Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HOLAS to all

Enhancing ocean literacy through science communication  


Communication is key to understanding and understanding is key to positive action. This forms the backbone for why ocean literacy is core to a better future, not just for the Baltic Sea marine environment but also for our society which directly and indirectly utilise and benefit from it.

Every 6 years HELCOM carries out a holistic review of the status of the Baltic Sea ecosystem health (or HOLAS report), based on the latest available data, knowledge and regional agreements. This work includes an overview of the status of the biodiversity components of the Baltic Sea, as well as all major pressures influencing the Baltic Sea ecosystem, and explores issues related to economic and social analyses. The outcomes of the 2023 report, or HOLAS 3, include 59 indicator evaluations, five thematic assessments and a summary report.

This project will focus on cooperation across areas of expertise and segments of society to try and develop a series of awareness raising packages focused towards the following stakeholder groups:

  1. Managers
  2. Scientists
  3. The general public
  4. Young people and children.

Objectives and approach

The HELCOM Secretariat will carry out the project and focus on converting the mass of scientific and policy material generated in the regional HOLAS 3 reports into outreach and awareness material targeted towards different stakeholders. The process overall will be guided by project partners and relevant HELCOM Expert and Working Groups to ensure messaging is scientifically and policy appropriate. To bring in as wide an audience as possible, and break boundaries to increase awareness of the value and sensitivity of Baltic Sea, a kick-off event will provide an open invitation to various stakeholders to map what they would need to support communication and awareness raising and what types of media or approaches are best suited for them. This kick-off event will also help guide the key issues to target with outreach material so that material can be carefully focussed. Utilising this input the project will aim to generate suitable awareness raising material that can be provided to policy makers, scientists, the public and children/young people.

Project partners

The HELCOM Secretariat will lead the work of this project, guided by relevant regional HELCOM Expert and Working Groups and project partners. Project partners include Sweden (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Swedish for Marine and Waters Management) and Germany (German Environment Ministry). All relevant regional HELCOM Expert and Working Groups will be invited to participate in the process and the GEAR Working Group will be a focal point for guiding the overall project.


Funding is provided by the Nordic Council of Ministers (Nordic Working Group for Oceans and Coastal Areas – NHK).


Mock Employee
Clio Hall

Project Researcher

Mock Employee
Owen Rowe

HELCOM Indicator Manager