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Strengthening the policy framework to resolve lax implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan for agriculture

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  • Mark V. Brady, Dept. of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, Sweden
  • Mikael Skou Andersen
  • Anna Andersson, Dept. of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  • Emil Kilis, Baltic Studies Centre, Latvia
  • Sanna-Riikka Saarela, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland
  • Martin Hvarregaard Thorsøe
The TOOLS2SEA synthesis project identified major weaknesses in implementation of measures, policy instruments and governance institutions for achieving the goals agreed to in the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) by the nine signatory countries to the Helsinki Convention. In this perspective article we provide recommendations for strengthening the policy framework for protecting the Baltic Sea from agricultural nutrient pollution. The most striking weakness is the lax implementation of prescribed abatement measures, particularly concerning manure management, in most countries. Institutions of the EU should also be leveraged for achieving BSAP goals. In contrast to the Convention, the European Union has economic, political and legal mandates to further implementation and compliance. Equally important, is the need for strengthening of local institutions, particularly Water Boards and independent agricultural advisory services in the eastern Baltic Sea Region countries. There is also an urgent need for implementation of voluntary land-use measures where EU funding available to farmers is more broadly and effectively used by providing it on the basis of estimated abatement performance, which can be realized through modelling. The enormous potential for funding performance-based schemes, manure management infrastructure and advisory services through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy are currently underutilized.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmbio
Volume51
Issue1
Pages (from-to)69-83
Number of pages15
ISSN1654-7209
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online 28 June 2021

    Research areas

  • Agri-environment, CAP, NUTRIENT, Rural development, Governance, HELCOM

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Activities

  • BONUS TOOLS2SEA workshop

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation of workshop, seminar or course

Projects

ID: 214900617