The high-level delegation from the Red Sea at the HELCOM premises on 28 August 2019. © Riku Isohella
What can the Red Sea learn from its sister sea, the Baltic, and vice-versa? A high-level delegation from the Red Sea countries came to HELCOM on 28 August 2019 to exchange views on regional cooperation relating to marine environmental matters.
Like the Baltic, the Red Sea faces a multitude of pressures affecting a fragile ecosystem, demanding a concerted response from the coastal countries.
CMI (Crisis Management Initiative), an independent Finnish conflict resolution organization, facilitated the study visit. The Baltic Sea region provides a number of examples of demand driven interstate cooperation, developed over 45 years of collective efforts. CMI deals with similar interstate cooperation issues in various places around the world, for example in the Red Sea region.
Since its inception in 1974 with the signing of the Helsinki Convention, HELCOM has been widely recognised as a platform for successful regional cooperation on improving the environmental state of the Baltic Sea.
The study visit also included visits to the Mandatory Ship Reporting System in the Gulf of Finland (GOFREP), as well as briefing sessions by the Arctic Council and the Council of the Baltic States (CBSS).