Policy Area Nutri of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region works on Saving the Sea, which is one of the three main objectives of the Strategy. The aim of the Policy Area is to reduce nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea to acceptable levels.
Of the many environmental challenges facing the Baltic Sea, the most serious and difficult to tackle with conventional approaches is the continuing eutrophication. Excessive nutrient loads through agricultural run-off, inadequately treated sewage, airborne emissions and internal loading are the main cause of eutrophication. The impacts of eutrophication include oxygen depletion, reduced water clarity, an increase in filamentous algae, summer blooms of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) and other undesirable changes in species composition.
The latest decades' large-scale investments in waste water treatment plants and key decisions on cleaner shipping have had an important impact on decreasing the nutrient load. According to the latest HELCOM assessment total normalised nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the Baltic Sea have decreased with 18% and 23%, respectively, since the mid-1990s. However, to save the sea, further and continued action is needed.
The Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme Monitoring Committee selected 39 new projects for funding in the thematic fields of capacity for innovation, management of natural resources and sustainable transport, including PA Nutri flagship project BEST. The new projects will complement 35 projects from the first call and will contribute to a more innovative, better accessible and connected Baltic Sea region.
BEST (Better efficiency for sewage treatment) aims at better control of industrial discharges by jointly developing sustainable cooperation and optimal treatment for industrial discharges with municipal authorities, water utilities and industrial companies and cut down the load of nutrients and hazardous substances to the Baltic Sea. The project is led by the City of Helsinki, Environment Centre, Finland
Additionally, the Monitoring Committee selected 25 Seed Money projects, which will hopefully evolve into full scale transnational projects that will support the implementation of the EUSBSR. Project ideas DESIRE and QWATERA are under PA Nutri.
The 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR is shaping up with a theme of connectivity. The Forum will be held on 13-14 June 2017 in Berlin. It is expected to gather about 800 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and business around the Baltic Sea region.
You will find an up-to date programme on the Forum’s website: http://www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu/8th-annual-forum/programme. As part of the programme PA Nutri organizes a Smart water sector -seminar together with UBC Sustainable Cities Commission on 13 June at 17-18:30. PA Nutri Steering Committee will also gather in the morning of 13 June.
HA Capacity welcomed PACs Nutri together with other PACs and HACs to a two days meeting in Stockholm on 05 and 06.04.2017. On the first day there was a meeting just for PACs/HACs and the following day a joint meeting with NCs/PACs/HACs. The programme was based on the thematic proposals gathered at the PAC/HAC-meeting in Stockholm on 23.11.2016. Four main topics have been discussed: flagship processes, communication, roles and responsibilities as PAC/HAC and alignment of funding.