The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission - HELCOM) is an intergovernmental organization governing the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (Helsinki Convention). A regional sea convention and a platform for environmental policy making at the regional level, HELCOM works for the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. HELCOM consists of ten members - the nine Baltic Sea countries Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, plus the European Union.
The Helsinki Convention was signed in 1974 by the Baltic Sea coastal countries to address the increasing environmental challenges from industrialisation and other human activities, and that were having a severe impact on the marine environment. The Helsinki Convention includes the protection of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution from land, air and sea. It also commits the signatories to take measures to conserve habitats and biological diversity and to ensure the sustainable use of marine resources. The Helsinki Convention was updated in 1992 to take into account the geopolitical changes and emerging environmental challenges in the region.