Heads of Government and Ministers of the Baltic Sea Region, gathered 5 April 2013 to the Baltic Sea Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, expressed their full support to the continuation of actions to achieve a healthy status of the Baltic Sea by implementing the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), adopted in 2007.
The High-level meeting was attended by all Baltic Sea countries, Norway, Iceland and the EU, and was hosted by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as part of the Year of the Environment in Russia and in the context of Russia's presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. The Forum is a continuation of the Baltic Sea Action Summit process started in 2010 in Helsinki in cooperation with the Baltic Sea Action Group.The national leaders welcomed the forthcoming HELCOM Ministerial Meeting to be held on 3 October this year in Copenhagen under the Danish HELCOM Chairmanship as a follow-up event to evaluate in detail the progress in the implementation of the BSAP and decide on further measures to save the Baltic Sea.
The Conference of the Heads of State was proceeded on 6 April by roundtable discussions on the key issues for the future of the Baltic Sea, including the role of public-private partnerships and innovative approaches in combatting eutrophication, nature protection, use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in shipping and the application of ecosystem approach in Maritime Spatial Planning. Monika Stankiewicz, HELCOM Executive Secretary, spoke at the concluding Plenary Session of the Forum and presented a recipe – a list of ingredients or necessary steps – for achieving a good environmental status of the Baltic Sea.
The roundtable on MSP as an instrument for integrated management of marine space was co-moderated by Ms Anita Mäkinen, co-chair of the HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group and Mr Victor Olerskiy, Vice-Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation. This session was supplemented with a presentation by the HELCOM Secretariat on shipping as an important component for MSP in the Baltic Sea.
At the session dealing with eutrophication, HELCOM's nutrient reduction scheme and its revision was present along with information on actual achievements on pollution reductions e.g. from wastewater treatment sector.
The session on protection of biodiversity and protected areas networks included a presentation on HELCOM core biodiversity indicators and their implementation in the Russian part of the Baltic Sea (the Gulf of Finland) delivered by Mr. Alexander Antsulevitch, HELCOM BASE Project expert from St. Petersburg State University.
The Baltic Sea Action Summit convened in Helsinki on February 10th, 2010. Its aim was to bring together the states, corporations and organizations in the Baltic Sea region and to arrive at practical and concrete commitments to save the Baltic Sea which are linked to the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.Summit participants committed to actions that best unite their interests with their abilities. Commitments can be financial or non-financial in nature as long as they contribute to the recovery of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea Action Summit was convened by President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen, together with Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen of Finland and the Chairman of the Baltic Sea Action Group, Ilkka Herlin. The Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) is a part of the Foundation for a Living Baltic Sea and is devoted to rescuing the Baltic Sea with carefully chosen projects.
Statement of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Baltic SeaStates for Environmental Protection of the Baltic Sea adopted at the St.Petersburg Baltic Sea Forum 5 April 2013 (link)
Baltic Sea Action Summit website