Over the last year, HELCOM Contracting Parties have intensively revised the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) set to be adopted by all Baltic Sea countries and the European Union on 20 October 2021 with the goal to reach a healthy Baltic Sea. Despite this revision, NGOs and scientists note a worrying lack of ambition and commitment of the HELCOM Contracting Parties as actions fall short and target years are pushed back. The message from scientists is clear; with accelerated climate change and loss of biodiversity, we are at an environmental tipping point that will have social and economic repercussions for generations to come. The conclusions of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report show that we need to intensify our efforts to minimize human-induced eutrophication, protect and restore Baltic Sea habitats, and adapt the future climate scenarios which will heavily influence the state of the Baltic Sea in the future. In order for the Baltic Sea environment to improve, concrete political targets need to be set that significantly reduce the cumulative, negative impacts from human activities and support the development of a minimal impact, climate-resilient and zero-carbon world.
Ahead of the next HELCOM Heads of Delegation meeting in September, WWF along with NGOs and scientists have sent a letter asking the Contracting Parties to agree on a 2021 HELCOM BSAP and Ministerial Statement that sets the political ambition required for the coming 9 years.