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News|31 Aug, 2011

WWF Ranks Baltic Sea Countries’ Results

Despite efforts to tackle the environmental problems of the sea, the Baltic Sea continues to be one of the most polluted sea in the world. A new approach is urgently needed - one that takes into account the total and combined pressure that different sectors are placing on the ecosystem.

WWF, Stockholm, 31 August 2011. WWF today released the Baltic Sea Scorecard 2011, a report that assesses how good the countries around the Baltic Sea are at implementing environmental measures and agreements. The total score for the region was an F, indicating a failure to take the needed actions. Only Sweden and Germany came out slightly better with a C grade. The most problematic areas are the fight against eutrophication and the protection of biodiversity.

The Scorecard, today presented at the annual Baltic Sea Seminar in Stockholm during the Baltic Sea Festival, evaluates the degree to which countries around the Baltic region are honouring their commitments to implement the environmental measures and agreements currently in place which offer the best hope for ‘saving’ the Baltic Sea. Germany and Sweden were awarded the best score of the nine countries. They both earned 36 points, less than half of the possible total of 79 points.

“This Scorecard is a sobering reminder that words and agreements cannot ‘save’ the Baltic Sea from its current poor health without the delivery and follow-through of the collective promises made”, says Pauli Merriman, Director of WWF Baltic Programme. “Baltic Sea Governments must now demonstrate their leadership and commitments with actions, not just words.”

Despite the poor performance highlighted in the report, there are good examples in some areas that demonstrate that progress is possible when countries prioritize action over words. One such example of strong leadership was showcased at the Baltic Sea Seminar when WWF presented Axel Wenblad with its WWF Baltic Sea Leadership Award.

“WWF applauds Axel Wenblad in his role as Special Commissioner for his leadership and contribution to the Swedish inquest on a legislative Marine Spatial Planning Act and Regulation Proposal. The aim of the new act is to achieve a holistic and harmonised system of marine planning and management – something that WWF has promoted for years. Through his efforts, Axel Wenblad has proved a tireless ambassador for advocating the need for transforming the current approach to sea use management – providing concrete advice and guidance on how Marine Spatial Planning can be achieved on a national level. We hope this will ultimately inspire regional action as well, ” says Pauli Merriman.

The WWF Baltic Sea Scorecard was earlier produced in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This year’s Scorecard measures the nine Baltic Sea countries’ environmental performance in five areas: Eutrophication, Hazardous Substances, Biodiversity, Maritime Activities and Integrated Sea Use Management.

Germany and Sweden earned the best grades in this year’s scorecard with 36 points out of 79 possible. Germany showed progress in its work to reduce emissions of nutrients and did fairly well in the other areas, too. Sweden demonstrated progressive work especially in maritime activities and integrated sea use management and had higher than average scores in all areas except in the protection of biodiversity, where Sweden’s scores were among the lowest.

Finland ranked third with 29 points, mostly because of its good performance in the reduction of hazardous substances and its progressive work in the area of maritime activities. Denmark scored 28 and Estonia 26 points. Lithuania and Poland were just below with 25 points each. The Scorecard shows that both Latvia and Russia will need to speed up their work to protect and restore the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea.


The report
“WWF Baltic Sea Scorecard 2011” was presented today at the Baltic Sea Seminar. The seminar is an annual event during the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm. The full report can be downloaded from

The Baltic Sea Festival
The intention of the ninth Baltic Sea Festival is to bring together people of the Baltic Sea region with an interest in classical music, environment, and the concept of leadership. The Festival takes place between the 27th of August and the 4th of September in Stockholm. More information on the Festival can be found at:

The Baltic Sea Leadership Award
WWF believes that what we need is true leadership in the Baltic Sea, leadership that goes beyond words to deliver real results and examples for others to follow. In 2007, WWF instituted an award, the WWF Baltic Sea Leadership Award. WWF bestows this award when the organisation is inspired and moved by specific acts of true leadership – providing the rest of us with great examples to celebrate and demonstrate as examples for others. This year the Award was presented to Axel Wenblad, former Director General of the Swedish Board of Fisheries and Special Commissioner for the Swedish inquest on a legislative Marine Spatial Planning Act, for his leadership and contribution to the Swedish Marine Spatial Planning Act and Regulation Proposal.

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