An Agenda 21
for the Baltic Sea Region
Baltic 21

Adopted at the 7th Ministerial Session of the Council
of the Baltic Sea States, Nyborg, June 22-23, 1998


Contents

Foreword

0. Summary of Baltic 21 Action Programme

1.Introduction

2. Basic Principles for Baltic 21

3. Current Activities

4. Definitions and Goals

5. Gaps and Obstacles

6. Scenarios and Visions

7. Policy Implications

8. Action Programme

9. Financing

10. Implementation of Baltic 21 and its Action Programme

FOREWORD

The mandate to develop an Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, with the objective Sustainable Development, stems from the Heads of Government of the region and the meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Baltic Sea Region, within the framework of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), including the European Union. Because of this, Baltic 21 comprises all Nordic countries and all other countries around the Baltic Sea. For the Russian Federation only the north-western part is included. The European Union is also a participant in the elaboration of Baltic 21.

Baltic 21 was officially launched by the Ministers of Environment in October 1996 in Saltsjobaden and the Saltsjobaden Declaration provides the terms of reference for the Baltic 21 set-up and process. In their back-to back meeting, the Ministers responsible for spatial planning in the BSR also decided to concentrate work on sustainable development, and in particular to integrate relevant activities with the Baltic 21 process.

Baltic 21 is a democratic, open and transparent process. It is steered by the Senior Officials Group (SOG), with members from the Governments of CBSS and the European Commission, NGOS, intergovernmental organisations like HELCOM, VASAB, International Baltic Sea Fisheries Commission (IBSFC), Nordic Council of Ministers and the international development banks (World Bank, EBRD, EIB, NIB, Nefco). All Baltic 21 documentation; back ground documents, SOG meeting reports, workshop reports, draft texts, are published on the Baltic 21 website (http://www.ee/baltic21).

The emphasis of Baltic 21 is on regional co-operation and on the environment and its bearing on economic and social aspects of sustainable development. The work focuses on seven sectors of crucial economic and environmental importance in the region. For each sector, goals and scenarios for sustainable development have been elaborated as well as a sector action programmes including time frames, actors and financing. The responsibility for the sector work is distributed among the SOG members. The seven sectors and their lead parties have been: Agriculture (HELCOM and Sweden), Energy (Denmark and Estonia), Fisheries (IBSFC). Forests (Finland and Lithuania), Industry (Russia and Sweden), Tourism (Estonia, Finland Baltic Sea Tourism Commission) and Transports (Germany and Latvia). Work on the Baltic 21 initiative has involved some 300 persons in the region.

All sectors have presented their work in a sector report. The sector reports, and other working papers produced by i.e. VASAB, IFIs, the European Commission and Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum constitute the background for the integrated and comprehensive Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, presented in this publication. These reports are however not an integral part of the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region. The Agenda was adopted by Foreign Ministers at the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) meeting in June 1998 and will be reported to the Prime Ministers of the region at their next summit.

0. Summary of Baltic 21 Action Programme

0.1 One principal outcome of Baltic 21 is the Action Programme, which consists of 30 different actions addressing the transition to sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). It is based on selected proposals from the seven sectors (see below) which are the focus of Baltic 21 and by Visions and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea 2010 (VASAB 2010). The Programme is divided in three parts: Joint Actions addressing issues concerning several sectors, selected Sector Actions addressing sector specific issues, and Spatial Planning Actions addressing spatial planning issues.

0.2 Joint Actions:

Increased production and use of bioenergy and other renewable energy. Use of regional fora and networks for sustainable development. Establishment of demonstration areas and pilot projects for proving sustainable development in practice. City co-operation and sustainable development issues in cities and communities. Procurement of technologies for sustainable development. Information for sustainable development. Increasing consumers awareness of sustainable development.

0.3 Sector Actions:

0.3.1 Agriculture sector

Education and training. Develop a "Virtual Research Institute" for sustainable agriculture based on the already existing NOVABOVA in the Baltic Sea Region.

Elaborate and implement agro-environmental legislation and policies.

0.3.2 Energy sector

Strengthening co-operation between authorities. Increasing renewable energy and promoting increased energy efficiency and energy sav ings. Co-operation on research and development.

0.3.3 Fisheries sector

Developing long term strategies for major fish stocks: Cod, Salmon, Herring and Sprat. Restoration of habitats important to fish and fisheries in inland waters. Achieving sustainable aquaculture.

0.3.4 Forests sector

Promotion of sustainable forest management and efficiency in private forestry within the Baltic Sea region through: existing organisational structures or networks of forest owners and leasers of forests; exchange of information on ways and means of advisory services between organisations and authorities that advise forest owners and managers. Gap analysis on protected forest areas. Promotion of the use of wood, and wood based products, as natural renewable resource and environmentally friendly material, and changing of consumption patterns in a more sustainable direction.

0.3.5 Industry sector

Improvement of the framework for business operations through the development of economic incentives improving the management of environment in industry; harmonisation of legislation pertaining to industry as regard state aid, competition, trade and environmental policy (including working environment and industrial safety) without impairing existing international environmental standards; implementation of international conventions and agreements relevant to sustainable development in the BSR. Implement eco-efficiency in industry in the following respects; development of eco-efficiency tools for different industries; implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) with consideration of the special circumstances for small and medium sized enterprises; consideration of environmental factors in all activities and reporting, especially encouraging voluntary initiatives with regard to financial reporting of enterprises; promotion of pilot projects aiming at sustainable development. Extended and improved co-operation on research and development, knowledge and technology transfer in the BSR.

0.3.6 Tourism sector

Enforcement of legislation regarding sustainable development and tourism, e.g. coastal codes and HELCOM recommendations, spatial planning and land use. Environmental Management Systems should be further presented to the tourism industry and monitoring methods developed.

0.3.7 Transports sector

Carry out a project on developing guidelines, criteria and recommendations for infrastructure investments in a sustainable transport system. Establish and strengthen collaboration among the governments with regard to measures for more efficient goods transportation in particular by improving railway and ship connection. Development of regional strategies to support sustainable sea transport.

0.4 Spatial Planning Actions

Implementation of Stockholm Declaration on Sustainable Spatial Development Policy. Further Development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Integration of Baltic 21 into European spatial planning documents.

1. Introduction

1.1 The concept of sustainable development is a way to reconcile two different and sometimes conflicting sets of objectives:"development-progress-growth" and "stability-security-environment". The Brundtland Commission approached this dilemma by first describing the goal of sustainable development as "Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". A number of areas were pointed out as being of special significance in this context, and the integrated and holistic nature of sustainable development was strongly emphasised as a necessary precondition. Addressing poverty, health, economic growth and equity is as necessary as a clean environment in this respect. Building on this goal, the Rio Declaration and the global Agenda 21, adopted in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environmental Development, UNCED, outlined a comprehensive action plan for the global transition to sustainable development. The global Agenda 21 is more indicative than operational, and several efforts have subsequently been made to translate its intentions and perspectives into concrete policies and actions. Baltic 21 is one such initiative.

1.2 Global environmental concerns have been manifested in many international conventions of utmost importance also for this region. Social and economic development, trade issues etc., are also addressed in several international agreements. In the European Union the importance of a change towards sustainability has been recognised in the 5th environmental program "Towards sustainability". the Amsterdam Treaty, and Agenda 2000. Other important initiatives have been taken by OECD, Nordic Council of Ministers and Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).

1.3 Even though encouraging steps have been taken, the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) is not yet on the way to sustainable development. However, our region enjoys a unique combination of favourable natural and human resources together with a rich common cultural heritage and history, and given its great potential for economic and social development, the BSR is better equipped than most others to enter the path towards sustainable development. Prospects for its 80 million people are thus exceedingly good. Being highly industrialised, the region is however also characterised by widely differing economic and social preconditions - issues that are now being addressed in the new historical era of progress and co-operation. The environmental conditions in the region are varied, and include a number of ecological zones. Forests dominate the landscape in the northern parts while the southern parts are dominated by agricultural land. One of the most important, and threatened, environmental resource is the Baltic Sea. It is a highly sensitive ecosystem and for the past forty years it has had to withstand extensive amounts of water and airborne pollution.

1.4 The mandate to develop an Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, with the objective sustainable development, stems from the Heads of Government of the region at their meeting in Visby in May 1996, and the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic Sea Region within the framework of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) in June the same year. Because of this, Baltic 21 comprises Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. For the Russian Federation only the northwestern part is included. The European Commission is also a participant in the elaboration of Baltic 21.

1.5 The project was officially launched by the Ministers of Environment in October 1996 in Saltsjobaden and the Saltsjobaden Declaration provides the terms of reference for the Baltic 21 set-up and process. In their back to back meeting the Ministers responsible for spatial planning in the BSR also decided to concentrate work on sustainable development, and in particular to integrate relevant activities with the Baltic 21 process In line with the mandate given by the Visby summit and the CBSS in Kalmar, Environment Ministers should play an initiating and liaising role in relation to other Ministers and sectors involved, but the responsibility rests with all sectors and Ministers to elaborate a regional Agenda 21.

1.6 The emphasis of Baltic 21 is on environmental aspects including health and spatial planning and its focus on longer-term aspects and regional co-operation, that is: "How can regional cooperation contribute to sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region?" Baltic 21 represents a major step towards sustainable development and at the same time the need to further elaborate the social, cultural and economic dimensions is recognised. Baltic 21 complements international, national and local initiatives as well as the work carried out within for example the Helsinki Commission, HELCOM, and Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea Region 2010, (VASAB 2010). It also takes account of the European Union dimension.

