Background info on BalticSTERN
Inspired by "The Economics of Climate Change -  The Stern Review" (2007), the Nordic Ministers of Environment jointly called for a Stern-like review of the Baltic Sea. Following this call, a couple of Stern-related studies on the Baltic Sea were initiated.

The Swedish Government instructed the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to compile a synthesis of Economic Marine Information, focusing on the economic implications of human impacts on the Baltic Sea and Skagerak.

Further research needed
In addition to synthesis report "What´s in the sea for me?" (2009), seven background reports were written, gathering existing material and involving experts from all countries bordering the Baltic. Results from the reports and synthesis were presented and discussed during the international conference "The Value of our Marine Environment", held under the auspices of the Swedish EU Presidency in autumn 2009.

The synthesis concluded that at present, knowledge needed for a comprehensive analysis of the Baltic Sea and Skagerak was lacking and further research needed.

Parallel to this, the foundation Baltic Sea 2020 financed the BalticSTERN project - "Baltic Systems Tool for Ecologic-economic evaluation: A Refined Nest-model", initiated in 2007.

This international research project developed a proposal for a large-scale three year international research program, aiming at an ecological-economic assessment of the Baltic Sea as a system. The BalticSTERN project was coordinated by Enveco Ltd and hosted by the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Several ecosystem services at risk
In Finland, a consortium led by MTT Economic Research, together with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the Finnish Institute of Marine Research (FIMR) and the Fisheries and Environmental Management Group (FEM)/University of Helsinki conducted a pre-study "The economics of the state of the Baltic Sea: Pre-study assessing the feasibility of a cost-benefit analysis of protecting the Baltic Sea ecosystem" (Huhtala et al. 2009).

The pre-study concluded that there are several ecosystem services at risk in the Baltic Sea, and that further research on economic analysis, as well as evaluation of current environmental policies is needed.

The projects and reports mentioned above pointed to the need of further research and international cooperation. During 2009 the work toward a Baltic Stern-analysis reached its next phase, with funding for part of the necessary research provided by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Finnish Advisory Board of Sectorial Research, as well as through existing BONUS-projects.

The Secretariat was established in September 2009, and during the autumn Marmar Nekoro was joined by Siv Ericsdotter and in January 2010 by Henrik Scharin and in September 2011 Kerstin Blyh also joined The Secretariat.

2012-09-18 | Marmar Nekoro

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