Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Baltic Stakeholder Conference 2024 – PROTECT BALTIC

The Baltic Stakeholder Conference 2024 will be the inaugural stakeholder event for PROTECT BALTIC

The Baltic Stakeholder Conference 2024 (BSC2024) took place on 29 February 2024 and was the inaugural stakeholder event for the PROTECT BALTIC project. The conference was conducted in a hybrid format, enabling both in-person and online attendance, with the in-person component held at:

HANAHOLMEN Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre
Hanasaarenranta 5
FI-02100 Espoo

Alongside the main conference, a youth event was held online to actively engage young individuals in discussions on the future of the Baltic Sea, the challenges it faces, and to provide an introduction to the PROTECT BALTIC project.


Registration for the event is closed. More than 330 participants registered to join, with over 230 attending the event.


The full report from the event is available here.

Programme (links to presentations and recordings will be available after the event)

Moderator: Rogier Elshout, Moderating.EU, The Netherlands

In total, 21 workshops took place: each workshop session had an in-person and online component, along with the online youth conference.

Recordings of the online sessions as well as the opening and closing plenary are available in the agenda links.

Time Baltic Stakeholder Conference 2024Youth Conference:
Challenge the status quo: redefine our relationship with nature
09:00-10:00Registration (coffee, tea and refreshments included)
10:00-11:00Opening plenary

Introduction to PROTECT BALTIC
Jannica Haldin, HELCOM

EU Missions Restore our Ocean and Waters
Eduardo Carquejeiro, Directorate-General Research and Innovation
11:00-13:00Block 1: Workshop sessionsYouth conference
Facilitated by
Rogier Elshout, Moderating.EU

How can we redefine our relationship with nature?

What are we at risk of losing?

What is the Baltic Sea worth to you?

Updating management guidelines for marine protected areas (MPAs), developing a methodology for management effectiveness assessment and testing it in national case studies.
Spatial modelling
Creating high-resolution environmental datasets for the Baltic Sea and project future species and habitat distributions to inform conservation and management strategies.
Ecosystem services
Developing a versatile methodology to assess, map and
value ecosystem services. The project will inform marine conservation, optimize marine spatial protection for MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), and identify key areas for ecosystem service production, demonstrating their socio-economic value and guiding future assessments.
Legal frameworks for planning marine spaces
Assessing and aligning international and EU legal frameworks with Baltic Sea Action Plan targets, evaluating compatibility with directives such as the Birds and Habitats, Marine Strategy Framework, and Common Fisheries Policy.
MPA Portal
Building and updating a regional portal with information on MPAs and OECMs. Employing agile development methods, the process ensures alignment with the needs of MPA managers and users, integrating key functionalities and data models to enhance regional capacity in marine protection.
13:00-14:30Lunch (included)Lunch
14:30-16:30Block 2: Workshop sessionsYouth conference continues
Contributing to the development of a Regional Restoration Action Plan and toolbox, highlighting regional priorities, methods, costs, and feasibility in regard to restoration efforts.
Fostering a shared regional understanding of marine spatial protection, establishing common terminology and setting ecologically relevant protection targets and indicators. It also identifies threats and pressures on ecosystems and assesses the efficiency of existing protection measures.
Reviewing the existing monitoring systems for marine
spatial protection in the Baltic Sea, exploring innovative monitoring tools and methods, and developing a comprehensive framework and guidelines for the entire MPA network.
Ecological coherence
Revising criteria for assessing the coherence of marine spatial protection, aligning them with scientific knowledge and environmental goals, and develops connectivity models to understand species and habitat interactions. The work assesses the MPA network, emphasizing representativity, replication, adequacy, and connectivity, with a focus on species and habitat distribution.
MPA Europe Baltic Sea Regional Stakeholder workshop
MPA Europe presented their results to date on classifying marine ecosystems, modelling species and habitat distributions and mapping blue carbon stores. They will also invite stakeholders to begin to co-identify use cases for their maps, final atlas and results.
16:30-17:00Coffee, tea and refreshments (included)Coffee and tea break
17:00-17:55Closing plenary

Summaries of the workshops

Presentation of AI video
Closing plenary

Summary of youth event
17:55-18:00Closing of the conferenceClosing of the conference

The Baltic Sea: A sustainable future – by you

At our Baltic Stakeholder Conference 2024, we asked our audience two simple questions: 

1. What is their ideal future for the Baltic Sea? 

2. What is the role of protected areas in achieving this ideal? 

With the help of AI, here is the result from their input: