• 2020 July 8 12:18

    Germany takes over HELCOM chairmanship

    As of 1 July 2020, Germany has taken over the chairmanship of HELCOM from Finland for a period of two years, setting goals and priorities for combating the threats and pressures impacting the Baltic Sea, HELCOM says in its press release.

    “The overarching goal remains the best possible protection of the Baltic Sea,” said Svenja Schulze, Minister of the Environment of Germany, in her video address introducing the German chairmanship of HELCOM, further adding that all efforts should also consider aspects of “sustainability, relevance for the climate and biological diversity, and suitability.”

    As is customary for the chairing Party, Germany has identified several strategic directions for its chairmanship of HELCOM, focussing on strengthening marine biodiversity and addressing pressing challenges such as climate change, munitions on the seafloor and underwater noise.

    Germany will also lead the finalization of the update of the Baltic Seas Action Plan (BSAP) and its implementation, as well as devote attention to strengthening regional cooperation and ocean governance. Germany also intends to “make HELCOM fit for the future”, notably by introducing more resource-saving and efficient working methods.

    Lilian Busse from the German Environment Agency (UBA) has been designated by Germany as its Chair for HELCOM. Before joining UBA as Head of the Division on Environmental Health and Protection of Ecosystems, Busse worked at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Overall, she has close to 20 years of experience working on marine environmental protection and related matters.

    “Beside the technical and political goals Germany has planned for its [chairmanship], I will focus on the Baltic Sea Action Plan,” said Busse in her joint video address with the HELCOM Vice-Chairs chosen by Germany to second her.

    A particularity of its chairmanship, Germany will, in addition to the Chairperson, also have two Vice-Chairs hailing from the two German federal states bordering the Baltic Sea, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The Vice-Chairs are Johannes Oelerich (Schleswig-Holstein) for the first year, and Andreas Röpke (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) for the second year. 

    “Germany is taking over the chairmanship as a team,” said Busse.

    The chairing Party usually sets the strategic directions for HELCOM under its tenure, and convenes and chairs the meetings of the Helsinki Commission and the Heads of Delegation, the highest decision-taking bodies in HELCOM. Germany will furthermore host the next Ministerial Meeting in October 2021.

    The German priorities for its chairmanship of HELCOM are: Working together for our sea – the Baltic Sea; Strengthening ocean governance; Updating and implementing the BSAP – making progress on specific requirements; Trying new solutions for well-known, pressing challenges; Strengthening marine biodiversity; and Understanding and responding to climate change and the Baltic Sea.

    Prior to Germany, Finland chaired HELCOM from 2018 to 2020 and had set its own priorities on advancing the BSAP update process, the reduction of nutrient inputs, the effects of climate change, and the links between HELCOM and the UN Agenda 2030, especially the integration of SDG 14 in HELCOM processes. 

    “On the Finnish priorities, we committed to leading the updating the Baltic Sea Action Plan and to finding common solutions to formulate an ambitious and realistic updated plan,” said Saara Bäck, the outgoing Chair of HELCOM, adding that “[we] achieved just that, with the update process well on track despite the crisis having hit hard across the entire Baltic Sea region – a feat that I cannot be prouder of and which I would personally like to thank the entire HELCOM community for.”

    Under the Finnish chairmanship, HELCOM notably agreed on the vision and objectives of its Regional Nutrient Recycling Strategy, crucial for closing nutrient loops, reducing nutrient surpluses and avoiding nutrient runoff to the sea – the main cause of eutrophication.  

    Together with Baltic Earth, HELCOM also launched the EN CLIME network to gain a better understanding of how climate change affects the Baltic, with a view to develop policy responses meant to strengthen the sea’s resilience.

    The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – also known as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) – is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) and a regional sea convention in the Baltic Sea area, consisting of ten members: the nine Baltic Sea countries Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, plus the European Union. A platform for environmental policy making at the regional level, HELCOM works for a healthy Baltic Sea. Its mandate stems from a regional treaty, the Helsinki Convention, whose implementation it oversees. The HELCOM Secretariat is located in Helsinki, Finland.

    The Helsinki Convention was signed in 1974 by the Baltic Sea coastal countries to address the increasing environmental challenges from industrialisation and other human activities, and that were having a severe impact on the marine environment. The Helsinki Convention includes the protection of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution from land, air and sea. It also commits the signatories to take measures to conserve habitats and biological diversity and to ensure the sustainable use of marine resources. The Helsinki Convention was updated in 1992 to take into account the geopolitical changes and emerging environmental challenges in the region. The current version was ratified in 2000.

