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Baltic Sea countries fail to protect the Baltic Sea – WWF calls for a new approach


The governments in the region are largely failing in their efforts to protect and conserve the unique and valuable Baltic Sea. This is shown by a ‘Scorecard’ analysis presented by WWF today at a seminar in connection with the International Baltic Sea Festival. As a result, WWF is calling for stronger leadership and a new approach in its ‘Manifesto for the Baltic Sea’ launched today to guide future efforts.

The Score Card presented at the seminar measures and grades the performance of the nine coastal Baltic Sea governments on a number of international and regional agreements in five areas of crucial importance to the Baltic Sea: maritime transport, pollution from hazardous substances, biodiversity protection, fisheries management and eutrophication.

“The result of this grading is terrible news for the Baltic Sea. Only on the issue of pollution from hazardous substances has any significant progress been made. With respect to delivering on international or regional commitments to address shipping, biodiversity, fisheries and eutrophication, progress is extremely disappointing.” says Lasse Gustavsson, CEO of WWF Sweden.”

WWF’s analysis clearly illustrates that the current patchwork of government approaches and regulatory frameworks in and around the Baltic have proved inadequate to meet the challenges faced in the Baltic.

“The Baltic Sea deserves better. In order to reverse the current negative environmental trends, real leadership, immediate concerted action and a new approach to save the Baltic Sea is urgently needed. Only with strong leadership and commitment from the highest level of governments will we be able to turn the tide,” says Lasse Gustavsson.

To address this current crisis, WWF launched today its ‘Manifesto for the Baltic Sea’ to draw attention to the current catastrophic state of the Baltic Sea and call for a new holistic approach to guide future efforts. According to WWF’s Manifesto, this new approach must include an integrated, legally-binding governance framework for the entire Baltic Sea with a concrete implementation plan secured through political commitment and strong leadership at the highest possible level.

“Fortunately for the Baltic Sea, there are some examples of real leadership by individuals, governments and the private sector. Today, WWF honours these leaders for inspiring others, and for demonstrating that it is possible to conserve the Baltic Sea’s unique resources.” says James Leape, WWF International Director General who participated in the Seminar to honour these key ‘Baltic Leaders’ with the first-of-its-kind ‘WWF Baltic Sea Leadership Award’ prize from WWF.

These honourees include:

The Federal Republic of Germany – for Germany’s leadership in the designation of a significant portion of their Baltic Sea waters as marine Natura 2000 sites, especially in their exclusive economic zone. Germany has been a progressive leader with regards to the importance and value of protecting the marine environment, providing a strong example for other countries to follow.
Björn Carlson, Founder and Board Member, Baltic Sea 2020 Foundation – for Björn Carlson’s leadership and initiative to form the Baltic Sea 2020 Foundation, which stimulates creative interdisciplinary and international collaboration in a variety of areas, intended to result in political, economical and physical measures taken to improve the environment of the Baltic Sea in the coming 10–15 years.
Alfa Laval / Wallenius Water – for Alfa Laval / Wallenius Water’s leadership in developing a groundbreaking new technology for the treatment of ballast water, one of the insidious problems threatening the ultra sensitive Baltic Sea with invasive species. Alfa Laval / Wallenius Water’s ballast water technology not only provides a groundbreaking solution to the problem of ballast water treatment, but does so without the use of harmful chemicals.


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