The largest oil response exercise in the Baltic Sea region, HELCOM’s Balex Delta, takes place this year
on Wednesday 29 August 2012 in Helsinki, Finland.
A designated boat will be ready for any registered media to observe from close distance the international exercise in the Gulf of Finland.
The drill simulates a real life oil catastrophe in one of the most vulnerable – and busiest – sea areas in the world. This year, Balex Delta is hosted by Finland and is exceptionally large with 22 specially equipped oil response vessels. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) is responsible for coordination and a national coastal response exercise will coincide with the open sea response operation.
The international exercise will be preceded by a national oil response exercise by Finnish authorities, on 28 August 2012.
Further, the City of Helsinki and the University of Helsinki are hosting a set of visits for media on 28-30 August, to celebrate Helsinki as the World Design Capital 2012. More details can be found in the attached joint media programme:
Media representatives are asked to apply for accreditation
by 30 July 2012, by providing contact information (name, media, e-mail, phone number) to Ms. Anna Toppari/SYKE: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 674 8393
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The annual BALEX DELTA exercises
· test the alarm procedures and response capability of the HELCOM Contracting States (all nine Baltic Sea coastal states) in case of a major accident and an international response operation.
· have the general objective to ensure that every Contracting State is able to lead a major response operation.
· are hosted by the Contracting States according to an agreed schedule.
· are most famous of the regular, operational HELCOM pollution response exercises
· are the largest pollution response exercise in the Baltic Sea and one of the largest worldwide
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Note for editors:
City of Helsinki and the University of Helsinki Joint Media Programme
This year Helsinki is the World Design Capital. Good design, sustainable planning and attention to environmental issues are needed like never before. Helsinki is particularly dependent on a healthy Baltic Sea, as the city is built by the sea and partly on islands. Furthermore the city is facing what actually might be its biggest transformation for nearly 200 years, as 20 km of waterfront in former port areas are being redeveloped for business and residential use.
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The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), is an intergovernmental organisation 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.
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, from 1974.
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For further information, please contact:Johanna Laurila
Tel: +358 (0)40 523 8988
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645
Chief Information Officer
Finnish Environment Institute - SYKE
Tel: +358 40 740 2754
Fax: +358 9 5490 2190