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40 years of cooperation in protecting the Baltic Sea

A Jubilee Session on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Signing of the 1974 Helsinki Convention was held in Helsinki, Finland (5 March 2014). 

The Jubilee Session was attended by several high level guests including the former President of Finland, Ms. Tarja Halonen, Minister of the Environment of Finland, Mr. Ville Niinistö, and Head of the Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems Branch at UNEP, Ms. Jacqueline Alder. The Jubilee Session was welcomed by President Halonen who congratulated HELCOM for its achievements over the past 40 years but also recognised that further efforts were needed to reach the objectives of HELCOM and the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The welcome address was followed by Minister Niinistö, who in his key note speech highlighted, among other things, the importance of maritime spatial planning and the use of an ecosystem-based approach to the conservation of marine ecosystems and sustainable management of marine ecosystem services.

Marianne Kettunen, Senior Policy Analyst on IEEP’s Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Programme, gave a presentation at the Jubilee Session on the key insights regarding the understanding and valuation of marine ecosystem services. In her presentation she emphasised the need to improve the understanding and systematic assessment of ecosystem services, especially by duly recognising non-market values. She also stressed that a healthy and well-functioning Baltic Sea, underpinned by the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, is key for maintaining and benefiting from ecosystem services.

More on the HELCOM Jubilee Session, including presentations and video coverage, can be found here.

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