Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

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

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Public Administration Studies
    Economic Geography

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)