News|20 Oct, 2021

Finance in focus: NGOs bring together industry and ministers to discuss the future of finance in the Baltic sea

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Lübeck, Germany – In conjunction with the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting to adopt the updated Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) [1], WWF along with Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) have invited high-level ministers, finance representatives and NGOs together to discuss ‘how regional investments in the seascape  can help support and restore the Baltic Sea.’

A healthy ocean provides blue natural capital which our economy, our societies and our future are dependent upon. The BSAP is lacking robust financial indicators that support a Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) and Good Environmental Status in the Baltic Sea and so there is a real need to find ways to engage the finance industry.

“Investors have a significant role to play in improving the Baltic Sea environment. In fact, they have clear asks for political commitment to provide security, stability and guidance (a roadmap) on how to support achieving the goals of the BSAP to deliver towards a sustainability pathway. WWF and CCB make the case that a sustainable pathway is not only economically beneficial for the finance industry but also allows governments to achieve global targets that ultimately benefit nature and generations to come,” says Valerie de Liderkerke, Manager and Interim Director, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme.

At the event, findings from recent reports will be presented showing which sectors are exposed to the risk of declining ocean health and the value of assets and revenue in a business-as-usual versus a sustainable development scenario [2]. An upcoming WWF report ‘Financial Flows into the Baltic Seascape’ will highlight the main blue economy sectors in the Baltic as well as future sectoral development in the region along with their environmental and social impacts. It will also highlight the various types of financial mechanisms that would support an SBE in the Baltic region.

“Initial findings show that despite decades of work to achieve a Good Environmental Status in the Baltic Sea and access to a variety of existing financial mechanisms to support achieving an SBE, there remain significant discrepancies between what sectors the governments are investing in and the environmental targets they are committing to,” states de Liderkerke.

The Baltic Blue Economy is currently some distance from being a Sustainable Blue Economy that would ensure nature thrived and resources are available in perpetuity. However, with political commitment, well-targeted and sustainable finance can accelerate the transition to a Sustainable Blue Economy by flowing into companies and sectors that have overall positive environmental and social impacts on the Baltic Sea region

For further information:

Valerie de Liderkerke, Interim Director, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme, valerie.deliedekerke@wwf.se

Hannah Griffiths Berggren, Communications Manager, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme hannah.griffiths.berggren@wwf.se

Mikhail Durkin, Executive Secretary, Coalition Clean Baltic mikhail.durkin@ccb.se

Federica Pastore, Communication Officer, Coalition Clean Baltic federica.pastore@ccb.se

Notes to the editors:

CCB – Coalition Clean Baltic is a politically independent, non-profit association, which unites 23 member organizations and 1 observer, with over 850,000 members in all countries around the Baltic Sea. The main goal of CCB is to promote the protection and improvement of the Baltic Sea environment and its natural resources. More info at www.ccb.se.

WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme – is an ambitious and highly influential force working to conserve and restore the health of the Baltic Sea. The programme is comprised of WWF and NGO partners in each of the nine coastal Baltic Sea countries. Representing the region’s largest membership network, the programme’s approach has been to work with public and private sector partners toward ensuring a healthy, productive Baltic Sea through sustainable, ecosystem-based management. More info at: https://www.wwfbaltic.org

The update process -HELCOM launched the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) process nearly two years ago and WWF and CCB have been active participants in the ongoing stakeholder process to develop the plan. WWF and CCB participated as official HELCOM Observers to the Ministerial Meeting today, and WWF delivered a statement made on behalf of the environmental NGOS, stating the  concern that this plan lacks the very tough actions and commitments which are needed to achieve its objectives.

[1] For more detail on the background, goals and objectives of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan please visit: http://www.helcom.fi/BSAP/en_GB/About_BS/

[2] LINK to global value at risk report

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Last modified 21/10/21

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