HELCOM wins Swedish Baltic Sea Water Award
Stockholm, 20 August (HELCOM Information Service) – HELCOM, the intergovernmental organisation for the protection of the Baltic marine environment, has won this year’s prestigious Swedish Baltic Sea Water Award. The announcement was made today by Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm. The official award ceremony will take place on 17th of September in Stockholm at the EU Ministerial Conference on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
The Swedish Baltic Sea Water Award, presented by Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, recognises direct and practical efforts to improve water quality in the Baltic Sea. The award honours innovations and new methods that protect the Baltic Sea water environment. The award is given to individuals, companies, organisations and actors within the public service sectors. The winner receives a 150,000 SEK prize sum along with a crystal sculpture. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) administers the Swedish Baltic Sea Water Award, and a jury appointed by the Swedish Government reviews the nominations, selects the winner and provides written motivation of its choice.
“It is a great honor for me to be the one, who on behalf of the whole HELCOM community receives the information that HELCOM has been awarded this year’s Swedish Baltic Sea Water Award,” said HELCOM’s Executive Secretary Anne Christine Brusendorff in her speech. “This award is a great recognition of the dedication, vast efforts, and hard work, that my colleagues in all the Baltic Sea countries, the European Commission and in the HELCOM Secretariat have invested – emanating from a common belief that only by working in the same vein, towards the same goals will we be able to enjoy and benefit from our wonderful sea.”
The Jury’s motivation for giving the award was that “HELCOM and its Secretariat under Executive Secretary Anne Christine Brusendorff have taken marine environmental protection to a new level. HELCOM has shown exemplary commitment to improving the Baltic Sea through the adoption of the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The action plan takes on the complexity of issues that need to be addressed in an innovative manner, linking it to ongoing initiatives and becoming the backbone of the environmental actions in the coming Baltic Sea Strategy.“
HELCOM is considered an environmental policy-maker in the Baltic Sea area and one of the most advanced regional seas commissions in terms of the level of cooperation between the coastal countries, and monitoring and protecting the marine environment. In 2007, the HELCOM countries adopted an ambitious overarching Baltic Sea Action Plan to radically reduce pollution to the sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021. The holistic plan contains concrete and meaningful actions to solve the major problems affecting the Baltic Sea. It is also a first ever attempt by a regional seas convention to incorporate the ecosystem-based approach into the protection of the marine environment. The core policy of the plan is based on “ecological objectives” defined to reflect a common vision of a healthy sea - a sea with diverse biological components functioning in balance and supporting a wide range of sustainable human economic and social activities.
The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan has already been heralded as a pioneer scheme for European seas. The European Commission has recognized that the HELCOM plan will be instrumental for the successful implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the Baltic Sea region. The importance of HELCOM’s work is also recognized in relation to the EU Maritime Policy, and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region draws heavily from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan in its environmental as well as safety and security pillars.
“The Award will serve to further inspire and motivate our organization towards making the Baltic Sea area environmentally sustainable, prosperous, accessible and attractive, as well as safe and secure,” said Brusendorff.
Note to Editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organisation of all the nine Baltic Sea countries and the EU which works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution.
HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area," known as the Helsinki Convention.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Nikolay Vlasov
Tel: +358 (0)207 412 635
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 639