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This Recommendation supersedes HELCOM Recommendation 13/12

Adopted 11 March 1997, having regard to Article 13, Paragraph b) of the Helsinki Convention                   




RECALLING Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1974 (Helsinki Convention), in which the Contracting Parties undertake to take all appropriate measures to control and minimize land-based pollution of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea Area,

HAVING REGARD to Article 3 of the Helsinki Convention, in which the Contracting Parties shall individually or jointly take all appropriate legislative, administrative or other relevant measures to prevent and abate pollution,

RECALLING FURTHER the Ministerial Declaration of 1988 and the Baltic Sea Declaration of 1990, calling, inter alia, for a substantive reduction of the inputs caused by diffuse sources,

RECOGNIZING  the fact that a substantial part of the eutrophication problems observed in the Baltic Sea Area is caused by nutrient inputs from diffuse sources, and that drained fens and bogs are an important source of nutrient discharges into the Baltic Sea,

RECOGNIZING that the 50% nutrient reduction target of the Ministerial Declaration of 1988 concerning inputs into the Baltic Sea was not achieved in most countries by 1995,

TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION that fens and bogs and other wetlands are important natural habitats for many threatened plant and animal species,

DESIRING to reduce nutrient inputs effectively,

RECOMMENDS to the Governments of the Contracting Parties that increased nutrient retention in wetland and freshwater systems should be considered through, e.g.:


(i)      restoration of shallow lakes and wetlands;


(ii)      large-scale restoration of natural water regimes in drained fens and bogs;

(iii)     encouragement of low intensity farming practices on fens and bogs used for agricultural purposes (i.e. preservation or re-establishment of natural or high water regimes, renunciation of fertilization and ploughing);


(iv)     allowing natural and re-establishing of the meandering of watercourses, inter alia, taking into account the infrastructure, by means of a combination of green fallowing and the restoration of watercourses;


(v)     introduction of environmentally sound practices for maintenance of watercourses;


(vi)     programmes should be developed and action taken to implement the above mentioned measures and to report on the effect of these measures or any other measures taken to reduce nutrient discharges,


RECOMMENDS FURTHER that the action taken by the Contracting Parties, e.g. economic incentives, recommendations, regulations, agricultural advice, should be reported to the Commission in 1999 and thereafter every three years.