Mandate for the Nordic Working Group for Oceans and Coastal Areas (NHK) for 2019 to 2024

Havsbild tagen av Johannes Jansson. 

Havsbild tagen av Johannes Jansson. 

Johannes Jansson/
The Nordic Working Group for Oceans and Coastal Areas (NHK) shall contribute to the ecosystem-based management of the oceans and to the limiting of the release, toxins, microplastics and nutrients. The group shall contribute to knowledge about the impact of the climate on coasts and oceans.

1. Aims and objectives for the working group

The aim of the NHK is to contribute to the ecosystem-based management of the oceans in order to achieve a balanced ecosystem. Against this background, the group shall work to limit the supply of nutrients and environmental pollutants into the oceans and along coasts, as well as reducing the release of waste, including plastic and microplastics. In addition, the group shall contribute to knowledge about the relationship between the oceans and climate. Within its field of work, the NHK must contribute to the fulfilment of relevant global sustainable development goals for Agenda 2030.

2. Remit

The working group shall contribute to the implementation of the Programme for Nordic Co-operation on the Environment and Climate, 2019 to 2024. The group also has a specific responsibility for goals and priorities in the programme under chapter six on oceans and coasts. The group shall also support other sectors and co-operation programmes where relevant and where anchored in ÄK-MK.  

In accordance with the group’s main objective, the NHK shall administer the Copenhagen Agreement on combating oil pollution and other harmful substances.

The group must work with issues that are relevant, a political priority, and current.

The group’s project work shall adhere to the guidelines of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The group shall contribute to international knowledge and development within its field, including within the EU, regionally, and globally.

3. Co-operation with other working groups and sectors

The group shall prioritise and identify synergies for co-operation with the other working groups in the environment and climate sector.

The group shall work cross-sectorally for the integration of an environmental and climate focus in other sectors, in order

to achieve strategic synergy benefits. This also applies to collaboration with research environments, the business community, and civil society.

4. Composition of the working group

The Nordic countries appoint the members of the working group. The members shall represent national positions and ensure support for the working group’s activities at national level. The Nordic Council of Ministers periodically participates in the working group’s meetings as an observer.


The chairperson rotates. The chairperson is elected for a two-year period and may be re-elected for a further two years. The chairperson, co-ordinator, and working group members have individual roles and responsibilities. The group can set up subgroups, which must be approved in advance by ÄK-MK.

5. The group’s secretariat function

The group’s secretariat function is managed by a national authority in one of the Nordic countries, which acts as the administrative body for the secretariat. The group will have at least one permanent co-ordinator. The administrative body can choose to distribute the work between several employees.

6. Dissemination of information and communication

The group shall work based on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ communication strategy, section 7.5 of the co-operation programme. The group’s projects shall have clear communication plans and target groups, which are defined in the project development phase.


The group’s project results shall be made available by way of targeted communication and appropriate communication strategies and media. Reports are to be published in English, where appropriate.

7. Reporting and budget

The group shall prepare a work programme for the coming year, including a budget for the project activities and secretariat costs. Each year, the group shall submit an annual report including financial accounts for the project activities and secretariat activities for the year.

In both the work programmes and the annual reports, the group shall report on collaboration with the sector’s other working groups, as well as the added value that such collaboration entails.


The activities of any subgroups shall also be included in the work programmes and annual reports. The work programmes and annual reports must be approved by ÄK-MK.

The working group’s project budget shall be paid out incrementally in accordance with the guidelines of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Costs for members’ work and participation in working group meetings are covered by the respective country.

8. Mandate period

This mandate runs from 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2024.

ÄK-MK has approved this mandate. ÄK-MK is entitled to amend the mandate during this period. The working group is entitled to propose changes to ÄK-MK.