Preses relīze Environment protection

During the 9th 'Our Ocean' conference in Athens, Greece, Inga Bērziņa, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, emphasized the importance of international cooperation in reducing plastic pollution in seas and oceans. She highlighted the HELCOM regional action plan as a notable example of such collaboration.

In the discussion, the minister presented Latvia's efforts in researching plastic pollution, waste and packaging management, and reducing plastic consumption. Regarding the collaborative work of our region's countries within the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, also known as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), and the jointly developed regional action plan to reduce marine litter, the minister cited it as an example of successfully leveraging the benefits of cooperation. The minister also noted Latvia's appreciation for the United Nations' initiative to develop a new international agreement to address plastic pollution, including in marine environments.

As the Chair state of HELCOM, Latvia will host European Union member state ministers responsible for the protection of the Baltic Sea environment in Riga at the end of April. Additionally, Latvia will organize the celebratory session marking the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Convention.

During the conference, Minister I. Berzina held meetings with Theodoros Skylakakis, the Greek Minister for Environment and Energy, and Artane Rizvanolli, the Minister of Economy of Kosovo. These meetings aimed to learn from their respective countries' experiences in wind farm construction. Discussions also covered regional policy and digital development issues.

The first 'Our Ocean' conference was organized in 2014 following the initiative of then-US Secretary of State John Kerry. This year's conference placed special emphasis on issues such as reducing plastic and microplastic pollution, environmentally friendly shipping, sustainable island and coastal tourism, as well as opportunities for transitioning to greener lifestyles in the Mediterranean region's ecosystems.