The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) is a non-governmental, non-profit-making organization founded in 1982 by Greek shipowners and seafarers, with the mission "To Save the Seas". HELMEPA, has grown to be a sustainable Multi-Community Network of likeminded stakeholders that fosters joint action, worthwhile collaboration schemes in order to seek and achieve sustainable solutions for a healthy planet. Its membership community consists of 1,955 Greek-owned vessels of all types, 230 shipping companies and organizations in Greece and abroad and 14,000+ Greek seafarers and maritime professionals.
Its mission is to develop and nurture an environmental consciousness within shipping by informing and educating the human element, ‘from shipowner to seafarer’, thus supporting the effective implementation of international maritime legislation aiming at pollution prevention and safety at sea. Educational and refresher training initiatives are compiled and offered to the members of the Association by HELMEPA’s Maritime Training Centre for Pollution Prevention, Safety at Sea and Environmental Awareness. These include an Annual Refresher Training Program consisting of seminars and webinars, attended to date by more than 20,000 merchant marine officers and companies’ shore-based personnel, technical publications, e-bulletins and ship-board motivational material, an e-learning platform and a wide range of seminars at the Centre’s Full Mission Bridge Simulator.
As Technical Advisor of the Greek Delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Partner of the United Nations Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP), it supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is actively involved in international fora, with proposals, projects and distinctions on marine and coastal protection, safety in the shipping industry and environmental awareness. As a recognition for its impactful action since 1982, HELMEPA won the Sustainability Award at the Lloyd's List Greek Shipping Awards 2021.
In terms of public awareness, HELMEPA has been implementing since 1983 in Greece annual campaigns for Clean Seas and Beaches starring the Association’s iconic “Seagull” and including permanent and mobile environmental exhibitions, workshops and two environmental education programs: “HELMEPA Junior”, approved by the Ministry of Education, for 5-13 years old kids and the “Cadets” for youth 13+ years old. In total, more than 575,000 youth and 7,700 teachers in 2,500 schools throughout Greece have been engaged in HELMEPA’s activities towards protecting the marine environment, thus promoting Goal 14 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.