Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


The history of HELCOM Ministerial Meetings, Diplomatic and High Level Conferences, goes back almost 40 years. These prestigious sessions have significantly contributed to regional actions for a healthier Baltic Sea.

1974 • Helsinki
The Baltic Sea coastal countries signed the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (1974 Helsinki Convention).

1988 • Helsinki
A 50% reduction goal set for the total discharges of nutrients and hazardous substances by 1995.

1990 • Ronneby
An ad hoc high level Task Force established to coordinate and prepare for a joint comprehensive programme.

1992 • Helsinki
The new Helsinki Convention signed by coastal countries and the EU. The Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP) approved and the Programme Implementation Task Force established.

1993 • Gdansk
Resource mobilisation for the JCP discussed.

1994 • Helsinki
Agreed to develop a system of Coastal and Marine Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs) and to complie data on threatened biotopes.

1998 • Helsinki
Progress considered in the 50% reduction goal set in 1988; the objective set to continuously reduce pollution.

2001 • Copenhagen
Measures adopted on the safety of navigation and emergency capacity in the Baltic Sea area.

2003 • Bremen
Priority issues for HELCOM agreed: ecosystem approach including nature conservation and biodiversity, joint monitoring and assessment, maritime and response activities as well as eutrophication and hazardous substances. Joint session with OSPAR.

2007 • Krakow
HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan adopted to radically reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021.

2010 • Moscow
The Baltic Sea coastal countries presented their National Implementation Programmes to achieve the objectives of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.