On October 3 the Ministers of the Environment of all the nine Baltic coastal states and the EU Commissioner gathered in Copenhagen to discuss the status and future of the Baltic Sea during the HELCOM Ministerial meeting.
The meeting resulted in adoption of the HELCOM Copenhagen Ministerial Declaration. Hence the Ministers and the Commissioner reconfirmed the commitment to implement the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) and decided on further action needed, as well as the future strategic approach of HELCOM.
The Ministerial Declaration contains, among other aspects, a reviewed nutrient input reduction scheme, replacing the provisional country-allocated reduction targets of 2007. BNI have greatly contributed to this review.
BNI Contribution to the 2007 HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan
The Baltic Nest Institute played an important role for the establishment of a nutrient load reduction scheme in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) adopted in November 2007.
The BSAP has four main segments, one of which addresses eutrophication, and where the Baltic Sea coastal countries have acknowledged that ‘there is a need to reduce the nutrient inputs and that the needed reductions shall be fairly shared by all Baltic Sea countries´.
BNI estimated the initial Maximum Allowable Inputs (MAI) to reach the eutrophication targets of the BSAP through calculations using the SANBALT model, developed within the MARE Research programme as part of the Nest-model.
Based on the MAI and agreed allocation principles for dividing the reduction burden between HELCOM Contracting Parties, nutrient reduction targets were calculated.
BNI and the work leading up the 2013 revision
Already in 2007, it was envisaged that a review of the BSAP nutrient reduction scheme was necessary. In particular, the objectives were to review and revise environmental targets for eutrophication, MAI and the country-wise allocated nutrient reduction targets. Associated to the two latter objectives, were also to update and improve quality of the nutrient input data sets performed within the HELCOM PLC 5.5 project.
A project, TARGREV, lead by BNI made a thorough scientific investigation leading to a new set of consistently derived environmental targets (link to TARGREV report, HELCOM BSEP 133), which has been approved both for eutrophication assessment and for calculation of MAI.
BNI has since 2007 developed the state-of-the-art coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model, BALTSEM (BAltic sea Long-Term large Scale Eutrophication Model), to calculate the revised MAI.
In addition BNI has developed a new software tool for calculating new Country Allocated Reduction Targets (CART).
BNI have worked very closely with the relevant HELCOM expert groups throughout the whole process, and in the later stage with HELCOM Heads of Delegation, in order to take into account advice, considerations and the political constrains by the HELCOM Contracting Parties on all aspects of the revision of the nutrient reduction scheme. In addition, BNI participate in the HELCOM projects related to PLC.