Nordic Council: The Nordic Region must have a joint plan for the Baltic Sea

The Nordic Council will recommend that the Nordic Council of Ministers develop a joint plan for a healthy Baltic Sea. This was adopted last week during the spring Session of the Nordic Council in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

The Nordic Council proposes that the Nordic plan is based on the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) from 2021 but steps up the venture and level of ambition. 

“The Nordic countries should take the lead and ensure that existing plans are implemented. It’s about time. The Baltic Sea Action Plan was updated in 2021, and many of the good initiatives in the plan should be implemented by 2030. It’s difficult to see this succeeding unless we do something significant. So that’s what we’re proposing now, and we hope that the ministers will listen,” says Rebecka Le Moine, member of the Nordic Council’s Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region. 

Among the wishes of the Nordic Council are the harmonisation of legislation in the maritime sector and a common Nordic position in the EU and Baltic contexts. 

“Despite decades of focus and several regional strategies, the Baltic Sea is still one of the most polluted marine areas in the world. It’s disheartening, and I’m very pleased that the entire Nordic Council is recommending that the Nordic governments take action now,” says Le Moine.

Look towards Skagerrak and Oslo Fjord

The greatest threats to a healthy Baltic Sea include eutrophication, habitat destruction, climate change, chemical pollution, litter, and overfishing. And it’s not only the Baltic Sea that suffers. Many of the same issues we see in the Baltic Sea also apply to the Skagerrak and Oslo Fjord. In this regard, Ola Elvestuen, vice-chair of the Nordic Council’s Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region, says: “That’s why it’s also part of the proposal to examine the measures that must be implemented in those areas.”

 

The proposal was put forward by the Nordic Council’s Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region and adopted during the Nordic Council’s spring Session in Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands on 9 April 2024.