1.7 In the preparations, Baltic 21 was set up to be a democratic, open and transparent process. It is steered by The Senior Officials Group (SOG), with members from the Governments of CBSS, the European Commission, HELCOM, VASAB, The International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission (IBSFC), Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), Baltic Sea Tourism Commission (BTC), Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Research, Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), European Union for Coastal Conservation (EUCC), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Network for Environmental Management (INEM), The Baltic Working Group for Baltic Fishermen, WWF International-Baltic Programme, Union of Baltic Cities (UBC), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Financial Institutions: World Bank, (IBRD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ABRADE), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and the Nordic Environmental Financing Corporation (Nefco). To increase the participation on the local level, a series of public seminars have been organised by the regional NGOs during spring 1998. All Baltic 21 documentation; back ground documents SOG meeting reports, workshop reports, etc., are published on the Baltic 21 website (http://www.ee/baltic21).

1.8 Work within Baltic 21 focuses on seven sectors of crucial economic and environmental importance in the region. For each sector, goals and scenarios for sustainable development have been elaborated, as well as a sector action programmes including time frames, actors and financing. The responsibility for the sector work is distributed among the SOG members. The seven sectors and their lead parties are: Agriculture (HELCOM and Sweden), Energy (Denmark and Estonia), Fisheries (IBSFC), Forests (Finland and Lithuania), Industry (Russia and Sweden), Tourism (Finland, Estonia and BTC) and Transports (Germany and Latvia). In addition. a cross-sectoral report on spatial development has been elaborated, following the provisions of the Stockholm Declaration on Sustainable Spatial Development Policy adopted by the Ministers responsible for spatial planning on October 22, 1996. Work on the Baltic 21 initiative has involved hundreds of persons in the region.The "Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region" is an integrated and comprehensive document that builds on the reports produced by these sectors, by VASAB, IFls, UBC, Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum (BLA21F) and CCB.

1.9 This Document is presented in fulfilment of the mandate given by the Saltsjobaden Declaration, and presents a joint statement on how the countries of the BSR will start to meet the challenges posed by the transition to regional sustainable development. The Agenda 21 for the BSR is a valuable contribution to security and stability in this region.

2. The Basic Principles for Baltic 21

2.1 As was decided in the Saltsjobaden Declaration, earlier endorsed principles such as the Precautionary Principle and the Polluter Pays Principle, as well as international agreements, such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution and its associated protocols and the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (the Helsinki Convention) should be taken actively into account when developing an Agenda 21 for the BSR. Baltic 21 also recognises the Amsterdam Treaty. It also recognises the Statement of Conclusions from the Intermediate Ministerial Meeting on the Integration of Fisheries and Environmental Issues (the Bergen Declaration), the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources in the Baltic Sea and the Belts (The Gdansk Convention). The Subsidiarity Principle is another principle that is fundamental to achieving sustainable development. It is further necessary to apply a long-term and holistic perspective in policies and political decision making. Baltic 21 is committed to democracy, openness and broad public participation and the need to promote education and public awareness on sustainable development issues is recognized.

2.2 The essence of these principles and agreements, constitutes basic elements for the elaboration of the goals, the scenarios, the policy implications and the action programmes for sustainable development, that are presented in this document and in the Baltic 21 Sector Reports.

3. Current Activities

3.1 The work carried out in the BSR by the Helsinki Commission, HELCOM, is a globally recog nised example of regional governmental co-operation, aiming to protect the Baltic Sea by i.e. reducing the environmental impact of municipalities, industrial plants. agriculture and transport. VASAB 2010 and IBSFC are two other important regional inter-governmental organisations relevant for many aspects of sustainable development in the BSR, as is also the work carried out on the sub-regional level by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Baltic Council of Ministers, the Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Co-operation, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and the Arctic Council.

3.2 The response of the European Union to the Rio Declaration is the European Union Fifth Environmental Action Programme. Later, the Amsterdam Treaty established sustainable development as one of the Union's central objectives and the requirement to integrate environmental consideration into all policy areas was strengthened. In the short term perspective, the EU approximation process in the new democracies, and the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement between the EU and Russia, are important steps towards sustainable development. In the long-term perspective, further revision of the market framework is however needed in order to promote sustainable development based on sound economic growth, economic and social development, sound resource management and reduction of emissions below critical loads.

3.3 Sustainable development is an overriding national political issue in all the BSR countries. Some countries have formulated special programmes for sustainable development, while others have made efforts to integrate these issues in their national environmental programmes. Besides economic and legislative instruments, education and information are important instruments in the national strategies to reach sustainability.

3.4 In the Rio Declaration, much responsibility was given to local governments. At the Aalborg Conference in 1994, the Aalborg Charter was signed and the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign, supported by the European Union, was established and has since been signed by numerous BSR municipalities. In the BSR, regional networks between cities and municipalities, such as the Union of the Baltic Cities, UBC, and the Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum, BLA21F, have been established. These networks promote exchange of knowledge and experience and launch projects on sustainable development.

3.5 The regional co-operation of environmental non-governmental organisations has grown strong following the political reforms in the new democracies in the Baltic Sea region. In the business sector, several regional networks between companies have been established to promote economic co-operation and trade and to incorporate an environmental perspective in business management and policies. There is also a number of regional school and university initiatives on sustainable development.

3.6 In conclusion, the BSR is the host for numerous networks between governmental and non- governmental organisations. This vast assemblage is an important foundation for further strengthening of the regional co-operation aiming at a transition towards sustainable develop ment. The BSR co-operation does however not yet address the whole concept of sustainable development, where all important sectors are included and where sectoral, spatial, economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects are integrated. The development and implementation of National Agenda 21 programmes, including national goals, strategies and actions to reach sustainability, are of utmost importance to support the regional and local initiatives. The United Nations General Assembly called, in its Special Session (Earth Summit +5) in June 1997, for all countries to formulate and elaborate national strategies for sustainable development in reflection with the contributions and responsibilities of all interest parties by the year 2002. Therefore, all national governments within the BSR are urged to carry out national programmes on sustainable development in the near future. There is also an expressed need for regional and national support to the people-to-people activities organised by e.g. UBC, BLA21F and Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB).

4. Definitions and Goals

4.1 As shown by the wide acceptance of the definition of sustainable development given by the Brundtland Commission, it is important to set up adequate goals and establish objectives to guide the transition towards sustainable development. The overall goal and the sector goals, as defined below, are mainly qualitative, but imply some quantitative elements for areas where data are available and agreements have been reached. Used in the Baltic 21 context, they indicate a direction rather than a state and should therefore be seen in a dynamic, not a static context.

4.2 Keeping within environmental and natural resources limits is a long-term necessity for achieving sustainable development, and an over-riding goal that will influence also the development of the BSR. The need to keep development within the limits of the ecosystems and the resource base is therefore recognised as the long-term overall strategy. The richness of natural resources and a healthy environment in the BSR must prevail as a fundamental basis also for the development aspirations of future generations. The tools to make it possible to reach there are however of an economic and social nature, requiring well-functioning societies, a BSR economy that is competitive in the global context, that new solutions (technological and other) are found that do not contradict sustainable development, that sustainable consumption patterns are identified and applied and that non-sustainable systems and practices are abandoned.

4.3 The following overall goal has been adopted as the common basis for Baltic 21:

4.4 OVERALL GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT :

"The essential objective of Baltic Sea Region co-operation is the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples within the framework of sustainable development, sustainable management of natural resources, and protection of the environment." Sustainable development includes three mutually interdependent dimensions - economic, social and environmental.

This means for the region:

A safe and healthy life for current and future generations. A co-operative and prosperous economy and a society for all. That local and regional co-operation is based on democracy, openness and participation That biological and ecosystem diversity and productivity are restored or maintained. That pollution to the atmosphere, land and water does not exceed the carrying capacity of nature. That renewable resources are efficiently used and managed, within their regeneration capacity. That materials flow of non-renewable resources are made efficient and cyclic, and that renewable substitutes are created and promoted.

That awareness of the elements and processes leading to sustainability is high among different actors and levels of society.

The Baltic Sea Region recognises its interdependence with other parts of the world and makes its contribution to the fulfilment of sustainable development goals at the global and European level.

4.5 The sector goals have been developed by the sectors and further defined by the Senior Officials Group. The goals are related to actual policy formulation. Their use, ultimately, is to guiding the selection of actions proposed to contribute to changing the course of BSR development into a sustainable one. The sector goals all address different aspects of the overall goal, and indicate how the development of the sectors should contribute to the objectives of the overall goal and to sustainable development in the BSR. In addition to the sector goals, a goal concerning spatial planning for sustainable development is also included.

4.6 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Agriculture contributes significantly to the society of the future. Sustainable agrisulture is the production of high quality food and other agricultural products/services in the long run with consideration taken to economy and social structure, in such a way that the resource base of non-renewable and renewable resources is maintained. Important sub-goals are:

4.7 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Sustainable energy development requires the process of:

The following primary goals have been set up for 2030:

To fulfil the primary goals a number of secondary goals must be reached, especially regarding:

4.8 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE FISHERY

Sustainable fishery is achieved when a high probability of fish stocks being able to replenish themselves over a long period of time within a sound ecosystem is assured, while offering stable economic and social conditions for all those involved in the fishing activity.

