Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Report launch: State of the Baltic Sea 2023

Key results from the third HELCOM holistic assessment (HOLAS 3)

Date: 31 October 2023

Time: 10.00 -11.30 EET (Helsinki time, UTC+2)

Location: Online

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The third HELCOM holistic assessment (HOLAS 3) provides a comprehensive overview of the Baltic Sea’s ecosystem health during the assessment period from 2016 to 2021.

HOLAS 3 covers a broad range of topics relevant to the state of the ecosystem, including environmental pressures, societal drivers and their effects on human well-being. The findings support environmental policy formulation and enable us to monitor our progress towards achieving the goals and objectives set out in the 2021 HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.

This online event marks the launch of the State of the Baltic Sea 2023 summary report, which consolidates and integrates results from various assessment products from HOLAS 3.

The event recording can be found here.


Rüdiger Strempel, HELCOM Executive Secretary
10:05State of the Baltic Sea: Key takeaways from the third HELCOM holistic assessment (HOLAS 3) Jannica Haldin, HELCOM Deputy Executive Secretary
10:30Now that we know, where do we go? Panel discussion on the results of HOLAS 3 and the next steps.
Moderated by Gun Rudquist, Head of Policy at the Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University 

Lone Munk Søderberg, Denmark Head of Delegation to HELCOM
Dominic Pattinson, Executive Secretary, OSPAR Commission Secretariat
Michel Sponar, Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission, representing the European Union
Johanna Källén Fox, Director WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme 
11:00Audience Q&A
11:25 Closing words
Rüdiger Strempel, HELCOM Executive Secretary


Dominic Pattinson serves as the Executive Secretary of the OSPAR Commission. He was appointed to this role in June 2020 with the responsibility of supporting the 16 OSPAR Contracting Parties in achieving the objectives outlined in the OSPAR Convention. Prior to this, he worked at the UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Gun Rudquist is Head of Policy at the Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre, focusing on bridging the gap between science and policy. She has a MSc in Agronomy from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Cornell University. Her background is in agriculture production, development aid and the NGO sector, focusing on societal transformation towards sustainability.

Jannica Haldin works as the Deputy Executive Secretary at the HELCOM Secretariat. She is responsible for the coordination of environmental status assessments and monitoring (including overseeing the HOLAS 3 process), climate change, the implementation of the ecosystem approach, as well as conservation and biodiversity.

Johanna Källén Fox has been the Director of WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme since 2022. Prior to that she worked at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and the Municipality of Kristianstad. She has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences from the University of Cape Town, and a Master’s degree in sustainable development and resilience from Stockholm University.

Lone Munk Søderberg has been the Danish Head of Delegation in HELCOM since 2017. She works as the Head of Team in the Danish Ministry of Environment, Nature and Biodiversity Unit. She is a marine biologist by training.

Michel Sponar has been the Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission, Directorate General for the Environment since 2015. His responsibilities include Marine Environment and Water Industry, including the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Rüdiger Strempel has been the Executive Secretary of HELCOM since 1 August 2019. An international lawyer by training, he looks back on many years of experience of environmental law, policy, and diplomacy at the national and international levels, with a particular focus on international marine conservation.

More about the State of the Baltic Sea report

HELCOM holistic assessments cover ‘moments’ in time over the dynamic life history of the Baltic Sea. The third HELCOM holistic assessment focuses on describing the status for the years 2016-2021, supporting the adaptive development of assessment methods, measures and policies, and contributing to our ambition at HELCOM to develop, update and share knowledge about the state of the Baltic Sea environment.

State of the Baltic Sea 2023 builds on, and integrates, results from a wide range of assessment products produced within the third HELCOM holistic assessment. The role of this summary report is to link information from the underpinning assessment products together, thus highlighting the holistic aspects. With this in mind, the summary report focuses on presenting the results and on an in-depth look at why we are seeing these results, providing over-arching context and analysis. The report helps develop a clearer picture of where we are and how things are connected, supporting coordinated and effective measures to strengthen the Baltic Sea environment.


Eeva Nyyssönen
Communication Secretary
+358 40 6473996