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Side Event

The Strategic HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan

Secretariat of the Helsinki Commission (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission)

Date and Time
29 May 2008 18:15 - 19:45

Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9)

The side event will present the strategic HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan adopted last year by the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Community. It is an ambitious overarching programme of actions to drastically reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021. The plan is a first attempt by a regional marine protection convention to implement the ecosystem approach defined by the 1992 Rio Declaration and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and as outlined in the decisions of the CBD (II/10 conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biological diversity, V/6 ecosystem approach and VII/28 marine protected, and the 2012 10 procent target). Additionally, one of the four segments of the plan focuses on measures to halt habitat destruction and the decline in biodiversity in the Baltic Sea area. This European award-winning plan has already been heralded as a pilot project for European seas in the context of the EU Marine Strategy Directive. As a pioneer in the application of the ecosystem approach, the HELCOM action plan also serves as a model example to be followed by the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans under the auspices of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme.