BDF will use the preliminary results from the conference ”A cleaner Baltic Sea – investments, business opportunities and new partnerships” in the work ahead to elaborate a regional agenda and a way to re-think water. A report based on the many valuable contributions that were made by the speakers, moderators and participants during the conference will provide a breeding ground for initiating a process towards a more action oriented regional water agenda.
The basis for such an agenda is the need expressed by many organisations and stakeholders to establish a broader alliance – cross-countries and regions, cross-sectors and cross-level – in addressing the problems of the polluted Baltic Sea. There is a need to focus on opportunities and solutions to the environmental challenges in the Baltic Sea and the water clean-tech sector in order to successfully engage new and more stakeholders, not least the business sector, in such an alliance.
Most of the problems related to the pollution of the Baltic Sea have been identified and presented not least by the Helsinki Commission. The report will include some of the main points from the conference:
- BalticStern gave an unprecedented overview of the costs and payment willingness of the populations around the Baltic Sea in restoring the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. On this basis, the next step will be to address the investment needs and plans as well as the technologies required. Creating investment plans and technology plans for the region could be a way to do this.
- Financing of the investments need to come from many sources both private and public, but the EU-funds, not least the EU’s structural funds, need to be mobilised in accordance with EU objectives and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
- There is a need to establish a better public-private dialogue regarding the challenges and opportunities. On the public side both governments, regional authorities and cities are key partners. Cities are close to the related problems and many changes, innovations and investments are being made on this level.
- The private sector regards water as an important aspect of the cleantech industry, which is a growing market and represents a global megatrend. The Baltic Sea Region has the opportunity to act as a global demonstration and testing site for water and clean technologies. A clearer view of the barriers and drivers is needed as well as clear legal frameworks and incentives.
- Cleantech clusters play an important role in promoting solutions, presenting competences and attracting investors to the region.
- Many businesses are getting more conscious of the fact that water is a scarce and valuable resource, which is not least illustrated through the water Footprint concept.
- There is also an overall trend that the use of water as a precious global resource has to be seen as part of integrated solutions not least as part of the energy and climate sector. Global imbalances in the usage of water
These are just some of the mentioned elements at the conference.
If you have further comments and reflections you are more than welcome to forward them to BDF.
Apart from the above mentioned points several interesting proposals were made of a constructive way to continue the dialogue established at the conference.
Most importantly BDF is working towards organising a stakeholder conference back-to-back with the Helcom Ministerial meeting in 2013. Apart from that other interesting proposals like organising a water campus comprising of all the relevant regional stakeholders or establishing an informal water advisory board to BDF in the run-up to the Helcom Ministerial meeting in October 2013 were proposed as a way for BDF to carry on the water agenda in the nearest future.
Baltic Development Forum Chairman’s Hans Skov Christensen speech can be viewed here.
Pictures from the conference are uploaded on BDF’s Flickr account here. If you want to view the presentations please go to the conference homepage: