Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Upgrading coherence in regional marine environment protection

The new, modernized HELCOM era starts hands-on work today when the HELCOM group on the implementation of the ecosystem approach () gathers in Tallinn, Estonia for a 3-day meeting. Gear group now operates under a revised mandate to better meet the emerging challenges in accomplishing the HELCOM goals and targets of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (). The Meeting will also discuss the more detailed work, such as the overall HELCOM roadmap with its deadlines and deliverables until 2021; a draft action plan to close knowledge gaps and improve regional coherence; as well an initiative to more effectively follow up the BSAP national implementation.The ecosystem approach is the key ingredient of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the work of the renewed Gear group. Photo: Stuart Richards.After HELCOM process the Gear group will now hold a strong managerial role, with the mandate to integrate and utilize the work of other HELCOM groups for coherent implementation of marine policies, including of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as far as EU Member States are concerned as well as Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation. Gear will continue to look after the synergies with relevant organizations and frameworks, including other Regional Seas Conventions such as the OSPAR Commission covering the North-Atlantic o improve regional coherence GEAR will also prepare by end of 2014 an Action Plan to close knowledge gaps identified in the implementation of marine policies to reach Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea. The plan will address improvements of joint assessments of the state of the environment, coordination of monitoring programmes and measures to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. urthermore the Meeting will specifically discuss the development of a joint documentation of programmes of measures. The work will be carried out to improve coordination of measures for all Contracting Parties and will be used by the HELCOM EU Member States in their reporting under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in 2015 The Meeting will also discuss the continuing work on HELCOM core indicators and how to best synchronize with the work on national sets. The HELCOM core indicators are developed to measure the progress towards achieving a Good Environmental Status in the Baltic Sea which is the goal of the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The core indicators enable comparison of monitoring data and assessment results across the entire Baltic Sea region. . Documents will be public after the meeting. * * *Note for editors: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:Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at) Ulla Li ZweifelProfessional SecretaryHELCOMTel. +358 46 850 9198Skype: helcom64E-mail: ullali.zweifel(at)

The new HELCOM era starts hands-on work today in the Gear group meeting, guarding the ecosystem approach as well as managing coherent implementation of marine policies.