The goal for achieving sustainable development of fisheries in the Baitic Sea area thus means development of economically and socially sustainable, environmentally safe and responsible fisheries by:

4.9 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and int he future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems. Criteria for sustainable forest management are:

4.10 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRY

Sustainable development for the industrial sector in the Baltic Sea Region is maintaining continuity of economic, social, technological and environmental improvements. This means for the industrial sector in the region:

4.11 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Sustainable tourism is any form of tourist development or activity which respects the environment, ensures long-term conservation of natural and cultural resources, and is socially and economically acceptable and equitable.

The overall goal is to achieve a common understanding on the requirements of sustainable tourism in the Baltic Sea Region. The objectives of the tourism sector in developing sustainable tourism refer to the three main elements of sustainability, that is environment, economy and people and should be:

4.12 GOAL FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTS

The goal with regards to sustainable transportation in the Baltic Sea region consists of two components:

4.13 GOAL FOR SPATIAL PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Planning for sustainable development should:

Promote economic and social development, while simultaneously ensuring the protection and conservation of the natural environment and cultural heritage. Be carried out through procedures and organisational principles that build on public participation, partnership and subsidiarity. Contribute to the competitiveness of the entire region in the EU and in the world, while simultaneously promoting social and economic cohesion in the region between more or less prosperous areas and between urban and rural areas.

4.14 Taken as a whole, the set of Baltic 21 goals submits an unprecedented and positive challenge, and represents a long-term contribution and guide for policy-making and regional co-operation in our region. They also represent a first step towards a common and harmonised regional view of the challenges ahead. The goals give a consistent indication of the nature and direction of the path of sustainable development in the BSR.

5. Gaps and Obstacles

5.1 In order to make a transition towards sustainable development, the most crucial issue to address, is how to make the three aspects of sustainable development interact and support each other. The gap constitutes the insufficient efforts made to assure that economic activities are kept within the long-term carrying capacity of nature at the same time as a favourable economic and business climate is achieved and the well-being of people is assured.

5.2 At present, the efforts made to overcome the economic dependence on non-renewable energy and material resources in the BSR countries and sectors are insufficient, as are also the measurec undertaken to reduce pollution and other impact on the environment. Even though there are political agreements stating that the Polluter Pays Principle and the Precautionary Principle are to guide policies and decision making, in order to internalise environmental aspects and to deal with uncertainties, it has proven politically difficult to fully implement these principles. This concerns national taxation and legislation and other instruments to influence policies and decision making in the private sector and among the general public.

5.3 The driving forces to achieve cconomic growth as well as regional and national equity are strong. This since thc interests of the governments. the private sector and the general public coincide. Still in the short term perspective, it is important to provide a favourable business, as well as social and economic, climate in all countries, especially in the new democracies, where there are still many basic barriers remaining to a balanced economic development. Such barriers consist of i.e. incomplete legislation, weak enforcement of law, custom and certification problems, illegal trade, deficiencies in the taxation system and an ineffective administration. In the long run, these obstacles will however be surpassed, due to strong political and market incentives. Economic growth and environmental investments, will also increase the possibilities to solve social problems, concerning e.g. unemployment, health issues and social security.

5.4 There are several obstacles - concerning all Baltic Sea countries - that presently prevent that economic, environmental and social demands interact and support each other;

5.4.1 The BSR co-operation does, up to now. not address the whole concept of sustainable development in an integrated way, where all important sectors are included and where sectoral, spatial, economic. environmental and social aspects are integrated.

5.4.2 Also on the national level, the integration of economic, environmental and social concerns in political and private policies and decision making, applying a holistic and long-term perspective leaves room for improvement. The co-operation between sectors, to solve problems and to promote cross-sectoral solutions to avoid problems is also insufficient. Furthermore, there is a lack of responsibility given to and taken by the sectors.

5.4.3 There is also a lack of defined goals in some sectors that can be monitored and evaluated and that can help to identify conflicting interests within and between sectors. Following this, at present, it is difficult to require information that is based on common classification systems and data collection methods.

5.4.4 Finally, the lack of knowledge, training and awareness regarding sustainable development within the public and private spheres as well as among the general public, is a fundamental obstacle that needs to be surpassed.

6. Scenarios and Visions

6.1 An overall result from the "business as usual" scenarios presented in the sector reports is that the BSR as a whole is not yet on a sustainable path. An absence of major policy and infrastructural changes, would mean that foreseeable trends would not meet sustainability goals. This is particularly true as regards the transport sector, but also, in varying degree, for other sectors. In particular, as shown by the analysis, if current trends continue unchecked, the environmental consequences of the region's rapid growth would lead to unacceptably large increases in emissions of pollution to air and water, not least to the Baltic Sea. On the other hand, growth and increased equity are both desirable and necessary as well as offer opportunities for generating the resources needed for realising the sustainability transition. A common theme in the "sustainable scenarios" of the sectors is therefore to point out how such potential contradictions can be successfully resolved.

6.2 Using the results from the scenario presentations of the sectors, and including the vision for a balanced spatial development contained in the VASAB report, an overall vision for a sustainable BSR has been elaborated, building on the set of Baltic 21 goals and on the following key points:

6.3 VISION OF A SUSTAINABLE BALTIC SEA REGION 2030

6.3.1 This vision is based on a set of key issues that represents a sustainable developrnent in economic, social and environmental terms: The economic differences.in the region have vanished, unemployment is reduced to a minimum, the economic dependence on non-renewable energy and material is substantially reduced, greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced, acidification of soils and waters are reduced to levels where the productivity and diversity of ecosystems are secured and, finally, the state of the Baltic Sea marine environment is improved and capable to sustain healthy marine ecosystems. Consumers and different actors in society are widely aware of social and environmental factors related to sustainable development.

6.3.2 The BSR has been able to fully exploit its considerable potential for dramatic economic and social improvements in a way that allows the region's economy to develop in a sustainable way. The fast economic development, primarily in the new democracies, has provided the basis for a safe and healthy life and has made the current major differences in living standard disappear in the region. It has also produced the opportunity to make the necessary investments in new infrastructure and generated the resources for the transition to sustainable development. Dynamic policies with respect to economy, trade, social and other issues have been applied with the aim of supporting sustainability objectives. The standard of living and level of consumption have been dramatically increased in the new democracies, due to a booming industrial sector partly facilitated by the comparatively high level of education and skilled work force. Economic differences within the countries have also decreased. The economic growth achieved represents a several fold increase in economic activities in the region.

Such levels of economic growth require a significant development and use of efficient and clean technologies as well as a decoupling of economic growth from resource use in order not to violate the ecological goals. An important element of such a decoupling is also a significant change of the production and consumption patterns.

6.3.3 In the year 2030, social security is generally on a high level and in particular unemployment in the region is on a minimum level. This is due to a restructured and well functioning market economy in the whole region. There is a strong regional co-operation on the harmonisation and introduction of new policies, in the framework of taxation, ecological elements are taken into consideration.

6.3.4 The regional greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 have almost been halved. Measures aiming at reducing the emissions aiso contribute to the improvements of other issues. The reduction is caused by significant measures in the energy, transport and industry sectors, e.g. by considerable improvements in energy efficiency, supported by measures to realise the potential of carbon sinks and reservoirs. Industry plants and equipment have been up-graded and modernised, with the largest effect on energy and resources effciency appearing in the new democracies. More efficient transports, decoupling of economic and transport growth, better insulation of buildings and increased use of Combined Heat and Power production has led to improved energy efficiency. International agreements control the global greenhouse gas emissions. The countries of the BSR continue to play an active role in a broader context such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change and its protocols, at the pan-European (ECE) level and in the OECD, in order to promote a forceful policy to reduce the green house gas emissions.

6.3.5 In the agricultural sector, crop- and animal production have been closely integrated, enabling efficient re-circulation of manure and decreased use of fertilisers. Organic farming principles have been further developed and applied. Wetlands have been maintained, restored or established as a measure to reduce nutrient leakage to lakes and the Baltic Sea. Biological and physical diversity of the landscape, cultural values and historical heritage are taken care of. Increased efficiency in the agricultural production has also led to that less land and people are needed to produce the region's food and feed. Excessive land is used i.e. for energy production or for afforestation, which offers alternative income and employment to the rural communities, or for food exports to satisfy increasing global demand.

6.3.6 Acidification caused by emissions from within the region has been decreased by e.g. deliberate integration of land-use and traffic planning that caused a decline in structurally determined travel, especially every day short distance trips by car. Significant reductions have also been made in the energy, transport and industry sectors, e.g. energy efficiency improvements and fuel switching. In the new democracies, emissions have also been reduced by incentives that speeded up renewal of the automobile fleet. Energy consumption has been stabilised by 2010 and decreased thereafter and e.g. nitrogen oxide emissions reduced to insignificant amounts. European agreements have reduced the transboundary emissions from outside the BSR. The productivity of ecosystems, e.g. to the benefit of the forest sector, has been secured due to the decreased acidification of soils. Natural old growth forests and the biodiversity of productive national forests are protected.

6.3.7 The environmental state of the Baltic Sea in 2030 has improved greatly due to measures in the energy, transport, industry and agricultural sectors. Application of effective sewage treatment has been almost completed and long-term sustainable systems are now widely introduced. All "hot-spots" in the region have long been eliminated by 2030. As a consequence of all those changes, the conditions for the fisheries and tourism sectors have been improved due to increased productivity, diversity and recreational value of the ecosystems.

6.3.8 The awareness of sustainability elements - economic, social and environmental - has raised among different actors and levels of society. Consumers have plenty of inforrnation (e.g. ecolabelling of products) and good possibilities to act in a sustainable way.

