In September 2020, a proposal on EUROWA integration for the Baltic Sea Action Plan was approved by the 28th HELCOM Response meeting, pending further approval at Ministerial levels within HELCOM. The proposal, developed by WWF Finland and Sea Alarm as EUROWA Secretariat, describes the need for Baltic authorities to develop robust oiled wildlife response preparedness arrangements, including the need for proper integration of the EUROWA network as a mutual assistance mechanism.
The Baltic Sea Action Plan is a high-level strategic document signed by HELCOM Ministers, that aims to achieve good environmental status for the Baltic Sea. HELCOM are currently going through a process to review and update the Action Plan, to extend it for a further decade beyond its original timeline of 2021.
The EUROWA proposal adds further weight to the campaign for Baltic authorities (and European authorities in general) to develop their emergency preparedness for wildlife incidents through concrete capacity building actions. The EUROWA proposal calls on Baltic authorities to help with the implementation of the EUROWA Charter in their countries, through developing national oiled wildlife response plans and involving wildlife response NGOs (among them the EUROWA network members) in national preparedness programmes on an official and regular basis. Exploring the interface between EUROWA expertise teams and national governments will be a key focus area in the EUROWA-2 project.