Every second person in the region around the Baltic Sea has experienced the effects of eutrophication. A new report shows that people in countries around the Sea are willing to pay 3 800 million Euros per year to improve it. Photo: A. Maslennikov/Azote

Saving the Baltic Sea

Money well spent

Benefits of saving the Baltic Sea exceeds costs by 1500 million Euros annually

A new report entitled "The Baltic Sea - Our Common Treasure. Economics of Saving the Sea" shows that people in countries around the Baltic Sea attach a great value to the Sea and are willing to pay 3 800 million Euros per year to improve the Baltic Sea environment. This exceeds the costs by 1 000 — 1 500 million Euros annually.

The findings is the result of three years of research by BalticSTERN, the first large-scale study to include all nine Baltic Sea countries, estimating the benefits and costs of reducing eutrophication according to the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. This final report, written by the BalticSTERN Secretariat and partners in the research network, shows that saving the Baltic Sea would lead to large welfare gains.

The report concludes that:
- A majority of the people living in countries around the Baltic Sea is willing to pay for a healthier marine ecosystem.

- Aggregated to the whole population in the region people are willing to pay 3 800 million Euros annually.

- The cost of reaching the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) targets amounts to 2 300 — 2 800 million Euros annually, depending on allocation of measures. Thus benefits exceed costs for reaching the BSAP by 1000 — 1500 million Euros annually.

"The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas in the world, surrounded by some of the richest countries. We now have the scientific results, wide public support and policies in place. There are no longer any excuses for failing to take strong measures and save the Baltic Sea," says Johan Rockström, Chairman of the BalticSTERN's Steering Group and Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Read more about the report and the work of BalticSTERN here

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BalticSTERN is an international research network with the purpose of doing cost-benefit analysis regarding the environmental problems of the Baltic Sea and give guidance toward cost-effective measures and policy instruments. The Stockholm Resilience Centre hosts the BalticSTERN Secretariat.

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Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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