• 2020 July 8 12:18

    Germany takes over HELCOM chairmanship

    As of 1 July 2020, Germany has taken over the chairmanship of HELCOM from Finland for a period of two years, setting goals and priorities for combating the threats and pressures impacting the Baltic Sea, HELCOM says in its press release.

    “The overarching goal remains the best possible protection of the Baltic Sea,” said Svenja Schulze, Minister of the Environment of Germany, in her video address introducing the German chairmanship of HELCOM, further adding that all efforts should also consider aspects of “sustainability, relevance for the climate and biological diversity, and suitability.”

    As is customary for the chairing Party, Germany has identified several strategic directions for its chairmanship of HELCOM, focussing on strengthening marine biodiversity and addressing pressing challenges such as climate change, munitions on the seafloor and underwater noise.

    Germany will also lead the finalization of the update of the Baltic Seas Action Plan (BSAP) and its implementation, as well as devote attention to strengthening regional cooperation and ocean governance. Germany also intends to “make HELCOM fit for the future”, notably by introducing more resource-saving and efficient working methods.

    Lilian Busse from the German Environment Agency (UBA) has been designated by Germany as its Chair for HELCOM. Before joining UBA as Head of the Division on Environmental Health and Protection of Ecosystems, Busse worked at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Overall, she has close to 20 years of experience working on marine environmental protection and related matters.

    “Beside the technical and political goals Germany has planned for its [chairmanship], I will focus on the Baltic Sea Action Plan,” said Busse in her joint video address with the HELCOM Vice-Chairs chosen by Germany to second her.

    A particularity of its chairmanship, Germany will, in addition to the Chairperson, also have two Vice-Chairs hailing from the two German federal states bordering the Baltic Sea, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The Vice-Chairs are Johannes Oelerich (Schleswig-Holstein) for the first year, and Andreas Röpke (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) for the second year. 

    “Germany is taking over the chairmanship as a team,” said Busse.

    The chairing Party usually sets the strategic directions for HELCOM under its tenure, and convenes and chairs the meetings of the Helsinki Commission and the Heads of Delegation, the highest decision-taking bodies in HELCOM. Germany will furthermore host the next Ministerial Meeting in October 2021.

    The German priorities for its chairmanship of HELCOM are: Working together for our sea – the Baltic Sea; Strengthening ocean governance; Updating and implementing the BSAP – making progress on specific requirements; Trying new solutions for well-known, pressing challenges; Strengthening marine biodiversity; and Understanding and responding to climate change and the Baltic Sea.

    Prior to Germany, Finland chaired HELCOM from 2018 to 2020 and had set its own priorities on advancing the BSAP update process, the reduction of nutrient inputs, the effects of climate change, and the links between HELCOM and the UN Agenda 2030, especially the integration of SDG 14 in HELCOM processes. 

    “On the Finnish priorities, we committed to leading the updating the Baltic Sea Action Plan and to finding common solutions to formulate an ambitious and realistic updated plan,” said Saara Bäck, the outgoing Chair of HELCOM, adding that “[we] achieved just that, with the update process well on track despite the crisis having hit hard across the entire Baltic Sea region – a feat that I cannot be prouder of and which I would personally like to thank the entire HELCOM community for.”

    Under the Finnish chairmanship, HELCOM notably agreed on the vision and objectives of its Regional Nutrient Recycling Strategy, crucial for closing nutrient loops, reducing nutrient surpluses and avoiding nutrient runoff to the sea – the main cause of eutrophication.  

    Together with Baltic Earth, HELCOM also launched the EN CLIME network to gain a better understanding of how climate change affects the Baltic, with a view to develop policy responses meant to strengthen the sea’s resilience.

    The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – also known as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) – is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) and a regional sea convention in the Baltic Sea area, consisting of ten members: the nine Baltic Sea countries Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, plus the European Union. A platform for environmental policy making at the regional level, HELCOM works for a healthy Baltic Sea. Its mandate stems from a regional treaty, the Helsinki Convention, whose implementation it oversees. The HELCOM Secretariat is located in Helsinki, Finland.

    The Helsinki Convention was signed in 1974 by the Baltic Sea coastal countries to address the increasing environmental challenges from industrialisation and other human activities, and that were having a severe impact on the marine environment. The Helsinki Convention includes the protection of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution from land, air and sea. It also commits the signatories to take measures to conserve habitats and biological diversity and to ensure the sustainable use of marine resources. The Helsinki Convention was updated in 1992 to take into account the geopolitical changes and emerging environmental challenges in the region. The current version was ratified in 2000.

    To help reach its environmental objectives, HELCOM has established the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) in 2007. The BSAP is HELCOM’s strategic programme of measure and actions for good status of the Baltic Sea’s environment. The BSAP’s current focus areas are eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity and maritime activities. The BSAP will be updated in 2021, to adjust the current actions and to widen its scope on issues such as climate change, marine litter, loss of seabed and underwater noise.




