United Nations
Identification of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSA) in the Baltic Sea
by Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) (Intergovernmental organization)
The commitment is to identify Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSA) in the Baltic Sea. A regional workshop will be organized in 2018 for this purpose.
The EBSAs are expected to contribute to fulfilling the regional goal of drawing up and applying maritime spatial plans throughout the Baltic Sea region which are coherent across borders and apply the ecosystem approach.

Marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea are taken into account in maritime spatial planning. The areal coverage of HELCOM Marine Protected Areas reached almost 12% of the Baltic Sea in 2016.
EBSA can provide further useful information that can be used for actions to safeguard the species and habitats in these areas including within spatial planning processes as may be decided individually or collectively by the countries concerned. Other potential benefits of EBSA are new possibilities for bilateral collaboration and protection of transboundary marine areas.
Identification of EBSAs will be done according to the established scientific criteria adopted by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The EBSA workshop will be hosted by Finland and convened by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in cooperation with HELCOM.
Progress reports
February 2018
A regional workshop resulting in identification of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas in the Baltic Sea.
Staff / Technical expertise
Finland will host the workshop. National experts of the Baltic Sea countries will take part in the preparatory process and attend the Baltic EBSA workshop. HELCOM Secretariat will contribute with data existing in HELCOM and will support organizing the wo
Staff / Technical expertise
Finland offers to cover the cost of hosting the Baltic EBSA workshop including of scientific and technical support to be provided to the workshop.
Basic information
Time-frame: May 2017 - February 2017
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden (governments), European Union and The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary, monika.stankiewicz@helcom.fi, 00358408402471
Helsinki, Finland
Other SDGs
United Nations