Suomen ympäristökeskus

Baltic Sea protection is strengthened by urban cooperation of coastal cities

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The protection of the Baltic Sea marine environment was enhanced through the BALTICITIES project. The project strengthened environmental networks within and between coastal cities in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In addition to municipal and city officials, marine knowledge was widely shared with various societal actors and the public. Through the Baltic Seashore Stories Video Campaign, the diversity of different coastal areas was introduced to the public. The overwhelming popularity of the Campaign’s website indicates that many people share both joy and concern for the sea.

During R/V Aranda’s open day in Liepaja on 15 June 2023, 950 visitors stepped onboard; including nearly 200 schoolkids. This year Aranda will open to the public in Helsinki during the Tall Ships Races event from July 4–7 and on the Baltic Sea Day on August 29, 2024.
During R/V Aranda’s open day in Liepaja on 15 June 2023, 950 visitors stepped onboard; including nearly 200 schoolkids. This year Aranda will open to the public in Helsinki during the Tall Ships Races event from July 4–7 and on the Baltic Sea Day on August 29, 2024. Photo: Mika Raateoja / Finnish Environment Institute

Led by the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), the BALTICITIES project supported the Baltic Sea protection through cooperation between coastal cities in Finland and the Baltic States. The main city partners were Helsinki, Turku, Tallinn, Liepaja, Klaipeda, and Palanga. Also universities, museums, and several other actors were involved in the cooperation. The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. On May 22 at the final event in Liepaja, we will review the project results and discuss possibilities for continuing cooperation.

R/V Aranda as a marine knowledge platform to reach the public

In 2023, the Finnish research vessel Aranda's open-door activities were organized in three Baltic cities, attracting 2,000 visitors. Volunteer students translated Finnish researchers' marine knowledge into Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian. In information booths local stakeholders shared their marine environmental knowledge. Aranda cruises supported networking between local stakeholders. During the cruise they were also introduced to practical marine research and the challenges facing the Baltic Sea. In Helsinki, the Aranda’s open days attracted an additional 1,200 sea enthusiasts.

International Baltic Sea Camp for young adults

Two important project target groups were schoolkids and young adults. At the Baltic Sea camp in southwestern Finland, 40 young people from the Baltic states and Finland, had the opportunity to explore marine life by snorkeling and by looking under the microscope. A special marine spatial planning game addressed the challenges of balancing the various needs of user groups and maintaining the sustainable use of the sea.

Baltic Seashore Stories Video Campaign website reached 28,000 visitors

The Video Campaign in all four countries used social media to reach young people in six languages: English, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Swedish. The campaign collected 130 videos, 62 of which are now available on the website (BalticSeashoreStories.com) and on YouTube channel @balticseashorestories. In the videos, people, from the various coasts of the Baltic States and Finland, share their experiences, highlighting both the joys and concerns they have for the sea. The popularity of the Campaign has been an overwhelming success. The YouTube channel has almost 4,000 subscribers and the site has attracted over 28,000 visitors.

The campaign website provides compiled information about the project countries’ marine protection events, both international and local, and its related actors.

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Contacts

Ljudmila Vesikko
Senior Coordinator
Finnish Environment Institute
tel. +358 295 251 737
email: firstname.lastname@syke.fi

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It is time to move beyond solving environmental problems one by one, to systemic sustainability transformations. The Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) contributes to building a sustainable society through research, information and services. The Finnish Environment Institute is a research institute with 700 experts and researchers located in Helsinki, Oulu, Jyväskylä and Joensuu.

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