6.3.9 Besides these key issues, the BSR has also dealt with a number of other issues, e.g. protected biodiversity, decreased the use of non-renewable resources, phased out the pollution by heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants and decreased the radioactive hazards. Proactive solutions have been preferred, but society has also been adaptive to new challenges. Each Baltic municipality is implementing its own local Agenda 21. Monitoring systems have been established. One successful proactive measure has been the decrease of the overall turnover of energy- and material use partly due to a change in consumption. A prerequisite for the vision has also been the continued and increased close co-operation and co-ordination in the region.

6.3.10 Goal conflicts have occurred, the most important being that between high economic growth and environmental goals. Here "win-win" solutions have paved the way to a sustainable BSR, by the increased efficiency with respect to resource use and emissions. During the period, foresighted business and industrial investment and management policies have resulted in more than a factor-four improvement in resource productivity in the region. Elements which have increased the efficiency include the introduction of successful re use and recycling markets as well as a general de-materialisation emphasising smaller and more knowledge intensive goods. Subsidising of unsustainable activities has been phased out. Investment decisions take sustainability into account. European level agreements have been important to achieve a reduction in transboundary emissions from outside the BSR.

6.3.11 Changes have been driven by a co-evolution of dynamic markets on the one hand, and supported by consumer preferences and innovations (technological and institutional) on the other, without much political involvement, e.g. advanced personal communicators. Foresighted political initiatives have been important for e.g. the increased energy efficiency of cars and the land use policies that led to less travel by car. Harmonised minimum regulations and economic incentives to reach high environmental standards have also been used to e.g. reduce emissions together with measures to increase public awareness regarding sustainability issues. The role of political fore-runners has been crucial for triggering new investment and strengthening positive competition among enterprises and between the national, regional and local level in the region.

6.4 Two overall common conclusions can be drawn from the above. The first is that entering the path towards sustainable development in the BSR is an apparent possibility, and the second that none of the sectors would necessarily present unsurpassable obstacles to such an option in the 2030 perspective, even if the changes required are more or less difficult. In fact, given that the necessary policy changes required are implemented, all sectors would be able to make significant contributions to the transition towards sustainable development, both in the shorter and longer time perspective. By entering the path of sustainable development, the BSR would also contribute significantly towards sustainable development on a global scale. But - as is made completely clear also from the Baltic 21 material - sustainable development is a comprehensive and integrated concept and requires a unified approach covering all aspects of society, including the seven Baltic 21 sectors.

7. Policy Implications

7.1 This section assesses the policy modifications implied from the changes made necessary by the transition to sustainable development, as indicated by the vision and the overall goal. Many of the changes constitute changes in processes and policies already agreed upon but in need of further strengthening and better implementation. Others constitute new issues to be addressed. To make this transition happen, will however require substantial changes in policies and priorities in the BSR as everywhere else.

7.2 Strengthening current policies

7.2.1 Foresighted political decisions and efficient democratic decision-making processes are of course decisive for success in the pursuit of sustainable development, and the democratic processes that underpin sustainable development need to be further strengthened. This is not to suggest changes in the policy-making process, but rather to recognise the need for ongoing, persistent and patient work. Sustainability in the broad sense and environmental policies need to be further articulated and fully incorporated in policies and political decision-making. Active civic participation in the decision- making process remains to be strengthened at all levels in the whole region.

7.2.2 There is a need for an enhanced national and regionally harmonised regulatory framework in the region where sustainability aspects are clearly incorporated. One such aspect concerns the improved efficiency of resource use, another concerns the reduction of emissions and a third concerns the implementation of international agreements relevant for the Baltic Sea Region environment. The implementation of harmonised economic instruments is another prerequisite. Further incorporation of the Polluter Pays Principle and the Precautionary Principle in national regulations of market activities is needed. In particular there is a need for progressive removal of subsidies on energy and on the use of natural resources, and to establish cost-recovery mechanisms. Combined, these components constitute the basis for efficient efforts to address regional environmental problems, to set international standards on market behaviour and on environmental control, to promote fair terms of trade and to reduce illegal trade. It must be recognised that in the next few years the EU accession process will be a key factor in determining environment and sustainability related policies and priorities in the applicant countries.

7.2.3 Since the concept of sustainable development in itself is not value-free and since sustainable development refers to and includes the development of society as a whole, conflicting interests and goals are inevitable. This is one of the most difficult issue that needs to be addressed. Efforts must be made at all levels to avoid decisions that contradict sustainable development objectives. Wherever possible, the solution is to look for "win-win" situations, for example regarding increasing efficiency with respect to the use of resources - in particular non-renewable resources, to the replacement of non-renewable by renewable resources, to the reduction of discharges and emission, and to the re-use and recycling of materials.

7.2.4 Efforts to integrate environmental concerns and responsibilities into sector policies have already proved to be a successful way to promote environmental objectives. Such efforts must now be broadened to include also sustainability perspectives. Further integration of economic, social and environmental aspects in sectoral planning is needed. The work of the seven sectors in the Baltic 21 process represents an important effort in this regard.

7.2.5 The need for continuous and strengthened efforts in trans-disciplinary research is noted. This corresponds to an even greater need to translate such knowledge into implementation of pilot projects and innovative small-scale solutions, not least suitable to small and medium sized enterprises and to find ways to further support such initiatives.

7.2.6 An increased public awareness of the need for sustainable development and a change towards sustainable consumption patterns is essential. This would include an increased consumer awareness on the impact of products to the environment. Such efforts must primarily concern information and education leading to a better willingness to accept, where necessary, the adoption of rules or incentives that promotes "sustainable behaviour".

7.2.7 The spatial planning instrument needs to be used more actively in support of sustainable development initiatives and objectives, with positive implications for policies of land-use and long-term infrastructure planning.

7.2.8 Regional activities concerning transfer of knowledge, technologies and resources, including training, within the framework of bilateral, multilateral and other co-operation or assistance programmes, need to further incorporate sustainability objectives, and should be further directed towards supporting the Baltic 21 Action Programme.

7.2.9 Further strengthening, as appropriate, of the co-operation between the work done in the BSR and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council is highly relevant to facilitate a fruitful transition towards sustainable development, especially concerning the Russian parts of the BSR and the Barents Region.

7.3 New issues to be addressed

7.3.1 Time has now come to also address inter-linkages and dependencies between sectoral and spatial development, between the different sectors themselves, their connections to other parts of society and to more actively develop joint priorities and strategies and a holistic approach in the region. Sustainability priorities should be integrated into investment plans. Such plans has the advantage of bringing parties responsible for planning, finance, environment, and co-operating sectoral ministries and municipalities together to reach consensus on priorities for sustainable development in a formally structured manner.

7.3.2 Sustainable development policies require considerably longer time-scales than those usually adopted by business, governments and the public, something that also greatly increases the uncertainties involved in policy-making. In the new democracies, given their comparatively low level of economic development, the current focus on short term expectations and policies is both necessary and expected. However since most of the economic differences in the BSR will level off in the longer time frames necessary for sustainable development, the adoption of long-term policy-making will become increasingly easier to accept. At the same time, the expected rapid development in those countries provides an opportunity to incorporate longer time sustainability perspectives in the decision-making structure already at an early stage.

7.3.3 As indicated by the analysis of Baltic 21 sectors, increased regional co-operation through i.e. the establishment of regional structures, such as common energy markets, common transport policies and co-ordination of activities between authorities, would be a considerable contribution to sustainable development. Regional co-operation between authorities and other actors is necessary for developing regional market frameworks, including harmonised environmental legislation and taxes. The importance of an improved dialogue between the local, national and regional levels is also recognised.

7.3.4 A shift to increased use of renewable resources, taking into account the balance between all the dimensions of sustainability is an essential requirement for meeting the sustainability goals. There is an overall need for an increased efficiency with respect to resource use and emissions. The approaches to achieve this should be systematic, flexible and compatible. An optimal and cost-effective mix of actions at all levels is required, involving all relevant actors in society. Several international fora are presently addressing the question of how to deal with these issues. In the efforts to reach sustainable development in industry, the concept of eco-efficiency is further developed, for example within the work of OECD and the UN. There is also an ongoing discussion which focus on the factor 4 and l0 concept. In the work to achieve regional sustainable development there is an evident need for the countries in the Baltic Sea Region to make their contribution to a successful development of policy instruments for these concepts.

8. Action Programme

8.1 Overall Nature of the Action Programme

8.1.1 The emphasis of the Baltic 21 action programme is on strengthening the basis for a comprehensive regional co-operation on the building of a solid foundation for the common long-term transition to sustainable development in the BSR. The focus is on structures and other non-technological initiatives, but selected concrete investment-oriented projects are also included. Regional co-operation projects and initiatives are high-lighted, and they will be undertaken in complement to other activities on e.g. the national, bilateral and local levels, or by business or NGOs. Most actions are proposed to be taken now, but their impact will be important in the long term, in particular for building the structures needed for further joint action. The actions proposed, which are drawn from the sector reports and VASAB material, are all related to various aspects of the overall and sectoral goals, but obviously they can not cover all aspects and challenges posed. The implementation of the action programme is mainly the responsibility of the sectors.

8.1.2 The proposed action plan aims at filling gaps that have been identified. Another guiding principle in the identification and implementation of the actions is that duplication of other work has to be avoided.

8.1.3 The Baltic 21 Action Programme outlined below is divided into three parts, the first consisting of a group of joint actions, i.e. actions that concern or combine the features of two or more action proposals from the sectors. The second is a set of priority actions by sectors, and the third part consists of actions for spatial planning. For many actions proposed, actors, sources of financing and time-frames are indicated.

