Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


HELCOM Holistic Assessment Methodology Development Project

Background & Objectives

Early preparation for the HOLAS 3 (third holistic assessment of the Baltic Sea) process is important for the successful implementation of this assessment. The primary objective of the HELCOM Holistic Assessment Methodology Development Project (MetDev) is to improve and enhance the indicator-driven integrated assessment tools, as well as other tools and methods, to support the holistic assessment of the Baltic Sea environment.

The MetDev project aims to achieve the following outcomes, advancing the tools and methods used for the HOLAS III process:

  • Updated and expanded Spatial Pressure and Impact Tool (SPIA Tool): Improving and expanding  the spatial pressure and impact tool used in the assessment of the Baltic Sea environment. The updated tool provides a more comprehensive understanding of the spatial distribution and magnitude of various pressures and impacts on the marine ecosystem.
  • Methodology development and initial implementation of the ecosystem services approach: Developing and implementing methodologies for assessing the supply and benefit of ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea.
  • Describing a general approach for ecosystem accounting: Describing and illustrating a general approach for ecosystem accounting applicable to the Baltic Sea marine environment.
  • Methodology development for driver indicators: Developing a methodology for analyzing driver indicators, allowing for the assessment of the drivers’ impact on the state of the marine environment over time.


The MetDev project collaborates closely with other initiatives and projects relevant to the HOLAS III process. It builds upon the work done under the HELCOM Indicators and HELCOM Data Flows projects, incorporating new data and indicators into the assessment tools. Additionally, external projects, including HELCOM BLUES and Baltic Data Flows, provide significant support for the preparatory and assessment work of HOLAS III.

The MetDev project focuses on two work packages, each addressing specific areas that require further development and improvement:

Work Package 1: Cumulative Impacts Assessment

This work package aims to enhance the existing cumulative impacts assessment tools used in the assessment of the Baltic Sea environment. Lessons learned from the Second State of the Baltic Sea report (HOLAS II 2018) are considered, and modifications and refinements are made to the integrated assessment tools. The incorporation of new data strands from the HELCOM Data Flows project, as well as potential new or consolidated indicators from the HELCOM Indicators project, are also taken into account.

Work Package 2: Economic and Social Analyses

The second work package focuses on developing and implementing methodologies to analyse the economic and social aspects of the Baltic Sea environment. The project aims to provide valuable insights into the economic and social impacts of various factors on the state of the marine environment, contributing to a better understanding of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and its interactions with human activities.

Project duraction

January 2021 to December 2022


Mock Employee
Kemal Pınarbaşı

Project Coordinator

Mock Employee
Juuso Haapaniemi

Data Analyst

Mock Employee
Luke Dodd

Project Researcher


Mock Employee
Jannica Haldin

Professional Secretary