HELCOM invites all interested to join by watching live video stream on HELCOM website next month, when the main event of the 40th anniversary year of the Helsinki Convention culminates the proud celebrations on the four decades of extraordinary marine protection work. On 5 March 2014, at 10–12:30 o’clock, high level speakers from the host country Finland, United Nations Environment Programme () and HELCOM will start the session in front of the invited guests, followed by expert presentations under the topic ‘Baltic Sea: ecosystem and prosperity’. Thirdly, a future-orientated dialogue panel gets all the major macro-regional chiefs-of-office and the European Commission representative to the stage. In 1974, Helsinki had won among many eager aspirants to host a historical Conference climaxing on 22 March with the signing of the first Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area. The Convention has bound the riparian countries at that time to take all appropriate legislative, administrative or other relevant measures to prevent and eliminate pollution in order to promote ecological restoration of the Baltic Sea area. This took place just two years after the United Nations Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting in the birth of UNEP and widely considered the starting point for modern political and public awareness of global environmental problems. During the 40 years of HELCOM work in protecting the Baltic marine environment many things have changed. We can already see signs of recovery in the status of the Baltic Sea despite the region’s growth in economy, wealth and maritime transport, carrying risks of more, or new, pressures to the sea. HELCOM can claim its share for the achievement – it has succeeded well in keeping up regular cooperation across the national borders for four decades, in developing environmental policies and actions for a healthier Baltic Sea. The festivities of 5 March 2014 can be followed live, and an edited version downloaded afterwards through HELCOM website. Best of the special Jubilee exhibition, showcasing highlights from the rich history of HELCOM, will also be set up in the dedicated webpages. The Jubilee session precedes the HELCOM Annual Meeting on 5-6 March, the highest decision-making body of HELCOM. * * *Note for editors:The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission or , is an intergovernmental organisation of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * *For further information, please contactJohanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(@)helcom.fi
Four decades of extraordinary marine protection work of HELCOM celebrated in 2014.