8.1.4 Many activities and actions proposed by the sectors affect, or depend on, several other sectors, and suggest the importance of joint and cross-sectoral initiatives. A few common themes appear in more than one sectoral action programme, such as the creation of regional fora/networks or various research and education/awareness initiatives. There are also a number of broader over-riding issues that affect all sectors, such as procurement of technologies and information. All those features provide a basis for formulating relevant joint actions. The identification and implementation of cross-sectoral and joint actions between the sectors contribute much to the added value of the Baltic 21 process. Sustainable development, by its very nature, involves all sectors of society and sustainability activities and policies therefore require crossing of sectors and disciplinary borders. Representatives from the different sectors should have integration meetings in order to take care of this need.

8.1.5 In the second and third parts of the Action Programme, sector and spatial planning actions are presented, drawn from the sector and VASAB reports. Actions included in the programme reflect the priorities of the sectors, their possibilities to be operationalised and the overall balance of the action programme.

8.1.6 Effective implementation of the Action Programme will require that its priorities be integrated into the planning processes used by the co-operating national and local governments and that they also be made a key element of investment and management strategies of the private sector in the BSR. The Action Programme includes a wide range of measures and activities which will require the mobilisation of resources by the public and private sector from domestic and international sources. The diversity of activities contained in the Action Programme implies that project financing will need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Some of the proposed actions may be financed through either exisitng or new budgetary appropriations from domestic resources, complemented by supplemental resources from programmes of the European Union and other forms of international co-operation as far as appropriate. Many projects will require the mobilisation of loans from a range of sources,including International Financial Institutions (IFIs), commercial banks, export credit agencies and other types of specialised financial institutions. Frequently a combination of different means of financing such as loans and grants will be required for the realisation of a proposed project. In order to support the implementation of the Action Programme, an overview of issues related to resource mobilisation is provided in Chapter 9.

8.2 Joint actions

8.2.1 JO 1: Increased production and use of bioenergy and other renewable energy

Bioenergy is one renewable energy resource in the BSR, and supply can be easily and considerably expanded from, e.g. surplus agricultural land or the forest sector. Also other efforts concerning renewable energy development and dissemination should be pursued in a regional co-operative context, taking into account the various costs, technology and resource factors that may affect their feasibility and potential markets. However, policy changes may be needed, particularly in the new democracies, in order to encourage the use of renewable energy in general. A regional programme to increase the exploitation of energy crops and use of forests and forest residues for energy as well as wind, solar energy and biogas, to create employment and make additional energy resources available should be started. A regional group for the exchange of experiences and technological know-how on, and promotion of the use of wood based energy should be established in the forest sector.

Actors: Energy, agriculture, forests and industry sectors, business and national energy authorities.

Time frame: Start 1998, ongoing.

8.2.2 JO 2: Use of regional fora and networks for sustainable development

Most sectors recognise the need for keeping the momentum created by the work of the regional Baltic 21 sector groups, and suggest the use of various forms of regional fora and networks as a basis for continued co-operation and sustainability awareness raising. The different scope and mandates suggested for those initiatives overlap to a certain extent even though they are clearly adjusted to the specific theme and the needs and problems of the sector in question. The use of such regional structures is an important part of the follow-up process of Baltic 21 and creates an important basis for further work on sustainability issues in the sectors and in the BSR as a whole. The work and programme development of those sectoral sustainability fora and networks need to co-ordinate with each other and to be undertaken in close contact with the Baltic 21 implementation and monitoring process. Besides the specific tasks outlined by the different sectors, the fora should also pay attention to the need for i.e. public awareness, education, training, information dissemination, development of indicators, NGO contacts, local activities and other relevant aspects, such as the need to include spatial Planning obiectives and concepts.

Actors: All sectors, VASAB and governments.

Time frame: Start in 1998, ongoing.

8.2.3 Jo 3: Establishment of demonstration areas and pilot projects for proving sustainable development in practise

It is of crucial importance to demonstrate what sustainable development means in practice, and to provide good examples for regional dissemination. Several sectors have therefore proposed to set up demonstration areas and demonstration or pilot plants. Co-ordinated efforts to establish such units should be made in all countries and in different ecological zones. The results should be widely disseminated to politicians, the business and other professional communities, media and the public. In the agricultural sector, in order to demonstrate to farmers and the public what sustainable agriculture is and how it could be performed under different conditions, such areas should be based on watersheds, and at least one demonstration area should be established in every country. Activities should build on existing water-shed initiatives, and support implementation of the HELCOM Agricultural Annex and Code of Good Agricultural Practices. The forests sector demonstration areas should illustrate ways and means of forest management practices and planning to promote sustainable forest management. In the industry sector, pilot projects aiming at environmentally sound processes and clean technologies and practices for sustainable industrial development should be promoted. The possibilities for co-location of e.g. agriculture and forestry projects in sub-regional watershed areas and of projects on transportation systems, the siting of industrial pilot plants and tourism facilities should be considered.

Actors: Agriculture, forest, industry, tourism and transport sectors, business and research communities, NGOs, land-owners.

Time frame: Initiated during 1998-1999, and the programmes should be fully developed by 2002, ongoing.

8.2.4 JO 4: City co-operation and sustainable development issues in cities and communities

The development of cities and communities and their interrelation with surrounding areas are key factors for the success of the sustainability transition. A large number of communities in the BSR are already actively engaged in a number of initiatives related to sustainable development, including the pursuit of Local Agenda 21 initiatives. The Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum (BLA21F) acts as a network aimed at promoting the Rio process by raising environmental awareness, strengthening public participation and increasing responsibility as well as by focusing on future generations and minority groups. Co-operation between different types of cities concerning a number of technical and infra-structural areas related to Baltic 21 sectors as well as more general sustainable development issues can be improved via Local Agenda 21 processes dealing e.g. with public transport, energy resource use and systems, waste handling and recirculation and spatial planning. Also pilot projects aimed at disseminating experiences of good practice are needed. Important activities, such as municipal environmental audits are already started by Union of the Baltic Sea Cities (UBC) and others, and need to be strengthened. Common activities, based on sector proposals, could cover e.g. development of methods and technologies to promote re-circulation of nutrients and organic matter in urban bio-wastes to arable land, co-operation and exchange of experience on district heating systems and small-scale energy solutions, co-operation between public transport companies in order to promote environmental, sustainable and efficient urban transport systems and spatial planning aspects of urban transport systems. The opportunities for successfully expanding this type of activities are substantial. The overall objective is that all aspects of sustainable development - ecological, social and economic - are integrated in the sectoral approach, incorporating spatial planning objectives and concepts.

Actors: Agriculture, energy and transport sector, UBC, BLA21F, VASAB, local authorities, transport and energy business.

Time frame: start in 1998, fully established by 2003, ongoing.

8.2.5 JO 5: Procurement of technologies for sustainable development

The possibilities of procurement policies as a means to stimulate development and dissemination of environmentally sound technology to advance sustainable development are promising. Such policies have successfully been tested on the local and national level, particularly in the energy field, and new initiatives are under way. However, the possibilities to adopt common procurement policies on a regional level have not yet been tried but should be explored and tested. If successful, they could extend the possibilities for creating an even larger and more influential process of considerable benefit both in the short and long term. Examples of potential areas for regional procurement - adapted to the Baltic 21 initiative - are renewable energy (such as offshore wind or biomass boilers), transport systems (such as city buses or road pricing systems), small scale combined heat and power (CHP), agricultural systems (incl. plant production products, equipment for site specific farming, geographical positioning systems, feeding systems and machinery), building materials or lighting systems (for e.g. public space, offices and industry). The action is to initiate a regional process for procurement activities, based on existing experiences and relevant national legislation and EU directives.

Actors: Agriculture, energy, industry and transports sectors, Governments Time frame: Initiated in 1999

8.2.6 JO 6: Information for sustainable development

The Baltic 21 process has demonstrated lack of a coherent BSR data and information facility to provide quantitative data and information for assessments and monitoring of the development in the Baltic 21 sectors, the countries and the region as a whole. Thus, the objective is to establish an indicator-based information and reporting framework for the BSR. This shall ensure the timely provision of data for sector and overall indicators on sustainable development and assessments thereof, and consequently enable monitoring of Baltic 21 and other efforts. Work should rely on existing work co-ordinated by the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT) and others and should avoid overlapping.

Actors: Sectors, Governments, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, National and international data providers, HELCOM, VASAB, EUROSTAT, EEA, ICES, seientific community.

Time Frame: Initiated in 1999

8.2.7 Jo 7: Increasing consumers awareness of sustainable development

Since one of the main driving forces for sustainable development initiatives in industry and other sectors is market development. the view and awareness of the public concerning regional sustainable development issues and the industrial and product impact on environmem is of great importance. An increased consumer awareness and improved consumer information should be accomplished by i.e.:

Actors: All sectors, Governments, VASAB, consumer and other non-governmental organisations.

Time frame: Start 1998, ongoing.

8.3 Sector Actions

8.3.1 Agriculture: The focus of the agriculture action programme is on building sustainable struc tures, improving viability of agriculture in the region and strengthening farm management with respect to environmental, biodiversity, landscape, cultural heritage, social and economic issues. The proposed actions support a comprehensive set of programmes designed to strengthen and promote sustainable agriculture in the BSR. Those programmes aim at reducing nutrient losses and the use of growth promoters, to protect drinking water and preserve productivity, as well as maintaining biodiversity and rural landscapes, promoting animal health, developing rural infrastructure and other key issues. To a large extent the implementation of the reduction of nutrient losses from agriculture and the reduction of risk connected with the use of plant protection products is demanded by the Annex on Agriculture to the Helsinki Convention.

