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HELCOM Recommendation 28E/9


Adopted 15 November 2007, having regard to Article 20, Paragraph 1 b) of the Helsinki Convention





RECALLING Article 3 of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992 (Helsinki Convention), in which the Contracting Parties declare the application of the precautionary principle, and Article 15 in which the Contracting Parties agree to individually and jointly take all appropriate measures, with respect to the Baltic Sea Area and its coastal ecosystems influenced by the Baltic Sea, to conserve natural habitats and biological diversity and to protect ecological processes,

RECALLING FURTHER HELCOM Recommendation 24/10 on implementation of integrated marine and coastal management of human activities in the Baltic Sea Area and to promote integrated management of human activities having impacts on the marine environment,

RECOGNISING that the network of Baltic Sea Protected Areas forms an integral part of the broad-scale spatial planning, WE STRESS that the Contracting Parties must fulfil their obligations under the joint 2003 HELCOM/OSPAR Marine Protected Areas Working Programme by 2010,

BEING CONCERNED about the increasing intensity of human activities in marine and coastal areas causing threats to the environment,


a) the Baltic Sea marine and coastal areas possess a unique biodiversity and resources, the use and protection of which requires special, sustainable and co-ordinated planning and new approaches to the management of human activities;

b) the Ecosystem Approach calls for cross- sectoral management of human activities;

c) the improper use of the marine and coastal areas may result in irreversible changes or long-lasting damage, and thus could affect the sustainable use of marine resources by future generations;

d) marine broad-scale spatial planning is an overarching spatial management method providing tools for comprehensive and integrated coastal and marine management,

BEING AWARE that broad-scale marine spatial planning can help in meeting ecosystem-based management objectives, in reducing user conflicts, and in reducing adverse impacts of human uses now and in the future,

BEING CONCERNED that marine and coastal spatial planning is not carried out on a whole-Baltic scale, in a way that safeguards the marine and terrestrial biodiversity,

RECOGNISING that several components of broad-scale spatial planning are already in place within the Baltic Sea Area, e.g. Marine Protected Areas, Traffic Separation Schemes and the EU and EU-Russian regulations on fisheries management (areas closed to fisheries),


a) the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe (Recommendation 2002/413/EC);

b) Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE);

c) the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Framework for Community Action in the field of Marine Environmental Policy (Marine Strategy Directive);

d) the Blue Paper on a Future Maritime Policy for the European Union (Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas);

e) the 1991 Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention),

WELCOMING furthermore the activities currently carried out in the Baltic Sea region by several HELCOM Contracting Parties, and within international initiatives, such as VASAB 2010*, Baltic 21 as well as recognising results of INTERREG Projects,


a) most of the Contracting Parties have national legislation and policies regarding integrated management of human activities impacting marine and coastal areas,

b) national agencies, private parties and NGOs have roles, interests, concerns and obligations regarding the marine and coastal areas that differ from one another as well as between countries,

ENSURING that all Contracting Parties have free access to the HELCOM GIS database and permission to use the data for the spatial planning activities in their countries,

RECOMMENDS that the Contracting Parties:

a) jointly develop the marine and coastal broad-scale spatial planning common principles to facilitate the protection and sustainable use of the Baltic Sea;

b) fill in data gaps in spatial data e.g. on marine and coastal biodiversity, natural resources, use of land and water areas, demography, traffic, shipping;

c) develop joint solutions to the problems associated with access to spatial data;

d) provide HELCOM and other relevant parties with the necessary spatial data for marine and coastal broad-scale spatial planning;

e) identify and map interacting and/or conflicting interests, obligations and uses of the sea, primarily to broaden the HELCOM GIS as a data source and an effective tool to be used in marine broad-scale spatial planning (compatible with the European Environment Agency database including spatial data);

f) carry out consultations jointly concerning activities which may have transboundary negative effects on the environment and coastal populations.

The implementation of this Recommendation should be evaluated at regular intervals.


*  e.g. the VASAB Recommendation for spatial planning of the coastal zone in the Baltic Sea Region.