Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Online streaming of the event


Please visit here to download the programme.

Thursday, 25 April 2024, 14.30 (EEST)
Venue: National Library of Latvia (Mūkusalas iela 3, Riga)

Moderator: Sandra Kropa, environmental journalist, Latvia

14:30 Opening and welcome

Opening words by

  • Inga Bērziņa, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia 
  • Kai Mykkänen, Minister of Climate and the Environment of Finland

Keynote speeches

15:30                A musical interlude by Latvian artists: Tautumeitas

15:40                Recalling the proud past of HELCOM

A segment devoted to the most remarkable milestones passed and achievements reached by HELCOM in its 50 years.

Eyewitness speeches

  • Andris Andrusaitis, Chair of the Baltic Earth Science Advisory Board, Friend of HELCOM
  • Peter EhlersHELCOM Chair 1984-1986 and 2000-2002 and Chair of the Maritime Committee 1987-1997
  • Juha-Markku Leppänen, Former HELCOM Professional Secretary (pre-recorded)
  • Inese Vaidere, Member of the European Parliament and former HELCOM Chair 2002-2004 (pre-recorded)
  • Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and former Polish delegate in HELCOM cooperation, HELCOM Professional Secretary 2006-2012 and HELCOM Executive Secretary 2012-2019
  • Lilian Busse, Vice-President of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and former HELCOM Chair 2020-2022

16:50                Networking break – coffee and possibility to enjoy the exhibition on HELCOM history

17:15                Next generation panel discussion “Are we fit for the future?”

The discussion, facilitated by Silva Laure, Vice-Chair of the Baltic Sea Region Committee of Youth Representatives, will focus on selected Baltic Sea environment challenges and ways on finding balance between the values of environment and the negative impact we cause. Will we manage to make the ecosystem approach to management and the concept of ecosystem services work in real life?


  • Aurēlija ArmoskaiteLatvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology
  • Mikajosefin Jonsson Gehrke, WWF Sweden Youth
  • Lisa KlemensGerman Oceanographic Museum
  • Stanisław KostulskiBaltic Sea Region Youth Forum
  • Regan McEnroe, Nature & Youth Sweden

18:05                Where do we stand?

  • Rüdiger Strempel, HELCOM Executive Secretary and
  • Jannica Haldin, HELCOM Deputy Executive Secretary           

18:15                Congratulations by partner organizations

  • Gun Rudquist, Baltic Sea Centre at the Stockholm University
  • Bodo Bahr, Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC)
  • Carole Durussel, OSPAR Commission
  • Razan Al Mubarak, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (pre-recorded)
  • Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (pre-recorded)
  • Alda Nikodemusa, Vision and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea (VASAB)
  • Mikhail Durkin and Johanna Fox, Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

18:45                Wrap up by Evija Šmite, HELCOM Chair

19:00 -20:30                Reception invited by the HELCOM Chairmanship – Latvia

End surprise: Ritva & Leena

List of participants

For more information about the list of participants, please visit here.