8.3.2 AG 1: Education and training

Education, training and information is one of the most important actions in the action programme and both farmers and consumers are important target groups. The farmers in all countries are dependant on adequate education and training to be able to practice production methods that will lead to sustainable agriculture. Especially in the countries in transition and Poland, where the tradition of family farming is recent, a great need of educating the farmers has become evident. Current activities such as education programmes financed by the EU agri-environmental programmes within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and education and training included in bilateral projects in the countries in transition and Poland, need to be further extended. Besides the actors below, industries, the market, and Naos have interests in this action.

Actors: Agricultural schools, the extension services, universities, research institutes, governmental ministries and farmers organisations.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.3.3 AG 2: Develop a "Virtual Research Institute" for sustainable agrisulture based on the already existing NOVABOVA in the Baltic Sea Region

A network of research institutes and universities in the form of a virtual research institute should be established to promote and co-ordinate research concerning sustainable agriculture. This action could be linked to the already existing NOVABOVA (NOVA - the Nordic Forestry Veterinary and Agricultural University and BOVA - the Baltic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University). Relevant research programmes to further develop the concept of sustainable agriculture, monitoring and indicators should be elaborated and implemented.

Actors: Sector, Nordic Council of Ministers, universities, research institutes, NGOs and agro-business.

Time frame: 1998 - 2008.

8.3.4 AG 3: Elaborate and implement agro-environmental legislation and policies

The elaborating and implementation of agro-environmental legislation and policy is a part of the entire action programme for sustainable agriculture, both at the intergovernmental and governmental level and relates to the entire goal of sustainable agriculture. The legislation and policies in all countries must be adapted and improved towards sustainable development to be able to achieve sustainable agriculture.

Actors: Sector, governments, national and international authorities, the EU and HELCOM.

Time frame: 1998 - 2005.

8.3.5 Energy: The energy sector action programme focuses on a set of institutional and technical measures to enhance co-operation and to ensure that the BSR energy market develops along a sustainable path. Important elements in this path are increased energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy and natural gas. Together with other ongoing activities, the programme should form a comprehensive effort for sustainable development in the energy sector. The possible synergy between hydropower and combined heat and power (CHP) is a unique option for increased efficiency available in the Baltic Sea Region. To support such a development, a number of institutional improvements are identified, including an effective legal/economic market framework, improved availability of new technology and infrastructure, improved access to financing and better information. The Baltic 21 Energy Network will play an important role in the initiation of the work.

8.3.6 EN 1: Strengthening co-operation between authorities

Taking advantage of benefits from regional optimisation requires improved regional co-operation on long term goals, energy market framework, incentives for players and certain infrastructure investments. Therefore, there is a need for regional energy co-operation between the authorities. The first step of the action is to prepare input to the meeting for the BSR energy ministers in autumn 1998.

Actors: Sector, the group for follow-up the Bergen declaration and the group to prepare the ministerial meeting.

Time frame: 1998.

8.3.7 EN 2: Increasing renewable energy and promoting increased energy efficiency and energy savings.

Some renewable energy sources are yet unable to compete on a strict cost basis. Establishing a regional "renewable energy market" is one way of increasing the share of renewables. Financial support (grants or guarantees) from national, bilateral or multilateral donors to projects on energy savings and energy efficiency must be co-ordinated in order to ensure efficiency and that the right" projects are given priority. Establishing a regional "savings and efficiency market" with competition in well-defined tender procedures could ensure the "right" choice of projects. The action is i) to describe the "pros and cons" of a regional renewable energy market in the BSR and to draft a possible framework for such a market, taking also the Kyoto protocol into account and ii) to describe a possible framework for energy savings and energy efficiency markets.

Actors: Sector

Time frame: Initiated 1998.

8.3.8 EN 3: Co-operation on research and development

There is a need for ensuring that research and development within the fields of renewable energy and energy savings are strengthened. Co-operation between existing R&D communities could ensure that mutual benefits are gained from existing activities in the region. At the same time there is a need to ensure that knowledge, as well as financial resources, are used as efficiently as possible. The proposed first step action is to draw-up, based on existing experiences, a framework for increased regional co-operation on R&D aiming at promoting renewables and energy saving technology.

Actors: R&D community and sector.

Time frame: 1998 - 1999.

8.3.9 Fisheries: The focus of the fishery sector's action programme is on securing the sustainable use and preservation of Baltic Sea and freshwater resources with an ecosystem approach, improving coastal zone management and co-operation, support development of sustainable aquaculture, improve the data situation and quality of stock- and fisheries assessment, and ensure the long-term economic and social viability of the fisheries sector. In addition to the actions presented in this document, the fisheries sector has identified actions to improve the management resources in coastal areas, to increase co-operation in the field of control and enforcement, to increase the quality of stock- and fisheries assessment for sustainable use and preservation of freshwater fish stocks and species and to improve the economic and social stability of the fisheries sector.

8.3.10 Fl 1: Developing long term strategies for major fish stocks: Cod, Salmon, Herring and Sprat

3.3.10.1 IBSFC will apply a precautionary approach. To this end, the International Council for the exploration of the Sea (ICES) has been requested to indicate appropriate biological reference points to allow harvesting within safe biological limits. The need to gradually achieve a balance between the harvesting capacity of fleets and the target reference points for stocks is recognised. The need is also recognised for additional measures and further scientific research to improve the selectivity of fishing gear, to reduce the impact of such gear on species and habitats and to reduce - to the extent possible - by-catches and discards However, due consideration should be given to the need to avoid frequent changes and corresponding costs for the fishing industry. Sustainability should be achieved by long term strategies for all relevant fish stocks The long term strategies for all the fish stocks regulated by IBSFC are listed below in order of importance.

8.3.10.2 A. "Baltic Cod Strategy Plan" Since the spawning success of the Baltic cod stocks is highly influenced by the hydrographic conditions in the Baltic Sea, particular attention shall be given to maintaining these stocks in good condition The IBSFC is currently preparing a detailed long term management strategy for cod fisheries, based on the latest information available from ICES. Pending the reception of this contribution from ICES, the "Baltic Cod Strategy Plan" is expected to be adopted in 1998 and implemented immediately.

Actors: IBSFC, Coastal States

Time frame: concept in 1998, pending input from ICES; implementation from 1999 onwards.

8.3.10.3 B. "IBSFC Salmon Action Plan 1997 - 2010": The 'IBSFC Salmon Action Plan 1997-2010", adopted and published as "Resolution IV" is entirely devoted to improving the status of wild salmon stocks. The objective is that the production of wild salmon should gradually increase to reach by the year 2010 a natural production of at least 50% of the best estimates of the potential capacity of wild salmon rivers; and that salmon should be re-established in potential salmon rivers.

Actors: IBSFC and Coastal States. Financing: Coastal States, Electricity Producers exploiting hydro-electric power plants.

Time frame: 1997-2010.

8.3.10.4 C. "Long term strategy for Pelagic Species" Although the herring and sprat stocks are considered to be within safe biological limits, ICES has been requested to give advice on biological reference points relevant for a long term management strategy for the exploitation of these stocks

Actors: IBSFC and Coastal States.

Time frame: concept in 1999, pending input from ICES; implementation from 2000 onwards.

8.3.11 Fl 2: Restoration of habitats important to fish and fisheries in inland waters

Measures taken should prevent further degradation of inland water fisheries and should be performed on the basis of a catchment area strategy aiming at protecting estuaries, shallow water areas and recruitment habitats for coastal freshwater species; protecting and restoring spawning and nursery areas for commercial and endangered species in fresh waters, where appropriate; and constructing fish ladders at dams and hydroelectric power stations, where appropriate.

Actors: Coastal States, European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC) and HELCOM.

Time frame: 1999, ongoing.

8.3.12 Fl 3: Achieving sustainable aquaculture

Aquaculture production in the Baltic area is rather low because of unfavourable natural conditions. The fish produced is used for human consumption or for releases. The releases can be for enhancement, for sea ranching or for put-and-take fisheries in pounds and lakes. Aquaculture plays a particular role for stocking of salmon and trout. Action to support sustainable aquaculture is required, e.g. minimising water pollution. the spreading of diseases and interactions between wild and reared fish, including transgenic impacts on wild stocks.

Actors: Coastal States.

Time frame: 1999, ongoing.

8.3.13 Forests: The focus of the forests action programme is further development of sustainable forests in regional co-operation between the countries at various levels. The programme builds on, i.e. education and exchange projects, model projects, market tools, public awareness campaigns, publications, research and development projects and seminars with the view of development of forest policies and forest management practices towards sustainability.

8.3.14 FO 1: Promotion of sustainable forest management and efficiency in private forestry within the Baltic Sea region through:

a) existing organisational structures or networks of forest owners and leasers of forests.

b) exchange of information on ways and means of advisory services between organisations and authorities that advise lorest owners and managers. Forest administration and organisations are being rearranged in many parts of the region. In many countries in transition the state owned forests are being restituted or privatised on a rapid pace. Consequently forest management associations (or similar) have been set up for private forest owners. The capability to support forest owners in implementing modern requirements of sustainable forest management is a challenge for forest administration systems. There is a need to increase the transfer of sustainable forest management know-how in many levels and between various interest groups including forest owners, workers and forestry and environmental organisations.

