As of 1 July 2022, Latvia will be the Chair of HELCOM until 30 June 2024. The chairmanship rotates between Contracting Parties every two years, in alphabetical order.
Ms Evija Šmite, Deputy Director General and the Director of Fisheries Control Department, State Environmental Service of Latvia starts as the new Chair of HELCOM. She has worked on matters regarding marine environment protection and fisheries control in the public administration of Latvia since 1997.
The priorities of the Latvian Chairmanship will focus on:
- HELCOM as an effective and well-functioning organisation of regional cooperation which is capable of action, including in unforeseen and force majeure situations.
- Implementation of the updated Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP 2021), with particular attention paid to:
- protection of marine biodiversity
- advancing ecosystem based sustainable marine management by integration of environmental objectives with socio-economic goals
- Strengthening the role of regional cooperation in the context of international ocean governance.
Read more here about the Latvian priorities for HELCOM in 2022-2024.
Ms. Ilona Mendzina has been selected as the Vice-Chair. She is the Deputy Director of the Nature Protection Department, and the Head of Species and Habitats Protection Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.