In 2007, all Baltic Sea countries joined Baltic Sea Action Plan (BASP) to achieve a healthy marine environment. The results are disappointing: all countries are behind agreed schedules despite of the urgency, political commitment and applicable skills. WWF has now released a report on BASP implementation based on analysis made by Gaia.
The Baltic Sea is a sea in mortal peril. Stresses brought about by human use of the sea, together with its low salinity and limited water exchange put an immense pressure on its ecosystem. Compared to the small water volume, the catchment area is extensive with a total population of approximately 90 million.
“The Baltic Sea countries are relatively wealthy, they have technical and managerial skills for environmental protection and they have unique traditions in environmental collaboration. It is clear that it’s possible to save the Baltic Sea”, says Pasi Rinne from Gaia Group.
The HELCOM Ministerial meeting in October 2013 will evaluate the effectiveness of the national programmes and review the progress towards the BSAP objective “Baltic Sea in good ecological status”. The fresh WWF report of reference, “Baltic Sea Action Plan – is it on track” reviews the progress in implementing the agreed national actions. The report is based on analysis made by Gaia.
The report notes some progress since 2010, but states that all countries are lagging behind on almost all areas. The report does not suggest to name and shame individual countries. Failure to deliver by one country is a failure by all. In fact, successful implementation of the BSAP depends on cooperation across borders, across sectors, and across levels of government.
“Only a fully integrated approach to the management of the Baltic Sea can combat the continuing deterioration of the marine environment. These troubled waters deserve better protection”, says Pasi Rinne.
The BSAP can be rescued and put back on track. The Baltic Sea Action Plan – is it on track report aims at providing some suggestions for remedy.