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Press release

New HELCOM book takes readers on a grand tour of the Baltic Sea Protected Areas


Pearls-cover-72.jpgHelsinki, 26 November (HELCOM Information Service) ­– The Helsinki Commission today announced the publication of its new book ”Pearls of the Baltic Sea”. This first ever all-regional overview takes readers on an exciting, grand tour around the Baltic Sea to discover the about 100 marine and coastal landscapes forming the string of pearls that is the network of Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs).

A journey to the mosaic of coastal landscapes and underwater worlds is also a journey through the fascinating history of the Baltic Sea region. It is a beautifully illustrated field lesson in geo­logy, geomorphology, glaciology, plate tectonics, brackish-water ecology and much more.

The Baltic Sea and the land around it were shaped in an interaction between colossal forces of nature. All the stages in this dramatic process played a part in creating the features and characteristics we can see today: the nature and ecosystems of the Baltic Sea region. Changes and transformations have taken place over thousands, millions, indeed billions, of years, and formed special, in some cases globally unique, formations and living environments to enjoy, cherish and protect.

“A tour of these areas is also a reminder of how much is at stake for the future,” says Anne Christine Brusendorff, Executive Secretary of the Helsinki Commission. “The Baltic Sea Protected Areas delight the eye and the soul, and at the same time constitute essen­tial habitats for plants and animals. Alarmingly, however, the natural values on the Baltic Sea coast and in the sea itself are at risk. If just taken for granted, these natural pearls will gradually lose their lustre.  As nature conservation is only partly about protecting nature for the sake of nature itself, preserving and taking good care of a generously extended and complete network of areas is not just a matter of maintaining the grand­ness and beauty of the highly special environments in the Baltic Sea region. It is, indeed, networking for life.”

Photographers from all countries around the Baltic Sea have contributed well over 180 photos (many of them fascinating underwater images), several of which have not previously been published for a wider audience. As the photos in the book are from areas with which the photographers are well acquainted and, in many cases, in which they also work as professional nature conserva­tionists, readers of this 200-page hardcover book will see a selection of images with an experienced yet personal touch.

The popular science story of the history of the Baltic Sea region – this young sea in an ancient cradle – and its natural environments created throughout dramatic events is complemented by facts and figures about the system of Baltic Sea biotopes and biotope complexes, and about the Baltic Sea in general.

The authors and editors of the book are Swedish environment and science writers Britt Hägerhäll Aniansson and Bertil Hägerhäll, in close collaboration with a team of HELCOM experts.

For more information and to order the book, please visit www.helcom.fi/press_office/en_GB/bookorder/ or call +358 (0)207 412 649. To receive a copy of the book for review in your publication, please submit a request by e-mail. To see the PDF file of the book, click here.


Note to Editors:

The Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation between the countries bordering the sea - Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area," more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.


For more information, please contact:

Nikolay Vlasov

Information Secretary

Tel: + 358 46 850 9196

Fax: + 358 (0)207 412 645

E-mail: nikolay.vlasov@helcom.fi