Policy Area (PA) ‘Hazards’ focuses on reducing the use and impact of hazardous substances.
Because of its natural features the Baltic Sea is particularly vulnerable to pollution by hazardous substances. The large catchment area, small water volume and slow water exchange make the shallow and semi-enclosed Baltic Sea predisposed for high concentrations and long term accumulation of chemical pollutants, as well as impacts on the environment. The overarching targets of the policy area ‘Hazards’ are the same as the environmental targets for hazardous substances set by HELCOM, i.e. Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels; all fish are safe to eat; and healthy wildlife. The task to protect the Baltic Sea from pollution by hazardous substances is multifaceted and requires joint efforts by the bordering countries and stakeholders at all organizational levels.
The Policy Area formulates the following goals:
· Develop and implement nonregulatory measures and Baltic Sea region-wide policies to reduce the use and prevent emissions of hazardous substances to the Baltic environment.
· Mitigation and remediation of historic contamination in the Baltic Sea region still causing negative effects in the Baltic ecosystem.
· Support implementation and compliance with EU Regulations and international agreements.
· Increase the knowledge about effects and sources of specifically identified and emerging pollution problems relevant for the Baltic Sea, and support the development of innovative and cost-effective management options.
PA Hazards is coordinated by Sweden.
Read more about the Policy Area Hazards at their website.