Ecological Quality in the Baltic Sea
- What do we want the Baltic Sea ecosystem to look like?
- How can science and management support our common vision?
By agreeing that the ecosystem approach and the setting of ecological quality objectives (EcoQOs) are key to improving the protection of the Baltic Sea, HELCOM has committed itself to this new approach. Within this approach emphasis is placed maintaining and restoring the health and integrity of ecosytems, to ensure the goods and services it provides. The structure, processes, functions and interactions within and between ecosystems must be considered together, in order to ensure the sustainable use of the seas, and to balance the requirements of different sectors.
Latest developments and news
19.12.2003 - Green management skills for the Baltic - Ecological Quality Objectives Project going politics.
At HELCOM’s recent Heads of Delegation meeting in Helsinki, Finland the ecosystem approach and EcoQOs where well received and considered an essential tool to ensure that HELCOM’s evolving strategy at the general political level can be implemented at the practical level, with regard to management and assessment.
Read more - press release / meeting document
17.11.2003 - The Baltic Sea Regional Project boosts the development of Ecological Quality Objectives
People are an integral part of the marine environment, and maintaining the health and resilience of marine ecosystems is an essential aspect of long-term sustainability, where the many socio-economic activities that depend on the sea are concerned. Such aims can be acheived by adopting the ecosystem approach, where EcoQOs play a vital role. read more...
Your input - an interactive forum
Regional diversity requires the careful consideration of the specific needs of all stakeholders, and our efforts to establish EcoQOs should reflect this. We cannot risk alienating key players within systems that are regionally so tightly interlinked. In order to give stakeholders as much understanding and participation (political ownership) as possible, we need to express EcoQOs in terms of a “public ecology”, where the public is generally aware of the aims, implementation, administration and benefits of marine conservation, with regard to all socio-economic activities.
With these issues in mind, HELCOM will soon open an interactive meeting room where all stakeholders will be able to follow and participate in the process of arriving at decisions with regard to implementing the ecosystem approach and setting EcoQOs. Contact HELCOM’s EcoQO project members for access...
HELCOM'S EcoQO project
In order to build on the work already done on EcoQOs for the Baltic Sea in a pilot study, HELCOM has set five goals:
1. To develop ecological quality objectives (EcoQOs) for future monitoring that
- are indicative of ecological quality for the Baltic Sea,
- provide a holistic and integrated assessment,
- pomote wide stakeholder understanding, and
- have true policy relevance.
2. To determine what information is required for the development of EcoQOs.
3. To avoid the duplication of work by harmonising and coordinating HELCOM´s work with related international activities, including:
- The European Marine Strategy (EMMA)
- The Ecosystem Approach to the Management of Human Activity (EAM)
- The EEA and the implementation of the EU WFD (CHARM)
- The GEF Baltic Sea Regional Project (which includes ICES) to support and provide advise.
4. To gain regional specific experience and input from both scientists and managers, as well as a variety of other stakeholders, in order to identify the best way to implement the ecosystem approach and set EcoQOs within the Baltic Sea.
5. To decide on a future timeline and milestones for the continued development of EcoQOs for HELCOM.
EcoQO Project Assistant
Tel: 358 9 6220 2220
Project funded by Germany 01.11.2003-28.02.2004