German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (Helsinki Convention) (1992)

Logo Helsinki Convention

Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area


Contracting parties:

All nine Baltic Sea riparian states (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden) and the EU.


While the precursor 1974 Helsinki Convention was concerned primarily with issues of technical pollution control and the pollution of the Baltic Sea as such, the 1992 "New Helsinki Convention" is concerned with the entire marine environment of the Baltic Sea area. Its purpose is to prevent and eliminate pollution in order to promote the ecological restoration of the Baltic Sea area and the preservation of its ecological balance. Its geographical scope covers not only the entire Baltic Sea including the seafloor and coastal zones, but also its drainage area.


To attain the joint conservation goals, the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) was created. This body meets annually. Recommendations on environmental and conservation issues which are to be implemented by the parties are an important instrument of HELCOM. The commission is supported by working groups on the various aspects of the convention, such as HELCOM-HABITAT, which deals with nature conservation and biological diversity. Further activities include monitoring programmes and status reports. Important outcomes of conservation activities include the development of a system of Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs) and the production of a first red list of endangered habitat types of the Baltic Sea.


Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission
Katajanokanaituri 6 B
00160 Helsinki, Finland
Tel.: +358 9 6220 220
Fax.: +358 9 622 02239

BfN activities:

BfN takes part in the Nature Conservation and ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) working group (= HELCOM HABITAT), in meetings of the Helsinki Commission and in meetings of heads of delegation.

Last Change: 26/03/2018