Actors: Forest authorities, relevant organisations that provide advisory and extension services for private forest owners and forest owners.

Time frame: 1998 ongoing.

8.3.15 FO 2: Gap analysis on protected forest areas

A gap analysis on forest conservation areas in the Baltic Sea Region should be conducted. It should include, i.e. amounts and legal status of conservation areas in countries, classifications used in countries (with particular emphasis on applied forest management practices) and an analysis whether and how national classification systems correspond to the existing international terminology and classification systems. Internationally comparable statistics on the conservation areas are difficult to draw because of the different national classifications and terminology. Both the quantity and quality of conservation areas should be considered in setting objectives for the protection of forests, and the emphasis should be on entire ecosystems. The analysis can serve as a background and basis for the work on ecological networks. The results of research and analyses already going on in Europe should be fully taken into account to avoid overlapping.

Actors: Sector.

Time frame: 2 years.

8.3.16 FO 3: Promotion of the use of wood, and wood based products, as natural renewable resource and environmentally friendly material, and changing of consumption patterns in a more sustainable direction

Promotion of the use of wood instead of substitutive non-renewable materials such as plastic and metals as well as recycling of materials are future challenges There is also a need to change consumption patterns and eliminate wasteful consumption. This action includes exchange of information and knowledge, share of information focusing on different consumer groups (e.,g. general public enterprises industry) public awareness campaigns etc.

Actors: Forest authorities, research institutions, NGOs and other organisations.

Time Frame: Up to 5 years.

8.3.17 Industry: The focus of the industry action programme is on promoting a favourable framework for business operations on development of market-driven tools within the enterprises for sustainable development and increasing market awareness of sustainability effects, on building co-operation on R&D and on training/educational programmes in the BSR, on development of measures for monitoring the effects on environment, and on promoting investments having favourable effects on sustainable development.

8.3.18 IN 1: Improvement of the framework for business operations:

Development of economic incentives improving the management of environment in industry. Harmonisation of legislation pertaining to industry as regards, state aid, competition, trade and environmental policy (including working environment and industrial safety) without impairing existing international environmental standards. Implementation of international conventions and agreements relevant to sustainable development in the BSR.

This action should result in a harmonised framework of relevant legislation and practices that will both improve sustainability and create a level playing-field for the companies in BSR EU legislation will be very important for sustainable development in the BSR.

Actors: Sector, Governments.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.3.19 IN 2: Implement eco-efficiency in industry in the following respects:

The aim of this action is to develop and implement such governance structures in enterprises that are beneficial for the environment, social conditions and efficiency.

Actors: Industry, trade organisations, investors, NGOs, accounting standard setting boards and Governments.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.3.20 IN 3: Extended and improved co-operation on research and development, knowledge and technology transfer in the BSR.

Development and initiation of joint projects aiming at transfer of knowledge. technology and environmental techniques. Improved and increased co-ordination of research and development activities, i.e. through the establishment of a research network for support of sustainable development in the BSR. Training and education programmes.

Transfer and diffusion of "know-how" through co-operation between countries is assumed to be an efficient way of implementing new ideas and new techniques. One way of transferring information and knowledge is the establishment of joint pilot projects and establishment of networks and partnerships (including companies, trade organisations and research institutions). Building-up of industrial co-operation by organisations such as the national Chambers of Commerce and national federations of industry and trade organisations should also be encouraged. Educational exchange programmes between countries in the BSR for the staff in all levels in enterprises should be developed and implemented. All relevant groups, including governments, industry and the science community, should strive for an improved co-ordination of research and development activities in the area of sustainable development in the BSR, especially concerning an increased co-ordination and co-operation of already existing programs and institutions.

Actors: Sector, HELCOM, UBC and the Baltic Sea 2008 Foundation.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.3.21 Tourism: The tourism sector action programme focuses on achieving a common understanding and awareness of the requirements needed for sustainable tourism in the BSR, both among customers and within the industry. The role of tourism in national and regional strategic frameworks must be acknowledged at all levels, its management capacity upgraded, and an enabling legislation installed and enforced. The programme emphasises the need to strengthen the regional co-operation and networking in the field of tourism. It also deals with the needs and possibilities to support sustainable tourism in urban and rural areas and to promote the establishment of an information clearing house in the form of a data bank for sustainable tourism as well as to compile and implement National and Regional Tourism Plans based on sustainable development.

8.3.22 TO 1: Enforcement of legislation regarding sustainable development and tourism, e.g. coastal codes and HELCOM recommendations, spatial planning and land use

The enforcement of work in spatial planning, especially land-use in sensitive coastal areas and transport routes in all areas is vital. Co-operation between stakeholders e.g. HELCOM and VASAB should be strengthen, and tourism should be integrated in national spatial planning visions/scenarios, particularly as regards siting of new infrastructure. The use of tools, such as geographical information systems (GIS) and environmental impact analysis, EIA, should be further encouraged.

Actors: Sector, HELCOM and VASAB.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.3.23 TO 2: Environmental Management Systems should be further presented to the tourism industry and monitoring methods developed

This action would include e.g. developing and applying tools to support efforts to decrease pollution, improving certifying, labelling, life-cycle analysis and eco-auditing, with special reference to providing checklists for small and medium sized enterprises. Monitoring should be developed at the same time as indicators for sustainable tourism are developed at enterprise, local, national and BSR level.

Actors: Sector.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.3.24 Transports: The focus of the transport sector action programme is on developing the necessary institutional and legal framework; on establishing a regular, long term co-operation process in the region with regard to sustainable transport: on avoiding duplication to the action programs of other institutions and making use of existing co-operation bodies in the region like HELCOM, Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) and VASAB. The programme emphasises implementation of instruments (assessment and auditing processes, public participation, indicator based trend observation, education, training) rather than technical or infrastructure "hardware" projects.

8.3.25 TR 1: Carry out a project on developing guidelines, criteria and recommendations for infrastructure investments in a sustainable transport system

A study will be undertaken under the auspices of HELCOM PITF (Programme Implementation Task Force) to develop guidelines, criteria and recommendations for infrastructure investments supporting the development of sustainable transport systems in the Baltic Sea region. The countries' present decision-making processes will be taken into account, especially as they concern the use of criteria for sustainable transport. Funding processes will also be considered, including funding from domestic and international sources. The guidelines, criteria and recommendations may be applied in the decision making processes of the national governments and international funding institutions. A proposal for a concrete strategic environmental and regional impact assessment of transport policy and infrastructure networks for a major infrastructure project in the Baltic Sea region will be made. The integration of transport and spatial planning, i.e. along the major transit corridors, shall be emphasised.

Actors: Sector, HELCOM and VASAB.

Time frame: 1998 - 1999.

8.3.26 TR 2: Establish and strengthen collaboration among the governments with regard to measures for more efficient goods transportation in particular by improving railway and ship connection

National governments will establish a regular collaboration towards sustainable transport in order to secure common goals and to avoid unfair competition by subsidising non eco-efficient means of transport or unnecessary investment in infrastructure. The current situation in the region is still characterised by large inefficiencies in freight transport. Therefore a trade facilitation and multimodal transport programme in the region which systematises and rationalises procedures, information flows and documentation will be started. There is a need to develop and support efficient operation of combined mode (multimodal) transport and reduce the physical barriers while at the same time upgrading the customs systems will reduce lead time, detours, and the use of obsolete or highly polluting equipment in the total transport process. In this context pilot projects will be carried out to show the achievable improvements.

Actors: Sector and VASAB.

Time frame: Start in 1999 and focus on the decisive period till 2005.

8.3.27 TR 3: Development of regional strategies to support sustainable sea transport

Support sustainable sea transport and in particular short sea transport. Data on traffic flows and emissions, including those of high speed ferries, will be collected and exchanged. Further ways of reducing emissions and use of hazardous substances, as well as introduction of alien species in ballast water from existing and new ships, including exploring the use of fiscal and economic instruments and the development of emission standards for the BSR will be identified, taking into account the recent adoption of MARPOL Annex Vl, A regional strategy to support sustainable short sea shipping will be developed.

Actors: Sector, HELCOM, VASAB and shipping industry.

Time frame: Start in 1999.

8.4 Spatial Planning Actions

8.4.1 SP 1: Implementation of Stockholm Declaration on Sustainable Spatial Development Policy

The actions proposed in order to ensure sustainable spatial development should be realised in the framework of the Operational Programme for INTERREG II C following the provisions on projects and actions of the Stockholm Declaration on Sustainable Spatial Development Policy. In that context particular attention should be paid to appropriate measures for the implementation of the 'Common recommendations for spatial planning of the coastal zone in the Baltic Sea Region ? which have been prepared by VASAB.

Actors: VASAB, tourism sector, HELCOM and regional authorities.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.4.2 SP 2: Further development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management

In continuation of the activities already started under HELCOM PITF Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) should be further developed in particularly sensitive coastal areas. To make these efforts institutionally sustainable, lCZM shall be linked, as much as possible with the standard procedures and institutions of statutory spatial planning of the respective states and regions. VASAB shall assist in this process.

Actors: VASAB, tourism sector and HELCOM.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

8.4.3 SP 3: Integration of Baltic 21 into European spatial planning documents

Objectives and results of Baltic 21 concerning sustainable spatial development should be integrated into the new VASAB 2010 report. European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) and into the report on Sustainable Spatial Development in Wider Europe prepared for the European Conference of Ministers Responsible for Regional Planing (CEMAT).

