Objective 1 - Save the sea

This objective contributes substantially to achieving the European Cohesion Policy objectives.

Specifically, it contributes to

·     A smarter Europe by supporting the bioeconomy,

·     A greener Europe by fighting climate change and addressing the environmental conditions of the sea,

·     A more connected Europe by promoting shipping and maritime safety.

The Baltic Sea and its transition area to the North Sea are still one of the most polluted in the world. Its poor state threatens the quality of life for the 80 million inhabitants living around it. The overall aim of the EUSBSR ‘Save the Sea’ objective is to achieve good environmental status by 2020, as required under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)24, and favourable conservation status under the Habitats Directive25 in accordance with the EU Biodiversity Strategy, and taking into account the related targets by 2021, as required by the HELCOM.

The Objective 1 – “Save the sea” has 4 sub-objectives:

·     Clear water in the sea:

This sub-objective addresses eutrophication as a major for the Baltic Sea, and for the region’s lakes. The main areas for cooperation include cutting nutrient inputs from urban waste water treatment plants, rural settlements, shipping, and the application of sustainable agricultural practices in the whole catchment area, with particular focus on reduction of fertiliser inputs.

·     Rich and healthy wildlife:

This sub-objective aims to safe the unique ecosystem ranging from fresh water up to six months of ice cover and the saline Kattegat from hazardous substances and negative fisheries impacts. Actions have to both minimise the adverse effects of human activities that cause pollution and work towards

preventing damage, by for example establishing an ecologically coherent network of well-managed marine protected areas.

·     Clean and safe shipping

This sub-objective addresses the need for clean shipping as maritime transport increases. This includes first reducing the environmental impact of ship air emissions, hazardous substances and discharges of oil. Second it includes reducing air pollutants through improved infrastructure. Third it includes, an integrated maritime surveillance system, fourth a strengthened human capital and fifth an increased response capacity to major emergencies/

·     Better cooperation

This sub-objective addresses the need for an increased cooperation of coastal countries to address the common environmental challenges. Through better cooperation, the Strategy aims to accelerate implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, and to put in place transboundary, maritime spatial plans applying the ecosystem approach throughout the region.

To achieve those goals, the Baltic Sea Region focusses on five major Policy Areas: