connections between various policies. The analysis covers the impact of the Baltic Sea on human well-being and economic activities and the cost of the degradation of the marine environment. It also links to cumulative environmental impacts of human activities in the report.

Issues for consideration are related to the need for:

  • including social and economic analysis across various policies and utilizing the knowledge of cumulative impacts of various human activities
  • further developing and applying an integrated framework for social and economic analysis for both marine management and MSP
  • pooling resources and experts and research to develop the common framework for social and economic analysis further

In the first part of the seminar, a snapshot of the first results of the State of the Baltic Sea report will be presented as background for discussion by panelists. The seminar participants will be encouraged to join the conversation and they also have the chance to send questions via Twitter.

The second part will focus on economic and social analysis starting with a short introduction followed by the comments from the panel and audience.

Feedback of panelists and participants on the HELCOM State of the Baltic Sea assessment can be used when preparing the update of the report planned for June 2018. The main conclusions from the seminar will be summarized online.​

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