Team NutriTrade and WWF co-hosted the workshop “Changing Colours – the Road to a Blue-Green Economy” at European Maritime Day organised in Turku on May 18th, 2016.

The aim of the workshop was to give an overview of the state of Europe’s seas, and how to turn words from concepts into practical actions for improving the state of Europe’s seas. The workshop started with an inspiring speech by Professor Markku Ollikainen (University of Helsinki), who suggested a two stage strategy for Baltic Sea protection: 1) carry our cost-effective investments in nutrient abatement in WWTPs, and 2) find new and more efficient measures for agriculture. Next, Dr Sampsa Vilhunen from WWF illustrated the current state of and pressures on our seas, and highlighted the need to define what sustainable blue economy means and combine the blue and green economy agendas. Professor James Shortle (PennState University) and Dr Marc Ribaudo (USDA) shared real-life experiences in using flexible mechanisms and economic incentives in water protection.

After the presentations, workshop participants were divided into three break-out groups which focused on different topics related to green and blue growth, the effects different sectors have on our seas and how we can minimize those effects.

In break-out group 1, we brainstormed and discussed innovative, cost-effective water protection methods for the Baltic Sea. The participants identified several types of nutrient reduction measures:

  • voluntary actions (e.g. crops and cultivation methods, offsetting of nutrient emissions)
  • more determination in traditional measures (e.g. closing the loops, compensating farmers for their environmental services, increasing storage capacity for manure)
  • new measures (e.g. algal turf scrubber, granulates that soak the blue-green algae, flush tax)

The moderator, John Nurminen Foundation, will evaluate the measures and promote the implementation of those measures with high impact and low cost and risk levels.
Further information: http://www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi/, http://nutritradebaltic.eu/

In break-out group 2, we discussed how conflict can create a barrier for policy implementation and achievement of environmental aims – we used the Scottish fisheries industry as a case study and reviewed the work that the WWF led, EU LIFE+ funded Celtic Seas Partnership has been doing to address and reduce this conflict. We also discussed work that the Celtic Seas Partnership is undertaking to identify potential future conflicts in the Celtic Seas and ways in which this conflict could be addressed. Participants identified conflicts relevant to their own experience and considered what is currently being done to address these, furthermore participants discussed what is needed to better deal with conflict in the future.
Further information: http://celticseaspartnership.eu/

In break-out group 3, we focused on the shipping sector, and how specific measures (including voluntary measures) can improve the state of our seas. The discussions started around the Mediterranean REPCET system which allows known positions of whales along shipping lanes to be shared in real time via a communications satellite. We then challenged the participants to answer questions on what different tools are available in their regions for making maritime transport more sustainable (technological solutions and policy instruments), and what sectors in their region pose the biggest risk for conflicts in the future and how those could be solved. We also asked to participants to present global case studies on measures that increase sustainability of the sector, and which could be relevant for the Baltic/Mediterranean region. Further information: http://www.repcet.com/repcet. REPCET is a technological tool developed by the NGO “Souffleurs d’Ecume” (http://www.souffleursdecume.com)

 

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