Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM Stakeholder Conference 2021

“Practically Implementing Ecosystem-Based Management”

Three objectives, three stations, three clued-up partners: that’s at least three good reasons to attend the HELCOM Stakeholder Conference 2021 “Practically Implementing Ecosystem-Based Management” (HSC2021) on Thursday, 11 March 2021, to be held in the format of an online workshop.

The HELCOM Stakeholder Conference is organised in conjunction with Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM).

Outcome of the HSC2021 workshop and related documents

The HELCOM Stakeholder Conference 2021 (HSC2021) “Practically Implementing Ecosystem-Based Management” that was held on 11 March 2021 in form of an online workshop is over. Check out the outcome and see what close to 100 stakeholders had to say on ecosystem-based management, the barriers and bottlenecks impeding its implementation as well as possible practical solutions to make EBM the norm rather than the exception in the Baltic Sea region.


Updated 17 February 2021

Participation is open to all but due to limited number of seats (90), registration will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and close when the maximum number of participants has been reached. The HSC2021 organizers nevertheless reserve the right to select registrations based on information provided at sign-up in order to balance gender and geographical origin of the participants.

Registration will close on 26 February 2021 at the latest.

Before you register:

  • Some basic knowledge about the ecosystem approach and/or ecosystem-based management is recommended, especially in the Baltic Sea context;
  • You must be willing to attend the entire HSC2021 conference;
  • HSC2021 is organised in a workshop style: you will be asked to actively contribute to the sessions (guidance will be provided by the moderators);
  • HSC2021 will aim at producing concrete action suggestions to be presented to the relevant HELCOM bodies and other stakeholders for their consideration;
  • Based on your profile as indicated during the registration, you will be assigned by us to a group (see “stations” further below);
  • You must be willing to complete some small “homework” tasks prior to the event to familiarise yourself with the tools and subject. Instructions will be sent to you in due time.
  • The HSC2021 will be held online using Zoom and other online collaboration tools.

Sounds good? Register now!

Programme 11 March 2021 (tbc)

  • 10:30–10:40     Welcoming remarks by Rüdiger Strempel (HELCOM)
  • 10:40–10:50     Opening keynote presentation by Mark Dickey-Collas (ICES)
  • 10:50–11:00     Conference instructions and icebreaker
  • 11:00–12:30     Session 1 (Station 1+2+3)
  • 12:30–13:30     Break
  • 13:30–15:00     Session 2 (Station 1+2+3)
  • 15:00–15:15     Break
  • 15:15–16:45     Session 3 (Station 1+2+3)
  • 16:45–17:00     Break
  • 17:00–17:30     Closing plenary session

Timings are EET/Helsinki time

Join the online discussion


Three objectives

  1. What are the basic principles of the Ecosystem Approach (EA) and Ecosystem-based management (EBM): What is the ecosystem approach, and how can ecosystem-based management best be implemented? The conference will seek to agree on a shared understanding between various sectors, narrowing down the EA concept to some key basic principles in order to facilitate its regional implementation through a common regional understanding and subsequent adherence and integration in the work of various Baltic Sea stakeholders.
  2. Bottlenecks and opportunities: What are the bottlenecks to and opportunities for the implementation of ecosystem-based management? What could be concrete actions for a successful implementation, and what could be possible pilot areas and concrete use cases where implementation could be tested?
  3. BSAP update: In addition to supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science, the results of the conference may be used to support the drafting and implementation of the updated HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). The outcomes of the conference will be presented to the relevant HELCOM bodies.

Three thematic stations

During registration, participants will be allocated to a group based on their own expertise as indicated during registration. Participants will be split in three groups, or stations: policy, science and society. During a first round, participants will lay the groundwork in a first station, adding their views on the topic of the station.

In order to avoid working in silos, participants will then be asked to move between the stations and to provide additional comments on the work and findings already elaborated in the other stations.

The objective is to both familiarise participants with considerations on the ecosystem approach (EA) and ecosystem-based management (EBM) outside their own field of expertise and provide different and fresh views on the topics of the other stations that may lead to potential opportunities and help overcome current implementation barriers.

The three stations:

  1. Policy (HELCOM): What is the policy relevance of the ecosystem approach (EA), and how can ecosystem-based management (EBM) be incorporated into policies and implemented more easily? What are the barriers and opportunities? In particular, what should be considered for the BSAP update process, and what should possibly be included in the final updated BSAP?
  2. Science (SWAM): what are the core principles of EA that are most relevant in the regional Baltic Sea context? How can science contribute to implementing EBM, how can EA concepts be applied to our sea-based activities, notably in maritime spatial planning? What new scientific questions need to be asked and priorities must be set, notably to accommodate EA visions and effective EBM implementation?
  3. Society (CCB): where are the opportunities for successful implementation of EBM, what possible organisational changes are needed to further ecosystem-based management within the BSR? How can EBM be best applied across multiple sectors, and what are possible ways to increase actual implementation of EBM in the Baltic Sea region. Who are potential drivers for EBM implementation?

Three partners

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission – HELCOM) was established about four decades ago to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental cooperation.

Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) is an umbrella association federating 23 environmental non-governmental organizations that are cooperating on Baltic Sea environmental matters. CCB combines about 890 000 members in all countries around the Baltic Sea.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) is the responsible Swedish Government agency tasked to protect, restore and ensure sustainable use of freshwater resources and seas including fisheries management in Sweden.


HELCOM Secretariat
+358 40 647 3996