The President of Finland Tarja Halonen brought good news to the Baltic Sea at the Commitment Follow-up event in Helsinki 10 February. She presented greetings from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that Russia will arrange the next Baltic Sea Action Summit in 2012.
The process that started exactly one year ago in Helsinki has strong support from all states around the Baltic Sea. At the Follow-up event, all eleven countries presented the progress of their respective Commitments.
Lithuania has fulfilled its commitment, which comprised issues related to the risks originating from chemical weapons dumped into the Baltic Sea. On Lithuania’s initiative the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution concerning chemical munitions at Sea in December 2010.
Among its commitment for the marine environment, Sweden has increased its budget line for 2011 to the equivalent to 22 million euro.
Within the framework of Poland’s national programme for improved wastewater treatment a total of 8 billion euro has been allocated. Over 300 projects concerning sewage treatment have already been completed and the work continues until 2015.
As its own Commitment, the Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE, published an evaluation report of the Commitments. The report states that the value of the BSAS process is that it offers a unique platform for the heterogeneous group of actors who want to work for a cleaner Baltic Sea. The more politicians, companies and NGO’s gathered to act side by side by BSAG, the better are the chances of improving the marine environment of the Baltic Sea, concludes SYKE’s report.
The spirit of the Baltic Sea Action Summit in 2010 was strongly felt at the Commitment Follow-up event. The states around the Baltic Sea, who a year ago made concrete commitments to act for a cleaner Baltic Sea, expressed their strong engagement for this long-term process.
The Prime Minister of Finland Mari Kiviniemi stated that the BSAS process well fits the EU Baltic Sea Region Strategy. She emphasized that if there is no development in the sustainable environment section of the Strategy, it seriously endangers the development in the Strategy’s other focus areas. She concluded that everybody is needed in this work—the responsibility of the well-being of the Baltic Sea cannot be left to the public sector alone.
For further information, please contact:
Baltic Sea Action Group
Secretary General Mathias Bergman, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50 380 7155
Communications Manager Linda Lindfors, email@example.com, +358 40 543 9820
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Ambassador for Baltic Sea Issues Timo Rajakangas, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 9 1605 5438
Commitments made by states
All other Commitments