Representatives of national environmental and agricultural authorities as well as scientific institutions and NGOs gathered in Helsinki last week, to discuss the environmental impact of agricultural production in the Baltic Sea region along with various measures to mitigate it. Held in Helsinki on 9–10 November 2017, the 5th HELCOM Agri Group Meeting focused on the opportunities for recycling nutrients, which serves both to prevent nutrients leaching into waterways and to sustain food security. Participants highlighted that despite different countries having different means and drivers to work for closing nutrients loops, the work done in all Baltic countries serves towards the common goals of sustainable development in the region.
The Meeting also pointed out the significance of efficient water management in rural areas. The participants recommend shifting the focus in water management from the individual field to comprehensive solutions within river basins, incorporating land use planning and close involvement of local stakeholders, while taking into account adaptation to climate change.
Another environmental aspect discussed at the Meeting was the increase in ammonia emissions, along with the resulting deposition of nitrogen on the water surface of the Baltic Sea. The participating HELCOM members agreed that the matter requires specific attention of the HELCOM society, as agriculture remains the major source of ammonia in the region.
The fifth meeting of the HELCOM Agri group was held in Helsinki on 9–10 November.
Meeting site. All documents will be public after the meeting.
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Note for editors
HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention.
The Agri Group deals with agriculture related to the implementation of an ecosystem-based approach. It includes representatives from agriculture and environmental authorities of the Baltic Sea countries, as well as EU and HELCOM Observers. The group provides a platform for agri-environmental policy measures and instruments, as well as for the joint discussion of agricultural effects on the marine environment, namely nutrient inputs and emissions. Its official name is the HELCOM Group on Sustainable Agricultural Practices.
For more information, please contact:
Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky Professional Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 630 9933 Skype: helcom68 E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at)helcom.fi
HELCOM Agri Group