HELCOM survey of knowledge and research needs

A survey of knowledge and research needs for achieving good environmental status was initiated in HELCOM in 2015 (roadmap activity 32) and is available via this link.

Brief information on the knowledge and research needs for achieving good environmental status identified by the Contracting Parties and HELCOM experts are here compiled in a common document with the aim to serve the development of activities in HELCOM as well as to inform external funding mechanisms on the knowledge and research needs for marine management purposes.

HELCOM State and Conservation Working Group agreed on the procedure for carrying out the survey (STATE & CONSERVATION 3-2015) and contribution was received from the following Contracting Parties and HELCOM Expert Groups/projects/networks: expert network on hazardous substances, expert network on underwater noise, FISH-PRO II, intersessional expert network on eutrophication, intersessional network on benthic habitats, JWG Bird, Lithuania, Mors Expert Group, Seal Expert Group and Sweden.

Note that current compilation is not exhaustive and will be updated with time as needed.


Focal areas for the survey

The survey is structured according to focal areas related to the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan.

  • monitoring programmes: existing or under development in HELCOM,
  • indicators: development of indicators and associated definitions of good environmental status (GES),
  • integrated assessments: including data and tools to assess status of e.g. eutrophication, hazardous substances and biodiversity as well as pressures, impacts and climate change
  • environmental targets: in the sense of required quantitative reduction of pressures to achieve GES ,
  • design and assessment of cost-effective measures to achieve GES: e.g. to reduce input of anthropogenic matter, to reduce impact of resource extraction,
  • valuation of ecosystem services: e.g. as part of social and economic analyses or integration into management and planning,
  • spatial protection and nature conservation measures: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and other conservation measures,
  • management of ecosystems: e.g. use of models in ecosystem management.

To facilitate the overview of results, respondents have indicated for each topic:

  1. a) if the required data/information is likely to already exist i.e. knowledge could be acquired through gathering of existing data/information or a review activity, or                                                                                b) new research activities are likely to be required to meet the knowledge needs,
  2. estimated time to achieve new knowledge for management purposes (<1 year, 1-5 years, >5 years),if the knowledge need is perceived at the national and/or regional level,
  3. if the knowledge is needed for any specific planned activity in HELCOM (e.g. needed by mid-2017 for use in the 2nd HELCOM holistic assessment),
  4. link to segments of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) and descriptors of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive when relevant.