Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission



Sandra Kropa is a Latvian Radio and TV journalist. For more than 15 years she has hosted a popular science and environment broadcast on Latvian Radio and also has been involved in many communication activities regarding environmental protection and biodiversity. One of her main interests in science communication is marine biology and Baltic Sea protection. 

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and a master’s degree in Environmental Science at the University of Latvia. 

Opening words

Minister of Climate and the Environment of Finland, Kai Mykkänen, leads the Ministry of the Environment. Within the Finnish Government, he is responsible for matters related to the environment, construction and housing. These include climate policy, nature and water protection, preventing environmental pollution, circular economy, construction and land use, and housing policy. Minister Mykkänen is also responsible for matters covered by the Energy Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Since September 2023, Inga Bērziņa is the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. Ms. Bērziņa has been elected to the 14th Saeima and had been the Chairperson of the Social and Employment Matters Committee. She has many years of experience in local government as the Mayor of the city of Kuldīga. Also, the Minister has held the position of Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of the Association of Regional Development Centers, Board Member of the Latvian Association of Municipalities. She has also been a Member of the Latvian delegation to the Committee of the Regions of the European Union and a freelance adviser to Prime Minister on regional development issues. Ms. Bērziņa is a Member of the Board of the party “Kuldīga novads” and a Member of the Board of the party union “Jaunā Vienotība”. Ms. Bērziņa received a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Latvia.

Keynote speakers

Pekka Haavisto is a Member of Parliament and the former Foreign Minister of Finland. He is a peace negotiator and a defender of both democracy and human rights. Haavisto is especially experienced in foreign policy and international operations. He has led research into the environmental impact of wars and represented the EU and the UN in various crises all over the world. Haavisto has also authored numerous books. His beloved hobbies are literature, Beetle cars, and wooden boats.

Karen Ellemann is a former Danish politician who currently serves as the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. She was previously a member of the Danish parliament (Folketing) where she represented Venstre (The Liberal Party).

Ms. Ellemann is a former minister, having held the positions of Minister of Fisheries, Equality and Nordic Cooperation, Minister of the Environment and Minister of the Interior and Social Affairs as well as holding the position of Deputy Speaker of the parliament. 

Leena Ylä-Mononen is Executive Director of the European Environment Agency since 1 June 2023. She has a master’s degree in environmental sciences, specialising in ecotoxicology and chemicals risk assessment and management.

Before joining the EEA, Ms. Ylä-Mononen was Director General at the Ministry of Environment of Finland, managing the Climate and Environmental Protection Department, and has previously worked in the European Chemicals Agency and the European Commission, on chemicals and pesticides policy files. Earlier in her career she worked in the Finnish Environment Institute.

Alan Haynie has served as General Secretary of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) since 2022 and oversees the ICES Secretariat in Copenhagen. Alan has broad interdisciplinary experience with marine science and economics, fishery management and advice, stakeholder engagement, climate change research, policy analysis, and organizational excellence. Before ICES, Alan spent 18 years at NOAA Fisheries working in the North Pacific and in diverse US and international roles.