The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries are all threatened and concerned by climate change. It will influence precipitation amounts and patterns, lead to an increase in terrestrial and ocean temperatures and a rise in sea levels. The resulting changes will jeopardize the integrity of the ecosystem and increase risks caused by natural disasters. There are good experiences of adaptation in the region but they are somehow fragmented and do not acknowledge the fact that the Baltic Sea is a specific eco-region.
The EU BSR Strategy recognizes this problem by calling for a BSR-wide climate change adaptation strategy, which should provide a framework to strengthen cooperation and information sharing within the region and help to create a coherent set of adaptation policies and actions from the transnational to the local level. Such an overarching framework, which is badly missing, would help to tackle what the Operating Programme of the BSR Strategy has identified as a major weakness: the “lack of transnational co-operation and joint planning in usage of Baltic Sea space and in minimalisation of risks caused by natural disasters”.
BALTADAPT seeks to develop such a BSR-wide climate change adaptation strategy
. This truly transnational strategy
will focus on the sea itself and its coastline. While it is understood that such a strategy cannot be adopted by BALTADAPT, the project can ensure its preparation and clear the ground for its adoption. Complementing this main output, the project seeks to achieve the following results:
- Improved knowledge base: A knowledge brokerage process between political decision makers and researchers leading to improved institutional capacity. The “Baltic Window” in the EU Clearinghouse shall be the hub for decision makers from the Baltic Sea Region.
- Action plan: Providing the operational basis for implementing the BSR-wide Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and influencing policies, programmes and regulations. Together with the action plan, recommendations on funding mechanisms for financing climate change adaptation initiatives shall be given.
In order to achieve this ambitious objective, BALTADAPT brings together the right partners to create a knowledge brokerage process in this field, develop a strategy and set a framework for its future implementation. The partner consortium under the leadership of the Danish Meteorological Institute
(DMI) brings together a mixture of federal policy institutions tasked with dealing with the topic of climate change and research institutions with the proper expertise in climate change science. The partnership composition emphasizes the “umbrella-approach” of BALTADAPT, as all partners can draw on their previous or ongoing participation in other regional climate change projects. This will ensure the right interface to the vast amount of data and information already existing on the topic in the Baltic Sea Region.
The project counts with the direct participation of the German Federal Environment Ministry
and Federal Environment Agency and the Finnish Environment Institute (part of the Finnish Ministry of Environment). The project counts also with the (associated) support of the Danish Energy Agency that is in charge of coordinating this priority area in the BSR Strategy. Other associated partners are the Latvian Ministry of Environment, the Estonian Ministry of Environment, the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment and the Swedish Ministry of Environment, all of which have endorsed the project and will closely follow its development, in liaison with direct project partner institutions in these countries. The CBSS Secretariat will participate in the project to assist in the establishment of a policy body to steer the development of the strategy and facilitate its subsequent implementation.