Baltic COMPASS - Comprehensive Policy Actions and .. (Baltic COMPASS)
Baltic COMPASS - Comprehensive Policy Actions and Investments in Sustainable Solutions in Agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region
Start date: Nov 30, 2009,
End date: Dec 15, 2012
Baltic COMPASS project has grown out of a large number of international projects in the field of landuse, agriculture, water and environment related to the protection of the Baltic Sea. Specifically, Baltic COMPASS is a response to the need for a transnational approach to reduce eutrophication of the Baltic Sea and contribute in adaption and implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). The project will particularly aim to remedy the gaps in the stakeholders' capacity and resources to combat euthrophication and communicate on the different policy levels, and lack of trust between the environmental and agricultural sectors. The project aims to support win-win solutions for agriculture, environment and business sectors throughout the Baltic Sea Region. 23 partners from authorities, interest organizations and research institutes in Finland, Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden constituates the partnership. The target groups for Baltic COMPASS are governments, authorities, interest organizations and entrepreneurs with influence on landuse in the Baltic Sea Region. Landuse for agricultural purposes in the BSR is expected to intensify due to climate change and increasing global demands for food and bioenergy. This is likely to exacerbate current pressures on the sensitive marine ecosystems. The competence, technologies, policies and science for developing more sustainable solutions is available in the BSR, but are currently unevenly distributed and harmonized between regions, and moreover between the west and the east. This is the specific transnational problem and challenge addressed by Baltic COMPASS. The partnership will work to boost utilization of best practices, accelerate investments in environmental technologies, strenghten governance and policy adaption; and to promote the Baltic Sea Region as a pilot region for innovative solutions related to combating eutrophication. Activities in the project will all contribute to two instrument drivers of change in the BSR: an adaptive policy environment and an enabling environment for investment. As a strategic project Baltic COMPASS will focus on activities which add value to ongoing projects, actions and policies. The project underlines cooperation with Russia although ENPI funding is not available. The partnership will secure sustainability of results through close cooperation with administrations and national authorities, and through pilot investments in renewable energy utilization, improved nutrient management and small-scale climate change mitigation on farm level. Cooperation with other projects like WATERPRAXIS, BIOENERGY PROMOTION, BALTIC CLIMATE and NEW BRIDGES is essential. Baltic COMPASS incorporates the objectives of the EU Lisbon strategy, EU Marine Strategy Directive and the upcoming EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, especially in combining environmental and economic sustainability. Achievements: Baltic COMPASS project has raised awareness in adaptive governance measures and advanced trustful dialogue between the environmental and agricultural interests. The project outputs highlight win-win solutions in farm measures as well as policy approaches. A flexible implementation approach, sensitive to the end users’ priorities, and a Pan-Baltic partnership covering 8 of the 9 Baltic Sea riparian countries and Belarus, enabled the project to engage hundreds of stakeholders in BSR and national meetings, thematic seminars and other interactions. Maintaining broad and attentive communication on local, national and international levels has been the most essential activity of the project. Local pilot areas, covering also a transboundary EU/non-EU river basin, were activated in nearly all countries for stakeholder discussions on bottom-up planning of agri-environmental measures, impact of EU Water Framework Directive River Basin Management Plans on the farm level, and future scenarios. During 2011-12, National Round Table meetings gathered the experts with national authorities, farmers’ and advisory organizations. These meetings were praised for both facilitating international exchange of information on critical and acute agri-environment topics, and allowing country priorities and the specific contexts to be raised and reflected on the Baltic Sea level discussions. Cooperation with Baltic Deal and Baltic Manure enhanced the dialogue in particular within EUSBSR implementation and HELCOM. So far, the most visible outcome of the project, and of the cooperation with the two abovementioned EUSBSR flagship projects, is the “A Greener Agriculture for a Bluer Baltic Sea” Stakeholder Conference which has been held since 2010 and will be arranged again in 2013 back-to-back with the EUSBSR PA AGRI meeting. There is strong potential for the conference to be sustained as the BSR stakeholder platform for dialogue and innovation on farm practices, water assessment, technologies, policies and links between agriculture and other sectors. The specific comprehensive decision support outputs on i.a. spatial planning of agri-environment measures, local scenarios, effect of advanced technologies and policy adaptation concepts are used by national ministries, HELCOM, EC and the farmers and advisory communities. Overall, the project established new collaboration platforms and networks and produced new integrated knowledge which can be used by policy makers to - balance enforcement and incentives for agri-environment measures; - support broader governance and local stakeholder initiatives; - understand the importance of transparency in communication to increase trust; - prioritize multiple benefit measures as a way to handle current and future uncertainty; - utilize the business potential in agri-environment solutions; and - define interventions, adapt management measures and deploy the right platforms for each administrative level: local, national, Baltic Sea and EU.
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