The newly released report Measuring progress for the same targets in the Baltic Sea shows that HELCOM work already contributes to reaching the ocean-related UN Sustainable Development Goals. The report marks the ten-year anniversary of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.

The sustainable development goals were adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda contains 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) and 169 targets.

The report is an overview of HELCOM activities in relation to the Sustainable Development Goal 14 and how these activities contribute to the other SDG goals. HELCOM activities address in particular different kinds of pollution such as nutrients, hazardous substances and marine litter. Other topics covered in the report are e.g. biodiversity, underwater noise and maritime spatial planning.

Among HELCOMs accomplishments to achieve a healthy marine environment are setting up a nutrient reduction scheme, curbing airborne emission and discharges from shipping, tackling some hazardous substances, piloting ecosystem approach in maritime spatial planning and covering nearly 12% of the Baltic Sea with marine protected areas.

HELCOM will continue its efforts to meet the ocean-related targets of Agenda 2030 in the Baltic Sea. In doing so, HELCOM will cooperate with stakeholders, other Regional Seas Conventions and UN Environment. Member countries bear the main responsibility for implementing actions, but they do not have to work alone. Regional HELCOM cooperation, also involving a wide range of stakeholders, advances the application of the ecosystem approach in real life and ensures that all are working towards the same goals.

The SDG targets will have associated indicators. HELCOM has developed regional indicators, some of which are directly related to the proposed SDG indicators and can be used as such in reporting progress towards the implementation of the SDGs. The established Baltic Sea indicators and follow-up systems will serve the regional follow-up of the status of SDG implementation. 

Download the report HELCOM and Sustainable Development Goals – Measuring progress for the same targets in the Baltic Sea here.

Note for editors

HELCOM is one of the Regional Sea Conventions and Action Plans around the world, working for healthy oceans and sustainable us of marine resources. HELCOM consists of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the 'Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area', more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention


For more information, please contact:

Monika Stankiewicz
Executive Secretary
+358 40 840 2471
Email: monika.stankiewicz(at)
Skype: helcom17