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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Toward the Baltic Sea Socioeconomic Action Plan

Ollikainen, Markku; Hasler, Berit; Elofsson, Katarina; Iho, Antti; Andersen, Hans E.; Czajkowski, Mikolaj; Peterson, Kaja


This paper analyzes the main weaknesses and key avenues for improvement of nutrient policies in the Baltic Sea region. HELCOM's Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), accepted by the Baltic Sea countries in 2007, was based on an innovative ecological modeling of the Baltic Sea environment and addressed the impact of the combination of riverine loading and transfer of nutrients on the ecological status of the sea and its sub-basins. We argue, however, that the assigned country-specific targets of nutrient loading do not reach the same level of sophistication, because they are not based on careful economic and policy analysis. We show an increasing gap between the state-of-the-art policy alternatives and the existing command-and-control-based approaches to the protection of the Baltic Sea environment and outline the most important steps for a Baltic Sea Socioeconomic Action Plan. It is time to raise the socioeconomic design of nutrient policies to the same level of sophistication as the ecological foundations of the BSAP.


Cost-effectiveness; Incentives; Innovation; Manure; Performance-based policy

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2019, volume: 48, number: 11, pages: 1377-1388
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Ollikainen, Markku
University of Helsinki
Hasler, Berit
Aarhus University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Iho, Antti
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Andersen, Hans E.
Aarhus University
Czajkowski, Mikolaj
University of Warsaw
Peterson, Kaja
Stockholm Environm Inst

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG6 Clean water

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Administration Studies
Economic Geography

Publication Identifiers


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