Protection Pioneers of the Baltic Sea – joining regional forces in marine biodiversity protection
Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission)
Date and Time
19 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45
The best inventions are often first discovered in smaller scale, pilot projects, and test rounds – locally, or regionally, instead of globally. If these are, at the same time, closely connected to Governments, science communities and the commercial sector of several countries, the chances for sustainable success are even greater. The side event “Protection Pioneers of the Baltic Sea” sheds light on regional processes driven by the inter-governmental Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) since 1974; focusing on selected best practices and lessons learnt, which draw together experiences from both micro and macro levels. For instance, how was the first ever checklist of macro-species of the entire Baltic Sea completed in early 2012? What were the ways to involve the best regional experts in assessing the sufficiency of the regional network of marine protected areas? How can you successfully conduct a process by nine nations and the European Union, to sort out the best possible biodiversity status indicators for a common sea area? The everyday activities in which HELCOM is involved are all part of a major milestone – HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007–2021), the recent progress and probable next steps of which will be explained in the Side Event. The Action Plan involves the HELCOM member states consisting of all the nine Baltic coastal nations. It is a unique and ambitious programme, which aims to safeguard the Baltic’s natural ecosystems by reducing environmental pressures, while allowing the valuable marine ecosystem and its goods and services to be used sustainably. For its part, the Action Plan helps to ensure that the decisions under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are regionally obliged – all the nine Baltic coastal nations are both HELCOM members and Parties to the CBD. Further, HELCOM works in close synergy with the European Union, a HELCOM member, and its regional strategies.