<< Back

‘This is what we need to do for a cleaner sea.’ Sectors have their say

Time: 09:30-10:30 Tuesday 8 November

Venue: Riddarsalen

Are the regional Save the Sea targets to reduce pollution realistic and widely accepted? What advice can the economic sectors give regarding creating effective marine policies in the future? Is the burden of environmental protection fairly shared and who can judge on that?

The Baltic Sea marine area and its healthy status is essential to the regional economy. In a vision for the future of the region, options for sustainable development should be explored and discussed, as any insensible use of the sea will threaten the very basis on which our welfare and prosperity depends. Dialogue with and among economic and other sectors is thus fundamental to address the challenges to restore the good environmental status of the sea by 2021, as agreed in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and in the EUSBSR.

In the seminar, we will give an opportunity to the major maritime and sea-related sectors to jointly demonstrate what they have achieved so far to meet the agreed HELCOM reduction targets, and elaborate on whether this is sufficient. Our speakers will be encouraged to explain how they perceive the current burden in environmental protection efforts and if it is fairly shared. We’d like to hear about the attitudes and strategies of the industries and tap into their knowledge and understanding about what is possible to do next. We will also ask the speakers to look at us, policy-makers, with a critical eye and recommend what we should improve in terms of engaging sectors, preparing a scientific basis, or explaining the needs for protection.

We’d like to know how to be a better contributing partner in the context of ocean economy and blue growth. This feedback could be recommendations to HELCOM, EUSBSR and other relevant policy makers, represented in the seminar by selected commentators who will respond to some of the criticism or suggestions on the spot.

The commentators will be a good mix of people who also have possibilities to take the recommendations forward - representing politicians, ministries, the youth perspective and prominent scientific institutes. Commentators will also be free to intervene in the discussion.

Expected outcome
We want a more holistic debate where it will become evident how much the economic sectors rely on each other and on the healthy sea. We will encourage the participants to be as frank as possible and without any mediation or moderation, to speak out – and also to learn from each other, as they might simply have insufficient awareness of what other users of the sea have done for the environment. The invited commentators, representing policy makers and scientists, will listen to recommendations from the sectors, respond to suggestions or criticisms on the spot and freely fill in the discussion with missing arguments, additional links or political viewpoints.

In addition, one aim is to collect ideas for new cooperation initiatives. Through the debate, as well as with questions and comments, the seminar will seek answers to some key questions, such as:
Are the HELCOM targets seen as realistic and widely accepted?
If not, why? Is the science not good or clear enough, or should we communicate better?
What can be done to increase commitment and action?
How do we solve the equation of using marine resources while maintaining a healthy sea?

One key outcome of the session is to find out how to improve communication. Is there a way for cooperation between the sectors themselves – an alliance even – in safeguarding the health of our shared sea?

Marcin Rucinski, Coordinator for Baltic and North Seas, Low Impact Fishers of Europe
Michael Andersen, Chair of the Demersal Working Group, Baltic Sea Advisory Council (BSAC) 
Marco Digioia, Director of Government Affairs, Cruise Lines International Association Europe (CLIA)
Maira Dzelzkaleja, Vice Chair, Latvian Farmers’ Parliament
Anders Finnson, Senior Environmental Adviser, European Federation of National Associations of Water (EurEAU)
Bogdan Oldakowski, Secretary General, Baltic Ports Organization (BPO)
Liisa Pietola, Head of Secretariat, Baltic Farmers Forum on Environment (BFFE)
Brian Thomsen (tbc)Director, Dansk Akvakultur/Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP)
NN Shipowners Association representative
Pär Ängquist, State Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Energy, Sweden
Bo Gustafsson Director, Baltic Nest Institute, Sweden
Lars Sonesten Chair of HELCOM Pressure Working Group, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences​
Erja Tikka, National Coordinator of the EUSBSR, Baltic Sea Ambassador, Foreign Ministry of Finland


Political seminar

Main organiser: 
HELCOM – Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission
Seminar contact person:
Johanna Laurila

Sub-objective of the EUSBSR:
Save the Sea: Clear water in the sea
Save the Sea: Rich and healthy wildlife
Save the Sea: Clean and safe shipping
Save the Sea: Better cooperation
Increase Prosperity: Improved global competitiveness of the Baltic Sea Region