HELCOM Maritime Working Group awarded Baltic Sea Fund Prize 2017
According to the Baltic Sea Fund the HELCOM Working Group has through persistent long-term work successfully acted as a catalyst to bring about international agreements for the benefit of the Baltic Sea environment.
The Baltic Sea Fund (Östersjöfonden) based in Mariehamn, Åland, has awarded the Baltic Sea Fund Prize to individuals and organizations for significant and outstanding contribution to the Baltic Sea environment since 1990.
The HELCOM Maritime Working Group established in 1975 is an advisory body of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) which consists of representatives of coastal countries, EU as well as observer organisations (industry and environmental NGOs).
The latest achievements of the Group, highlighted by the award, include the ban of sewage discharges to international waters of the Baltic Sea and the designation of the Baltic Sea as a special area for nitrogen oxide emissions from ships exhaust gases (NECA). Both these major developments were decided by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2016 based on proposals developed within the Group.
In full the Baltic Sea Fund delegation justifies the Baltic Sea Fund Prize 2017 award as follows:
“HELCOM Maritime Working Group is rewarded with 20,000 euros for its work to reduce emissions from shipping in the Baltic Sea.
The prohibition to release sewage from ships in international waters and the implementation of the Baltic Sea as a special area in the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx Emission Control Area, NECA) to reduce the nitrogen load to the Baltic Sea noticeably, belong to the group's success in recent years.
HELCOM Maritime Working Group has worked as a driver and developed the basis for decisions made in the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
As shipping is international in its character, international cooperation is required to bring about regulation.
HELCOM Maritime Working Group has, through long-term and persistent work successfully acted as a catalyst to bring about international agreements for the benefit of the Baltic Sea environment.”