Background & Objectives

Eutrophication of the Baltic Sea can only be stopped by greatly reducing the phosphorus and nitrogen load entering the sea. The objective of the NutriTrade project is to enable nutrient reductions in the Baltic Sea area with fast, effective and economically efficient measures so that the targets set by HELCOM can be achieved. The project is of high policy relevance for the Baltic Sea region and has been nominated as a flagship project of the EU Baltic Sea Region Strategy.

NutriTrade develops new innovative policy instruments promoting cost-effective, cross-border, cross-sector nutrient reduction measures in the Baltic Sea basin. The project will pilot a platform for voluntary nutrient trading, nutrient offsets and joint implementation of nutrient reduction targets in Baltic Sea area. The NutriTrade platform will connect effective nutrient abatement measures with voluntary financiers willing to acquire nutrient offsets and neutralize their nutrient footprint.

In the pilot scheme, several proven nutrient abatement measures including e.g. mussel farming, gypsum treatment of fields, and fishing of cyprinids will be implemented, resulting in phosphorus load reductions of up to 50 t/a. At the same time, the project will develop 1) credible nutrient offset verification mechanisms, and 2) assessment mechanisms to find and support innovative but proven and verifiable nutrient reduction methods which have not yet become market-driven or integrated into governmental policies. The platform will first function with phosphorus offsets, but can later be expanded also to nitrogen.

The lessons learned in the pilot scheme will be used for analyzing nutrient trading as a water policy instrument on a national level, and also for the analysis of a Baltic Sea wide inter-governmental nutrient trading. Based on these, NutriTrade will produce policy recommendations for the Baltic Sea region.

The total project budget for 2015-18 is 2,1 MEUR, of which the share of the European Union (EU Interreg Central Baltic Programme) is almost 1,6 MEUR.

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