At the EUSBSR annual forum, the seminar “Welcome to Dragons’ Den! Pitching ideas for a Clean Baltic Sea” organised by PA Nutri and NutriTrade and moderated by Ms Marjukka Porvari (John Nurminen Foundation) addressed eutrophication from three different angles:
1. What is the current state of Baltic Sea ecosystems?
In a keynote speech, Mr Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky (HELCOM) provided a quick overview of the recent HELCOM nutrient input assessments, explaining the sources of nutrient loading and progress towards national reduction targets.
2. What kind of progress and innovations have been made in the current programme period?
Four innovators presented their solutions for reducing eutrophication in short pitching-style presentations. These snapshots reviewed recent innovations that can contribute specifically to reducing eutrophication and thereby to the vision for the Baltic Sea in and beyond 2020, if applied across borders:
- Ms Mari Heinonen (HSY) introduced Case RAVITA, revealing a method for the large-scale recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater.
- Ms Silja Kana (WWF Estonia) illustrated how consumers can reduce the ecological footprint of their diet with the help of WWF Meat Guides.
- Ms Elis Vollmer (Estonian University of Life Science) presented the ongoing work to develop new manure standards to improve nutrient recycling and reduce nutrient leaching.
- Ms Anna Saarentaus (John Nurminen Foundation) explained the idea of gypsum amendment of agricultural fields – a method which reduces phosphorus loads instantly and remarkably.
3. Can these innovations be widely applied, and what difference would they make?
There were also four environmental and agricultural experts. Imitating the TV show Dragons’ den, they formed a panel of ‘dragons’ and commented on and asked questions about each of the presentations. As dragons, we had
- Ms Anja Nysten (NEFCO)
- Ms Heidrun Fammler (the Baltic Environmental Forum Group)
- Ms Kristina Svinhufvud (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency)
- Ms Maira Dzelzkaleja-Burmistre (Farmers Parliament, Latvia)
The pitchers defended their innovations and took note of the sharp but constructive observations of the dragons. The audience was also active in supporting the different solutions. We will surely hear about these innovations in the future, too!