New municipalities, cities and companies are invited to join efforts to protect the Baltic Sea in a Tallinn seminar

The target of the event organized in Tallinn today on March 16, 2011, is to identify new actors for protection of the Baltic Sea. Local actors from Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Belarus are challenged to review the impact of their actions on the Baltic Sea and to commence programmes that will reduce the nutrient load imposed on the sea. Municipalities, cities and water companies have a central role in implementing locally the national and international goals for protecting the Baltic Sea. The event consists of workshops and a seminar.

John Nurminen representatives at the event are Marjukka Porvari who’s responsible for Foundation’s Eutrophication projects, and project managers Tuuli Ojala and Elena Kaskelainen. To help reduce nutrient load ending up to the Baltic Sea, the Foundation is actively seeking to identify new partner cities and water companies from the entire catchment area of the Baltic Sea and introduce intensified phosphorus removal to their wastewater treatment plants.

In Tallinn, achievements of local actors in protecting the Baltic Sea, for example from Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Germany and Estonia will be presented and discussed. Local organisations will be encouraged to make voluntary actions according to the Baltic Sea Action Plan of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM besides their statutory actions. Also problems and their resolution will be discussed, e.g. adequacy of financing, decision-making possibilities and priority setting. Over 130 local actors that are strategic for the Baltic Sea protection are expected to participate. These include water company managers and specialists as well as politicians and civil servants from the municipalities, cities’ networks and ministries of the Baltic Sea region. The event is organised by the Cities for a Healthier Sea project, which is coordinated by the City of Helsinki Environment Centre, together with HELCOM, the PURE project* (Project on Urban Reduction of Eutrophication) and the Baltic Sea Challenge.

*PURE is a joint project by John Nurminen Foundation, HELCOM and Baltic Cities Commission on Environment. Its key objective is to improve phosphorus removal in selected municipal wastewater treatment plants in the Baltic Sea Region. The project is partly financed by EU Baltic Sea Region Programme.