    To help reach its environmental objectives, HELCOM has established the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) in 2007. The BSAP is HELCOM’s strategic programme of measure and actions for good status of the Baltic Sea’s environment. The BSAP’s current focus areas are eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity and maritime activities. The BSAP will be updated in 2021, to adjust the current actions and to widen its scope on issues such as climate change, marine litter, loss of seabed and underwater noise.




2020 August 11

09:33 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 10
09:08 Average spot market price for Russian M100 product soars to 11,582 rub/mt

2020 August 10

17:20 HMM joins forces with CMA CGM on TTI Algeciras operation
17:19 Commercial Port of Vladivostok's seven-month container volumes rose 8.1%
17:12 APM Terminals to acquire ALC´s container terminal in Aarhus
17:06 IMO sets remote meeting plan for September-December 2020
16:57 Capesize bulker “Wakashio” aground off Mauritius
16:47 Freight traffic at Russian seaports in Jan-Jul fell 2.1%
15:58 Seven-month coal throughput at Port Vysotsky falls 7.5%
14:27 Vostochnaya Verf launches Grachonok-class anti-saboteur boat (Project 21980) for Pacific Fleet
13:28 ONEGO Shipyard launches a self-propelled hopper barge "Morskaya"
13:22 IMO report on GHG finds a decoupling between trade and emissions in shipping
12:20 Anders Opedal taking over as president and CEO of Equinor from 2 November 2020
10:21 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Melia with Ausca
10:17 Containerships and APM Terminals Gijon form eco-friendly intermodal solution connecting Spain, UK and Ireland
09:31 Crude futures prices take upward trend
09:06 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 7
08:58 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug10

2020 August 9

16:21 MPA launches six next-generation patrol craft to grow its frontline capabilities
15:35 Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding prepares for Navy frigate work
14:03 NCLH reports Q2, 2020 financial results
13:27 USCG Cutter Legare offloads nearly 5,000 lbs. of cocaine, marijuana
12:49 ACBL names Mike Ellis as new CEO
11:17 POAL and ship’s master fined $432,400 for excessive speed

2020 August 8

15:32 NOAA, U.S. Navy will increase nation’s unmanned maritime systems operations
14:31 Sanmars Sirapinar commences operations in Baltic Sea
13:42 USCG accepts newest fast response cutter
12:03 SCHOTTEL propulsion for first-class expedition cruise vessels
11:18 Australia’s new icebreaker on the move

2020 August 7

18:32 Maersk revamps Europe to Middle East & Indian Subcontinent network
18:00 Rosmorport's to beef up its icebreaking fleet to 38 units in 2020
17:00 World’s first zero-emissions top handlers performing well at Port of Los Angeles
16:01 Port of HaminaKotka seven-month volume fell 16.7%
15:09 Launching of Russia’s first LNG-powered passenger ship Chaika held at Zelenodolsk Shipyard
14:21 North Carolina Ports records year-over-year increases in Fiscal Year 2020
14:09 Cargo traffic at Port Kavkaz in January-July rose 9%
13:21 ABP invests in Port of Lowestoft to support UK Southern North Sea energy sector
13:19 Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard hosts launching ceremony for the RSD59 series MS Pola Marina
12:49 Rosmorport plans expansion of its fleet by 24 newbuilds
12:08 Jan De Nul signs contract with Dogger Bank Wind Farm
11:22 The second tanker manufactured in Azerbaijan launched for the next stage of construction
10:37 MSC’s Golden Horn service links China, Korea & Russia’s east coast
09:59 Ecochlor receives IMO BWMS Code Type Approval
09:51 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 07
09:16 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 6
09:12 Crude futures prices turn down again

2020 August 6

19:00 FSL Trust agrees to sell three containerships
18:27 Sumitomo Heavy Industries has been granted an “Approval in Principle” for a medium-size high-pressure LNG dual-fueled tanker
18:21 Port of Rostov-on-Don seven-month volume rises 4% to 12.7 million tonnes
18:07 ICTSI 1H2020 net income down 12% to US$113.4mln
17:26 Royal IHC awarded major contract for supply of FPSO equipment for Yinson
17:25 Vodohod’s newbuild Mustai Karim arrives at Saint Petersburg
16:36 Nevsky Shipyard launches the Pavel Leonov, last ship of PV22 series duo
16:15 North Sea Port, Flemish Waterways plc, Port of Antwerp, Port of Oostende, Port of Zeebrugge, the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services, and the Joint Nautical Management to introduce SWINg in 2021
15:43 Zelenodolsk Shipyard to host tomorrow launching and keel-laying ceremonies
15:41 Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships Port Network was established in Singapore
14:27 MABUX Bunker Weekly Review
13:54 Tolyattii bound heavylift project cargo successfully handled at Port Bronka
13:27 Alaska Marine Lines rail barges upgrade ballast systems
12:46 Davie confirms polar leadership with icebreaker launch