St. Petersburg to host the XII International Environmental Forum Baltic Sea Day
Helsinki, 21 March (HELCOM Information Service) – Up to 600 participants from the Baltic Sea countries, including government officials, scientists, business leaders and diplomats, as well as representatives of major regional organizations and NGO’s are expected to take part in the XII International Environmental Forum “The Baltic Sea Day”, which will be held on 22-23 March in St. Petersburg. Established to support and promote the work of HELCOM, the Baltic Sea Day is considered as an important regional forum to stimulate public awareness of the state of the Baltic marine environment, to enhance political attention to existing problems, and to boost support towards actions needed to protect the sea.
The major theme of this year’s Forum will be the implementation of an ambitious HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to restore the good ecological status of the Baltic marine environment by 2021. Participants will particularly discuss how to measure the progress in the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, and how the coastal countries develop synergies and cooperation, strengthening the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region. More specifically, they will focus on how the EU policy initiatives can be supportive in reaching the targets of the HELCOM plan, and which good examples of co-ordination projects are there.
“We wish for a productive and successful conference,” said Anne Christine Brusendorff, HELCOM’s Executive Secretary. “The international Baltic Sea Day, observed each year on 22 March in St. Petersburg, is regarded by the Helsinki Commission as one of the main regional forums to stimulate public awareness of the state of the Baltic marine environment. Its noble mission is to empower people to become active promoters of the policy to restore healthy environment and to advocate international partnership which will ensure sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region.”
The programme of the Baltic Sea Day includes plenary and sectional sessions (round tables) on a wide range of topics. Participants will look into such issues as the cost of achieving good environmental status of the Baltic Sea, risks of maritime transportation and the need for response capacities, new solutions for wastewater treatment plants, preventing pollution by hazardous substances, sustainable agriculture in the Baltic Sea region, as well as the trilateral cooperation in the Gulf of Finland.
Also, on the 21 March, prior to the official opening of the Baltic Sea Day but within the framework of the Forum a separate plenary and sectional sessions were held focusing on the Russian national programme for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Baltic Sea ecosystem.
Keynote speakers at the official opening and plenary sessions of the Baltic Sea Day include senior officials of the Government of St. Petersburg, Administration of the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Northwestern Federal District, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, as well as HELCOM’s Chairlady.
The Baltic Sea Day, which has been observed annually in St. Petersburg since 2000, was established on the basis of a decision made by HELCOM. It is held on the anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Convention for the protection of the Baltic marine environment, and is organised by the St. Petersburg NGO Ecology and Business with active support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, and the local governments of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, as well as the governments and financial institutions of the Baltic Sea countries.
Programme of the XII International Environmental Forum Baltic Sea Day http://www.helcom.ru/media/Draft_BSD_2011_eng(2).doc
Note to Editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (more widely known as the Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM) works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation between the countries bordering the sea - Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area," more usually known as the Helsinki Convention.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Nikolay Vlasov
Tel: +358 (0)46 850 9196
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645