Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

St. Petersburg event sparks discussion on the critical state of the Baltic Sea

​The HELCOM-supported which started today in St. Petersburg, Russia is a popular forum for regional environmental dialogue arranged for 15 consecutive years. The participants include high level representatives from ministries and managers from administration of the Baltic Sea countries and beyond, the EU, as well as regional cooperation organizations and financial institutions. Members of the event, organized by the non-governmental organization Ecology and Business, cover many sectors of the Baltic society – science, business, governance, NGOs and the mass media. Natalia Tretiakova, HELCOM Head of Delegation of Russia, receives the award for personal contributions to the development of Baltic cooperation.HELCOM Head of Delegation, Ms. Natalia Tretiakova from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation, received the main award for personal contributions to the development of Baltic cooperation. There were five recipients in total for the award from the V. I. Vernadskiy Ecological Fund, among them Mr. Jaakko Henttonen from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).HELCOM Chair Harry Liiv focused in his speech at the plenary on the current priorities of Estonian Chairmanship of HELCOM, with particular attention on nutrient removal and recycling as well as marine litter. The latter is a particularly current issue – and a topic of one of the afternoon sessions – as the Regional action plan for marine litter was adopted just two weeks ago as a new HELCOM Recommendation.  “HELCOM has a long tradition of cooperation in organizing the Baltic Sea Day as HELCOM’s work can benefit from the discussions held in the roundtables and from the networks of experts, scientists and managers who continue gathering every year to debate about the marine environment protection”, HELCOM Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz said in the opening plenary.”The Forum reminds us of the value of cooperation in HELCOM – all members of our family, the nine riparian countries and the European Union continue working together around one table as the marine environment unites us all. This has proved to be true in the past and is also the spirit of cooperation now, and I’m sure will be in the future.”There will be six different round table sessions rolling out in the afternoon. The topics range from marine and coastal protected areas to biodiversity, environmentally friendly farming, sustainable sewage sludge handling, marine litter and the results of 2014 Gulf of Finland Year, among others. Tomorrow Friday the areas of environmental education as well as journalism are covered in their respective sessions.Full programme is available in the of the Forum organizer, Ecology and Business NGO, St. Petersburg, Russia.  * * *Note for editorsThe 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:Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

The HELCOM-supported Baltic Sea Day started today in St. Petersburg, Russia. The popular Forum has been organized for 15 consecutive years.