HELCOM session on 28 February 2017 to agree on a plan to implement ocean-related UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Baltic Sea region
HELCOM high-level session on 28 February 2017 to agree on a plan to implement ocean-related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Baltic Sea region.
The work of HELCOM and other Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans is highly relevant for reaching many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015.
High-level representatives of the Baltic Sea countries and the EU will meet on 28 February 2017 on the occasion of the 38th Meeting of the Helsinki Commission to discuss how the ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals and targets can be met in the Baltic Sea by 2030, particularly in relation to eutrophication, marine litter and climate change. The delegates will also focus on the role and tasks of HELCOM to support future implementation of SDGs, as well as discuss how HELCOM should enhance cooperation to reach effective results and which partnerships should be strengthened.
The high-level representatives are expected to adopt the Implementation Outlook of the Ocean-related SDGs in the Baltic Sea - A Roadmap to Agenda 2030, which will guide future work in HELCOM.
The high-level segment is organized in line with the priorities of EU Chairmanship of HELCOM (2016-2018).
HELCOM countries and EU have already contributed to achieving the UN goals by adopting the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and committing to a Baltic Sea in good environmental status by 2021.
Ten years since its adoption, 64 out of 106 regional actions and 11 out of 68 national level actions of the Baltic Sea Action Plan have been fully implemented so far, with successes in setting up a nutrient reduction scheme, curbing airborne emission and discharges from shipping, piloting ecosystem approach in maritime spatial planning, and covering 11.8% of the Baltic Sea with marine protected areas.
All these examples showcase the added value of a regional approach especially to reach the SDG 14 "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development."
The HELCOM high-level session is held in advance of the upcoming UN Conference "Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14" to be held on 5-9 June 2017 in New York, co-chaired and co-funded by Sweden together with Fiji. The conference is an opportunity to share experiences from the Baltic Sea region.
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organization 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. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.