2020 August 13

20:58 Rosmorrechflot promotes Stanislav Uryupin to Port of Novorossiysk Harbourmaster
18:31 Glavgosexpertiza gives nod to Sovetskaya Gavan LPG terminal project
18:06 Global Industry Alliance issues Just-In-Time Arrival Guide
17:36 HMM Rotterdam en route to Rotterdam
17:18 Ust-Luga Multipurpose Reloading Complex half-year cargo volume down 9% year-on-year
17:06 The operational situation in the port of Beirut is back to normal
16:48 TCSP Group half-year throughput grows 11.4%
16:31 Kalmar service expertise to enhance safety, performance and productivity on WWO’s American routes from Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama
16:12 CMA CGM announces PSS from North Europe (except France) to Australia & New Zealand
15:26 Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government opens multi million pound bulks terminal at Teesport
15:21 St. Petersburg set to create infrastructure for all-electric passenger vessels
14:39 First supply of bunker fuel by Gazpromneft Marine Bunker to the brand new cruise ship Mustai Karim
13:52 MABUX releases weekly review of global bunker market
13:21 VIKING delivers first of ambulance boat trio for Hellenic Coastguard
12:32 Grain exports via Krasnodar Krai based seaports in Jan-Jul jump 32%
12:14 Port of Oakland import cargo volume grew 6.4 percent in July
11:33 MacGregor receives EUR 18 million RoRo orders from Japan
10:52 Australia authorities issue fumigation requirements for the 2020/2021 high risk season
10:17 Sea Port of St. Petersburg half-year cargo volume rose 3%
10:14 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 13
09:52 Crude futures prices retreat
09:32 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 12
08:26 ME-GI engine sails through sea trials

2020 August 12

18:57 Risavika LNG index for September up by 8.9 % week on week
18:27 Andreas Rieckhof new Chairman of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH Supervisory Board
18:08 At the three Hamburg container terminals throughput volume down 12.0 % in H1 2020
18:07 Sri Lanka Ports Authority assures safe handling of dangerous cargo under UN regulations
17:47 Rosmorport’s Azov-Black Sea branch adds TSHD Sommers to its fleet
17:43 Boluda Towage Europe takes on two new tugs from Damen Shipyards Group
16:49 Investors set to inject in excess of RUB 19 bn in federal port infrastructure facilities development
15:44 MoD eyes placing more orders for the Steregushchiy class corvettes with Amur Shipyard
15:17 Joint R&D Starts for Use of Ammonia in Marine Transportation to Reduce GHG Emissions
14:47 CMA CGM announces PSS from Asia to North Europe
14:21 MST wins contract for building 19m high-speed patrol craft duo for the Royal Navy
14:03 MOL issues an update on the Capesize bulker "Wakashio" aground off Mauritius
13:20 Port of Kiel constructs the new port apron
12:01 THE Alliance announces COVID-19 response measures for September 2020
11:57 Northern Sea Shipping acquires the MV Siyaniye Severa
10:36 LNG vessel completes 10,000th Neopanamax transit at the Panama Canal
10:02 Crude futures prices continue upward trend
09:32 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 11
09:00 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 12

2020 August 11

18:07 Saigon Newport chooses Kalmar Essential Terminal Tractor for Cat Lai Terminal
17:43 Global Industry Alliance developes Just In Time Arrival Guide
17:36 Maersk Tankers hires Eva Birgitte Bisgaard as its new Chief Commercial Officer
17:00 CMA CGM announces PSS from Asia to North Europe
16:35 NORDEN adds 2 vessels to the existing newbuilding contract with NACKS
16:22 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port’s handled volumes in Jan-Jul dropped 12.7%
15:34 PETRONAS Research joins FASTsubsea’s subsea pump development
15:18 SCF Group's Igor Tonkovidov: Shipowners’ ability to compete with each other will be increasingly determined by their readiness to adopt advanced technologies
14:03 Houlder wins contract for Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new purpose-built vessel
13:39 IMO assists in MV Wakashio oil spill response
13:11 Cameron LNG Train 3 begins commercial operation
12:56 Seven-month crude exports via CPC Marine Terminal fell 1.4%
12:29 Port of St. Peterburg Captain releases new allowable drafts in Greater Port St.Petersburg basin
12:05 The Standard Club issues Guidelines for the use of electronic record books (ERBs) under MARPOL
11:08 Port of Ust-Luga based Multipurpose Reloading Complex steps up its efforts to protect the environment
11:04 Transhipment in North Sea Canal ports down by more than 10 percent due to coronavirus crisis
10:31 CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal launches new direct services to Europe and Indian Subcontinent
10:15 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 11