Actors: VASAB, CEMAT and the EU. Financing: Budgets of the above mentioned organisations.

Time frame: 1998, ongoing.

9. Financing

9.1 In the Saltsjobaden Declaration it is recognised that. in general, the financing of environmental expenditures should be based on the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) In general, the financing for the implementation of Baltic 21 will come from a country's own public and private sectors. Domestic financing by both the traditional market economies and the countries in transition in the BSR remains decisive to the success of the initiative For some of the cooperating countries it is not possible to address all of the serious environmental problems at the national and local level with domestic resources under current economic conditions. This mandates that external financial resources continue to be used as an important catalyst to mobilise domestic resources All financing will, however, be done within the limits of existing resources. As a part of this process, the IFIs should both provide direct loans for priority environmental investments, and assist development of the domestic banking sector to strengthen its ability to mobilise environmental investments, in accordance with the various mandates of the individual IFIs and sound principles of project financing.

9.2 An important feature of the Baltic 21 process has been the active participation of many organisations, among them a number of IFIs (The group of five International Financial Institutions (IFIs) co-operating in the Baltic 21 process includes the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO); and the World Bank.). Based on their respective mandates, the IFIs have an important catalytic role in building partnerships to support Baltic 21 objectives through their special relationship with the cooperating governments in the Baltic 21 process. Also the various financing instruments available in the EU, such as the Life, Phare (and the new instruments that will be developed under it), Interreg IIA and IIC and Tacis programmes, present important opportunities for financing various portions of the Baltic 21 Action Programme. The Action Programme provides a jointly developed and prioritised set of actions that constitutes a crucial link between the Baltic 21 initiative and the mobilisation of external resources from the EU, IFIs and other sources. A unique feature of the Baltic 21 process is the use of a set of agreed criteria for sustainable development in the BSR

9.3 Development of Baltic 21 has identified a number of actions which should be addressed concerning the mobilisation of financial resources:

9.4 Meeting the long-term objectives of the Baltic 21 initiative requires public and private funds to be spent on a phased basis. often through well targeted incremental investments made over a number of years. Developing and introducing adequate methods for assessing and internalising external costs will be of importance in this context. It should be noted that this long-term perspective offers opportunities not only for technical changes, but also for far-reaching structural change, based on the progress of implementation of the Action Programme and on further initiatives that may unfold. Such strategic opportunities may be of specific importance with respect to overcoming pollution from diffuse sources. Several of the proposals under the Action Programme address financing issues, and in some cases commitments have already been made to provide financial and/or other resources in support of selected activities. For other projects, financing and mobilisation of resources are issues that will be subject to further discussion.

9.5 Commitment and ownership by direct beneficiaries have consistently been demonstrated in ongoing environmental programmes in Europe to be among the most important factors for success. Based on project level experience to date in the BSR, it should therefore be noted that the mobilisation and intensive co-operation in the use of financial resources by governments, municipalities and the domestic private sector is a key element for success in regional initiatives such as Baltic 21. It will continue to be extremely important to co-ordinate closely the planning, financing and implementation process of the Action Programme with the ongoing HELCOM Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Action Programme process and to utilise the full range of available possibilities to create synergies and to benefit from mutual support.

10. Implementation of Baltic 21 and its Action Programme

10.1 Actors and responsibilities

10.1.1 Governments and the EU

The responsibilities for the implementation of Baltic 21 of governments and the EU will be according to the provisions in this document. In addition, governments will play a pro-active role in their respective countries as regards promoting and facilitating the work on the implementation of Baltic 21. However, sustainable development is not a responsibility only for governments. All of society, including all responsible actors and stakeholders, have to be involved and take on responsibility for their parts. Baltic 21 does not prejudge the decisions to be adopted by the European Community on the basis of the pertinent articles of the treaty establishing the European Community.

10.1.2 Sectors

In the implementation of Baltic 21 the sectors are assigned responsibility for the implementation of the action programme. In this case the sectors should not be taken as being represented solely by the sector ministries in the countries but by all relevant actors within the sector, allowing for the specific conditions of the sectors and the differences between them. Each sector organises itself, but co-ordinated with the other sectors, the implementation of the action programme and monitoring mechanisms.

10.1.3 International Governmental Organisations (IGOs)

IGOs of the region have a decisive role to play. This is particularly true for HELCOM, which will be closely involved in implementing the environmental part of Baltic 21. Also VASAB, IBSFC, the IFIs and others will play important roles in this process. Most of those organisations are specifically addressed in Baltic 21. These organisations are requested to undertake specific actions by Baltic 21, and their governing bodies are expected to take the formal decisions to undertake specific tasks.

10.1.4 Other actors

10.1.4.1 A large number of other actors have also contributed to the elaboration of Baltic 21, and have important roles in the follow-up process. These include environmental, scientific and industrial NGOs, but also other networks as well as sub-regional and national organisations. It is of paramount importance that all those forces be mobilised to implement Baltic 21 at all levels in all countries. All relevant actors are invited to participate in and contribute to the implementation of Baltic 21. Governments should encourage and promote such participation and make efforts to fully involve all other actors.

10.1.4.2 Active co-operation between the Baltic Sea Region municipalities and other local communities is of great importance in speeding up the transformation of experiences and good examples to reach sustainable development. Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum (BLA21F) is a network established especially to support this work. The process will result in several different approaches and solutions including ecological, social and economical dimensions. UBC and CCB offer to activate and co-ordinate Local Agenda 21 processes in the Baltic Sea Region. The BSSSC (Baltic Sea States Sub-regional Co-operation) established a Working Group on Environment which aims at priority setting, networking, partner search and support for project based collaboration within the BSR. Within this framework, BSSSC can substantially contribute to the concretization and promotion of activities of the action programme.

10.2 Steering, co-ordination and follow up

10.2.1 The political and ministerial level

10.2.1.1 The Baltic 21 process has its origin in the political commitment made by the countries of the Baltic Sea Region at the meeting of the Prime Ministers in Visby 1996. It is important for the whole process that progress is reviewed regularly by the highest political level in the region. The Prime Ministers of the Baltic Sea Region should receive a progress report, including a review of the progress of fulfilling the set-up goals, approximately every 5th year for consideration and for decision on any additional action needed. The review should be based on the agreed indicators and follow-up system.

10.2.1.2 Since sustainable development by its nature is cross-sectorial, the full involvement of relevant sector ministers is necessary for the success of the follow-up process. Likewise there is a strong need for the environment ministers to closely follow and review progress regarding the environmental component of sustainable development in the BSR. Considerations of the progress by sector and environmental ministers should take place at ministerial meetings every 2nd or 3rd year, and may involve also the foreign ministers.

10.2.1.3 The Senior Officials Group (SOG) should continue its work. A bureau, consisting of four persons from the SOG, should be elected for the same period as the chairman. The Bureau should, on behalf of the SOG, assist the chairman and the secretariat in discharging their duties between SOG meetings. Sectors should report to the SOG. The work of the SOG should be according to the following terms of reference:

10.2.2 The executive level

10.2.2.1 The existing secretariat function is continued on an interim basis for another two years. The secretariat will maintain its present number of staff and will be located in Stockholm. Sweden will provide the financial resources for the interim secretariat for a one year period ending July 1,1999. For the second year ending on July 1,2000, the necessary financial support will come from voluntary contributions from the countries of the Baltic Sea Region and from the EU.

10.2.2.2 A decision on the provisions for and the establishment of a regular Baltic 21 secretariat, either connected to the HELCOM or the CBSS secretariat, will be taken no later than July 1,2000.

0.2.2.3 The interim secretariat shall support the implementation process by carrying out the following tasks:

10.2.3 Follow-up of implementation

The follow-up of the implementation (monitoring) of the Baltic 21 objectives and action programme will require a regular reporting from each responsible actor. Criteria and common reporting elements have to be developed and agreed by the SOG preferably before July 1, 1999.

Attachment

Excerpt from the Communiqué of the 7th Ministerial Session of the Council of the Baltzc Sen States (CBSS), June 22-23, 1998, Nyborg, Denmark.

e. The Council adopted the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region (Baltic 21).

The Council endorsed the major commitments. goals and the action programme in Baltic 21 and resolved to ensure an efficient implementation process of Baltic thereby expressing the determination to

The Council expressed its appreciation of the contribution to the Baltic 21 process from i.e. HELCOM, IBSFC, VASAB and the International Financing Institutions as well as from the participating NGOs and invited them to continue contributing to the implementation of Baltic 21.

The Council requested the Senior Officials Group to continue its work in co-ordinating and monitoring the implementation process. The Council also endorsed the commitments to act as lead parties for the sectors as follows: Poland and HELCOM concerning agriculture, Denmark and Estonia concerning energy, the International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission concerning fishery, Finland and Lithuania concerning forestry, Sweden and the Russian Federation concerning industry, HELCOM and the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission concerning tourism and Germany and Latvia concerning transport.

The Council requested the Senior Officials Group to report at regular intervals to appropriate bodies of Baltic Sea co-operation including environment ministers, ministerial sessions of the CBSS and Heads of Government meetings. In particular ministers expressed the view that the implementation of the Baltic 21 should be examined when ministers of environment meet in relation to other Baltic Sea regional activities directly connected to the scope of Baltic 21, such as the HELCOM review, IBSFC, VASAB and the EU dimension. The Council requested the Presidency to inform the Conference "Environment for Europe", Århus, Denmark, June 23-25, 1998 on the decision by the CBSS on Baltic 21.