Baltic Sea countries have hastened their action to save the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea Action Summit (BSAS) process culminated in the Baltic Sea Forum in St. Petersburg April 5.-6. 2013. Baltic Sea Action Group, BSAG, initiated the process to engage all levels of the society to work for the ecological balance of the Baltic Sea. The first Summit was held in 2010 in Helsinki. The St. Petersburg forum was hosted by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and invited to Russia in 2011 by then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“When we were offered the possibility to have the summit in Russia, we wanted to get solutions to three issues. First, we wanted to develop the usage of animal manure for energy and fertilizer production in the Leningrad Oblast. Second, we wanted to find measures to improve the state of waste water treatment from the municipalities and industrial sites in the Leningrad, Kaliningrad and Karelia. Third, we wished active involvement of the Federation of Russia for finding solutions to deal with hazardous substances”, says Ilkka Herlin, Chairman of the Baltic Sea Action Group.
Major steps forward has been taken in all these issues. SUE Vodokanal of St.Petersburg has committed for the development waste water treatment in Leningrad Oblast area. New innovations have been introduced to deal with the animal manure issues. The Prime Minister Medvedev told in his press meeting about their plans to close Krasny Bor, landfill containing hazardous waste.
All participants in the Forum acknowledged BSAS process as a vital tool in the work for the Baltic Sea. Also the importance of the Public Private Partnership was unanimously stressed. BSAG already works through PPP process when mediating between private and public sector.
The participants agreed on the St. Petersburg initiative: an international network to unite governmental, business and financing organizations for Baltic Sea cooperation. The Director General Felix Karmazinov from SUE Vodokanal St. Petersburg and Ilkka Herlin from BSAG were chosen as the chairmen of the initiative.
‘BSAG works for the Baltic Sea by engaging companies to solve problems with commitments. Contacts to companies, experts and decision-makers are instruments of our work. We welcome the St. Petersburg Initiative: high-level contacts and other networks help us to expand our work for Baltic Sea’, says Ilkka Herlin.