What is HELMEPA?
It is the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association; the pioneering voluntary commitment of Greek seafarers and ship owners to safeguard the seas from ship-generated pollution, undertaken in Piraeus, on June 4, 1982. Under the motto “To Save the Seas”, they have consistently supported their initiative to date.
What is the principal aim of this initiative?
The human element of the Maritime Community to acquire an environmental consciousness and a spirit of safety towards achieving quality shipping, always at the service of humankind.
How is this achieved?
Through a highly-coordinated voluntary effort towards informing, updating, educating and motivating all, from ship owner to the last seafarer.
What gave birth to this initiative?
It was the acute apprehensions of the late Greek ship owner, George P. Livanos regarding the serious threat human activities pose to the world’s oceans. With the firm belief that the Greek maritime community could indeed make a positive start towards (realizing) sustainable shipping, the President of the Union of Greek Shipowners together with the Secretary General of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation, signed the Declaration of Voluntary Commitment “To Save the Seas” on 4 June 1982 as well as an Action Plan upon which the Association was founded and has been operating ever since. And in order for this initiative of Greek shipping to be (to ensure their message was) heard around the world, five internationally-recognized environmental organizations co-signed the Declaration.
What are HELMEPA’s fundamental pledges?
- Supports the aim for “Safe Ships in Clean Seas” of the International Maritime Organization.
- Operates as a private, not-for-profit and non-bureaucratic entity.
- Has as its exclusive means of income the annual fees and donations made by its members, excluding its seafarer-members.
- Cultivates and promotes an environmental consciousness across all ranks of the maritime community, using every means of information, updating and publicity.
- Encourages the compliance with both national and international laws and regulations that Greece has ratified, governing pollution prevention and safety at sea.
- Assists the Greek State in relation to international legislation on the protection of the marine environment.
- Promotes the international effort that unites environmental regulations and voluntary will towards the elimination of ship-generated pollution and the upgrading of safety at sea.
- Accepts into its membership ship owners, managing companies and ship’s agents, masters, deck and engineer officers, ship’s crew members as well as other organizations and stakeholders from the broader Greek and international maritime and business community.
- Issues a Certificate of Membership to companies and individuals who, by becoming a member, undertake to uphold the commitment to support HELMEPA’s Inaugural Declaration.
- Revokes or suspends a Certificate of Membership in the event that its holder is legally convicted of polluting and/or fails to voluntarily inform HELMEPA of this or is indifferent to the principles the Certificate of Membership represents.
- Recognizes and rewards personal or stakeholder achievements in the areas of pollution prevention and maritime safety.