The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund grants EUR 1 million to 10 new projects to improve the health of the Baltic Sea

ByNordic Environment Finance Corporation

The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund grants EUR 1 million to 10 new projects to improve the health of the Baltic Sea

Many of the new projects funded by the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund (BSAP Fund) have a special focus on marine biodiversity. With Sweden’s latest contribution of SEK 4.5 million, the BSAP Fund continues to support the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.

Total funding from the latest BSAP Fund calls for proposals amounting to EUR 1 million, which will be distributed to 10 approved projects in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Poland. The new projects focus on forestry, nutrient discharge, hazardous substances, and sea-based activities. The majority of the new projects, six out of ten, will contribute positively to biodiversity.

“Projects financed from the BSAP Fund have always tried to address and offer solutions to environmental issues in the Baltic Sea. As the fund manager, the state of the Baltic Sea, specifically biodiversity, continues to be an important area for us,” says Trond Moe, Managing Director, Nefco.

The latest call for proposals for the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund closed in February 2023, with a total of 16 applications received from four different countries. The proposed projects cover eight countries. About 60% of applications were sent from new partners, highlighting the relevance of the BSAP Fund among project candidates. Sweden’s latest contribution to the BSAP Fund will secure the continuation of these projects.

Sweden contributes to the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund

To continue improving the state of the Baltic Sea, Sweden has made a new contribution to the BSAP Fund of EUR 386,000 (SEK 4,500,000).

“We are proud to see that the support we have provided to the BSAP Fund will mobilize additional financial and human resources to accelerate the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and improve the health of the Baltic Sea. For Sweden, the Fund plays an important role in supporting stakeholders looking to develop innovative solutions to address difficult environmental challenges like eutrophication and biodiversity loss,” says Romina Pourmokhtari, Minister for Climate and the Environment of Sweden.

With current pledge funding from Sweden and Finland of EUR 15 million, the BSAP Fund financed a total of 73 projects at the end of 2023, with a disbursed amount of EUR 11.2 million. The leverage of the Fund is substantial: the total value of grants provided for completed projects represents about 26% of total project investments. Since its establishment, the Fund has been co-managed by Nefco and the Nordic Investment Bank.

“The additional contribution from Sweden demonstrates a commitment to continued collaboration to achieve our shared goals for a healthier Baltic Sea. This support is crucial for sustaining the BSAP Fund’s ongoing activities, facilitating concrete projects in the Baltic Sea region, and ensuring the well-being of the sea’s ecosystem,” says Nea Westerlund, Acting Programme Manager for BSAP Fund at Nefco.

Projects from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Poland to improve the Baltic Sea marine ecosystem

One of the projects receiving grants from the BSAP Fund in Sweden is Ekoskog. The NGO will focus on raising awareness of the benefits of ecoforestry among forest owners to reduce land-based nutrient input to the Baltic Sea. To do so, it will establish a certification scheme and promote the use of an Ecoforestry label already registered in the EU.

A cross-boundary project, led by the company Innofor Finland, will partner with Swedish, Estonian, and Finnish forestry associations to establish a basis for scientifically backed sustainable forestry and develop National Forestry Standards.

In Finland, Flexens will initiate a pilot site in preparation for testing oxygen injection into the Baltic Sea and investigate opportunities for green hydrogen production.

The Estonian company Narva Vesi will prepare all the necessary documentation for the renovation of the Narva wastewater treatment plant, whereas in Poland, Scopus Sp. z o.o will design and implement actions for avoiding litter discharge into the Baltic Sea with the use of PortBins, a trash trawl that collects waste from rivers using natural currents.