Gypsum Initiative

The project aims to disseminate information to the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea about treating agricultural fields with gypsum as a means of efficient water protection, and to investigate whether this method is applicable in the different countries. The project is led by the John Nurminen Foundation. The project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment from the funds allocated by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for Cooperation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic Regions.

Promote gypsum treatment of fields in 8 countries surrounding the Baltic Sea.
Promoting gypsum experiments in the Baltic Sea region.

Finland has had good experiences of using gypsum treatment of fields as a water improvement measure. Treating fields with gypsum to protect the water system has yielded good results in the River Savijoki region in Southwest Finland, and River Vantaa near the Helsinki metropolitan area. In both catchment areas, the phosphorus load of fields treated with gypsum was immediately reduced by up to 50% and with very moderate investments.

The objective of this 2-year project is to establish a network of farmers, researchers and authorities in the Baltic countries, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Denmark to enable the gypsum treatment of fields. Additionally, the project aims to conduct small scale analysis to determine how well gypsum is suited for use locally, and to prepare for a larger scale implementation of gypsum treatment and to have it included in national agricultural subsidy programmes in the countries around the Baltic Sea.

“Finland can pave the way for the use of gypsum in agriculture in a larger scale to protect waters. This offers significant opportunities for the protection of the Baltic Sea. This would further contribute to gypsum being formally acknowledged as a means to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea in HELCOM’s updated plan of action and EU’s agricultural subsidies,” said Krista Mikkonen, the Finnish Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in the previously published press release.

The project is carried out by the John Nurminen Foundation, the Finnish Environment Institute, and the University of Helsinki.

More information:

Anna Saarentaus
Project Manager, John Nurminen Foundation
Tel. +358 40 7190208

Petri Ekholm
Senior Researcher, the Finnish Environment Institute
Tel. +358 295 251102

Markku Ollikainen
Professor, University of Helsinki
Tel. 02941 58065