Back 19.05.2010

Baltic Sea States are behind schedule on environmental protection

Implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) is lagging behind the agreed timetable in many important areas, concludes a new report prepared by Gaia for WWF.

The report “Analysis of the status of implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan” was published today in Moscow, prior to the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting. The report shows that the countries in the Baltic Sea region are making progress in the protection of the Baltic Sea marine environment but many concrete decisive actions on eutrophication, hazardous substances, maritime safety and biodiversity are short of agreed set of measures. For instance, many Baltic Sea States lag behind on measures to reduce farm run-off or to substitute phosphates in laundry detergents, both causing eutrophication. Also, the implementation of actions to reduce risks from ships ballast water in the Baltic Sea, as well as baseline surveys of prevailing environmental conditions in major ports, are late. The sources and pathways of the eleven priority hazardous substances are still largely unknown, which hampers the design and implementation of effective measures to reduce them. Management plans for many nature protection areas, as well as fisheries and fish species have reportedly not yet been developed.

The Gaia report also highlights the lack of adequate information.

“Many countries did not report on their national implementation status as agreed at HELCOM. Improved monitoring of the implementation actions would allow stakeholders to assess whether implementation is making progress as agreed. This could also generate more support for Baltic Sea protection”, says Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia.


  • Pasi Rinne, Chairman, +41-79-472 6909,

Notes to editors:

  • HELCOM, an intergovernmental organisation comprised of all the nine Baltic Sea countries and the EU, working for the protection of the Baltic marine environment, will hold the Meeting of the Ministers of the Environment of its Member States on 20 May 2010 in Moscow. The Ministers will discuss the current state of the Baltic marine environment and the implementation of a strategic BSAP to radically reduce pollution to the sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021.
  • The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) was adopted in Krakow, Poland in November 2007. Its original intention was to “drastically reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021”.
  • The WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme is an influential force in the efforts to conserve and restore the Baltic Sea. The programme combines scientific knowledge and expertise with creative innovation and political determination to save the unique life and beauty of the Baltic Sea. More information: