The Helsinki Commission Monitoring and Assessment Group (HELCOM MONAS) will convene a regular meeting on 11-13 April in Warsaw to present new information on sources and quantities of inputs of harmful substances into the Baltic Sea, as well their effects on the state of the marine environment.
The topmost issue on the agenda of the Meeting will be the review of the work on the development of HELCOM core indicators with associated targets reflecting good environmental status of the Baltic Sea as well as the review of the provisional Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) nutrient load reduction figures, including issues related to monitoring of nutrient loads.
HELCOM core indicators are being developed according to the request by the HELCOM 2010 Ministerial Meeting. The core indicators will compose a full follow-up system for the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, supporting also the implementation of relevant EU directives, and will be placed on the HELCOM web page by autumn 2013. Currently, 13 draft core indicators for hazardous substances, four for eutrophication and 19 for biodiversity status are under discussion and will be reviewed by this Meeting. In addition, the Meeting will consider the reporting formats and methodology to judge whether the BSAP targets for the reduction of nutrient loads have been met. The next meeting of MONAS in September 2012 will delineate the first set of HELCOM core indicators which will then be finalised by autumn 2013.
Additionally, the Meeting will consider the progress of the review of the Baltic Sea Action Plan nutrient reduction scheme. This work is based on the most recent information on nutrient loads ending up in the Baltic Sea, the PLC-5 report, scientific review of the eutrophication status targets by the HELCOM TARGREV project, as well as the modelling work done by the Baltic Nest Institute. This Meeting will discuss the details of the methodology and principles to be used for calculation of the revised maximum allowable nutrient loads as well as country-wise nutrient reduction targets. In addition, the Meeting will consider the contents of a scientific background report to be produced for the political process on the revision of the nutrient reduction scheme by autumn 2013. In this revision, not only waterborne but also atmospheric nitrogen deposition originating from emissions in the Contracting Parties will be included.
The Meeting will also consider specific issues related to monitoring of the marine environment and loads of pollutants to the Baltic Sea. The Meeting will give guidance to the recently initiated project on the revision of HELCOM’s monitoring programs, the HELCOM MORE project, as well as consider the initiation of the next project for pollution load compilation, PLC-6.
Original press release (HELCOM)
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Baltic Sea Action Plan (HELCOM)