The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, BSPC, is a network of parliamentarians from all countries around the Baltic Sea. The network is directed by a board and has various working groups with specific themes. As Sweden is chairing the BSPC 2020-2021, the Baltic Sea Center has been extra involved, and for example participated in various meetings within the network during the past year. Our researchers Linda Kumblad and Emil Rydin recently presented their findings on a meeting with the working group on climate change and biodiversity (CCB).

Inom projektet togs vattenprover i diken och vattendrag omkring 20 ggr per år, både för att kunna id
Within the project, water measurements were taken about 20 times per year, both in order to identify new sources for nutrients and to evaluate the effects of measures on land. Photo: Fredrik Sederholm.

Solid knowledge of successful restoration

Linda Kumblad and Emil Rydin are project managers for Living coast why the parliamentarians were presented experiences from the project and informed that it is, in fact, possible possible to improve the environment in heavily eutrophicated and enclosed bays with persistent measures! 

– The group was very interested in how we managed to carry out the project, says Linda Kumblad. We emphasized the importance of taking a holistic approach and having sufficient resources to be able to quantify sources that contribute to nutrient leakage, in order to be able to prioritize which measures are most important and cost-effective. We also described the effects that the various measures had on the environment of the bay. 

Living coast was carried out in Björnöfjärden on Värmdö outside Stockholm and started ten years ago. The bay is in some ways viewed as a mini-Baltic Sea, with the same problems and needs for measures. The project was initiated and financed by the BalticSea2020 foundation, but changed host in 2019 to the Stockholm University Baltic Sea Center. At the same time a report was published that describes more about how coastal areas can regain a good ecological status. The project continues until 2023 and now focuses on evaluating and publishing the results in scientific journals.

The importance of dialogue

Throughout the project the researchers have had a lot of dialogue with residents and various stakeholders which was also highlighted as a key to success during the meeting with the parliamentarians.

– The way we continuously informed residents about what we were up to and how things proceeded, was probably a key to succeed in such a local and activity-rich project. The dialogue is also a golden opportunity to illustrate research and processes that otherwise can seem complex, such as eutrophication, says Linda Kumblad.

Continued contact with BSPC

The Baltic Sea Center has collaborated with BSPC before, through participation in the annual congress for example, when we presented our work to bridge the gaps between research and policy. In 2020, we also gave the opening speech at the first meeting held within the working group for climate change and biodiversity. 

– We hope to continue and deepen the contact with BSPC, both now that Sweden is holding the presidency but also in the future. It is an important platform for discussing common environmental problems, says Gun Rudquist, policy manager at the Baltic Sea Center.