– The next step is to intensify Finnish -Swedish cooperation
Issues concerning the health of the Baltic Sea were for the first time dealt with in a focussed way at Almedalsveckan 2014 – the Swedish political lobbying week in Visby, Gotland. The Baltic Sea section of the massive program – Östersjöveckan, the Baltic Sea Week – will be organised also in coming years. Next year the International Day of Östersjöveckan will concentrate on concrete Finnish-Swedish cooperation.
Eleven organizations, including BSAG, joined forces and organized Östersjöveckan, the Baltic Sea Week, in order to increase and focus the awareness of the Baltic Sea challenges, to set the practical agenda and to set pressure on politicians to follow that agenda.
During the week, it became quite clear that the Baltic Sea environmental issues are not any longer the concern of only ministries of environment. The challenges and the solutions are strongly linked to economy, employment, transport, energy, wellbeing and health. It is at last evident that ecology and economy are synonyms and that solutions for the benefit of the sea creates new business opportunities.
During this first Baltic Sea Week, politicians and business were provided their own day, researchers theirs and the sea as a resource its own day. International cooperation was discussed during The International Day. Next year, focus will be on the cooperation between Finnish and Swedish actors on all levels. Best practices of the cooperation will then be introduced to other Baltic Sea countries.
Over 20.000 guests visit Almedalsveckan every year. There are over 3000 events during the seven days. Climate change mitigation and adaptation and environmental issues come as the second biggest themes. The Baltic Sea environmental issues are now firmly on the political agenda.
Östersjöveckan 2014 was organized by University of Uppsala, Forum Östersjön, Council of the Baltic Sea states (CBSS), Världsnatursfonden WWF, Östersjöinitiativet, Havsmiljöinstitutet, Havs- och vattenmyndigheten (HaV), Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), Formas, IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet and Stockholm Resilience Center.
Mattis Bergqvist, BSAG Sweden, mobile +46 76 109 05 24, email mattis.bergquist (at) bsag.fi
Paula Biveson, BSAG, mobile +46 730 80 10 88, email paula.biveson (at) bsag.fi
Mathias Bergman, BSAG, mobile +358 50 380 7155, email mathias.bergman (at) bsag.fi