The Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia together with the Baltic Development Forum in close cooperation with the European Commission, Ministry of Environment and other partners. About 770 participants from governments, international organisations, NGOs, universities, local and regional administrations and businesses came together to discuss developments and challenges in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR).
The main theme of the 9th Annual Forum was the Baltic Sea Region After 2020.
HELCOM announced that they will update their Baltic Sea Action Plan post-2021 (BSAP). This is important news given the potential political and economic implications that the action plan has in the BSR and the changes that might come out of it. Many of our SUBMARINER Network projects are also aligned to the recommendations of the action plan, e.g. Baltic Blue Growth, InnoAquatech, and MUSES.
Moreover, the New Baltic Sea status report containing the updated Good Environmental Status report is expected to be published by HELCOM in June 2018.
The report will come a few months after the “The Baltic Sea Action Plan Scorecard 2018” released by WWF. The latter report reveals that the Baltic Sea coastal countries are failing to deliver on their commitments for a healthy Baltic Sea by 2021 and showing little indication that this will change. Under the WWF scoreboard, out of the 58 most significant and ongoing actions assessed, less than one third have been accomplished (16 out of 58 actions).