of the marine and coastal areas of the Curonian Spit national park has been finalized, along with the application ready for submission, with the aim of legal status granted for the extension of the protected zone between Lithuania and Russia. The report details the reasons for such an extension which will contribute to the ecological coherence – crucial for preserving biodiversity and improving the state of species and habitats – of the marine protected areas’ network in the South-Eastern part of the Baltic Sea. The study is a part of final results of HELCOM , supporting implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan in Russia.>>>Another significant outcome of the BASE Project has been the involvement of regional and federal authorities, including the Curonian Spit national park authorities in Russia and in Lithuania as well as researchers, in the development of a common approach to establish marine protected areas. All HELCOM member states have agreed to the 2010 target of an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas – while progress towards this target has been insufficient, the coverage of protected areas is considered high at 12 % of the Baltic marine area. > >>The proposed extension area of the protected zone, entailing 12 nautical miles of internal sea waters and territorial sea of the Russian Federation, would provide better protection for red-listed species such as Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), Velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca) and Baltic ringed seal (Phoca hispida botnica). Furthermore, within the project component, a number of promotion activities have been carried out in the local communities of Kaliningrad region highlighting the assets of the Curonian Spit marine protected zone. > >>The main goal of the HELCOM marine protected – formerly called Baltic Sea Protected Areas – is to protect valuable marine and coastal habitats in the Baltic Sea, by designating suitable areas which have particular nature values as well as by managing human activities within those areas.>> >Good progress has been made in enlarging the network of marine protected areas: between 2004 and 2013 the protected marine area has increased threefold, from 4 to almost 12 %. The network of these areas continued its growth between 2010 and 2013, while the ecological coherence lags behind the mutually agreed targets. >>>: >>>> >* * *>Note for editors:>> (2012–2014) supports the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan () in Russia. BASE addresses altogether three priority areas of the HELCOM BSAP: eutrophication, hazardous substances, and biodiversity and nature protection. Within BASE, monitoring activities to support and measure the progress within the abovementioned segments are also being carried out. The pilot projects (See: components) are implemented by experts from Russia with the support of EU experts, while the overall Project, funded by EU, is managed by the HELCOM Secretariat and St. Petersburg Public Organization “Ecology and Business”.>> >>The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization 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 more information, please contact:>>Sergey Kondratienko>Consultant, HELCOM BASE Project>Ecological Monitoring, Management, Audit and Consulting Ltd. – ECOMMAC>Tel. +7 906 2141209>E-mail: svkondrat(at)rambler.ru >>Johanna Laurila>Information Secretary>HELCOM>Tel. +358 40 523 8988>E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi>
New study of the marine and coastal areas of the Curonian Spit national park has been finalized as a part of final results of HELCOM BASE Project.