During HOD 60-2021, the HELCOM Heads of Delegations notably fine-tuned the latest draft of the updated Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) that is due to be adopted during the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting 2021 in October of this year.
Several key documents due to be adopted alongside the updated BSAP were also endorsed at HOD 60-2021, such as the revised HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter and the Baltic Sea Regional Nutrient Recycling Strategy. Others were the Guidelines for Sea-Based Measures to Manage Internal Nutrient Reserves in the Baltic Sea Region, and the Regional Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Roadmap 2021-2030.
The prolongation of one of HELCOM’s three time-limited main working groups, the Joint HELCOM-VASAB Maritime Spatial Planning Working Group (HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG) was also decided, extending the group’s activity to 2030, in line with the timespan of the Regional MSP Roadmap 2021-2030.
The decision-makers also advanced on the HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Underwater Noise. Addressing both monitoring and the management of man-made underwater noise in the Baltic Sea, the new plan will come in the form of a HELCOM recommendation containing a set of specific actions to be implemented at the regional and national levels.
The revised HELCOM Recommendation 23/5 on the reduction of discharges from urban areas by the proper management of storm water systems was also adopted during the meeting.
HOD 60-2021 further provisionally approved the HELCOM RED LIST II project proposal for reviewing and updating the HELCOM Red List of species and the one for habitats. HELCOM RED LIST II is due to run from 2022 to 2024.
HELCOM also welcomed its latest observer, the Nordic Boating Council (NBC), during the meeting. With the NBC, HELCOM now counts 64 observers.
Attended by all Contracting Parties and chaired by Lilian Busse, the current chair of HELCOM, HOD 60-2021 further welcomed the new Vice-chair of HELCOM, Andreas Röpke from the Ministry for Agriculture and Environment of the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He takes over from Johannes Oelerich from the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization of the German federal state Schleswig-Holstein.