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News|23 Aug, 2012

WWF report identifies possible futures for the Baltic Sea

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The report presents a summary to date of WWF's consultation over the past year with a number of regional actors on possible futures for the Baltic Sea.
Today at the 10th anniversary of the Baltic Sea Festival Seminar in Stockholm , Sweden, WWF presented its latest report ‘Counter Currents’ outlining different scenarios for the use of the Baltic Sea towards 2030. The report is the final result of a year-long consultation process involving stakeholders from the whole region. The report concludes that there is still time to save the Baltic Sea if the right decisions are made today.

The report, “Counter Currents”, presents a range of possible futures for the Baltic Sea leading up to the year 2030. The exploration of the future is told in four story lines, provocatively entitled Clear Waters Ahead, Dangerous Currents, Islands in the Stream, and Shipwrecked. In each scenario, WWF presents a different combination of possible developments, and what sort of impacts those combinations of forces might have on the health of the Baltic Sea and the populations and businesses it supports.

The report outlines and explains in detail how decisions that are made today may impact what will happen in 20 years’ time. Important conclusions are that the range of possible futures is immense and that with the right decisions now, there is still time to restore the health of the sea.

“Scenarios can help us understand possible futures, which is what this report aims to do”, says Pauli Merriman, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme Director. “By describing what is possible tomorrow, we believe we can better prepare ourselves for potential actions and responses today.”

“We hope that this report will spark an ongoing dialogue and serve as a catalyst for future collaboration, commitment and action to work in partnership to create the Baltic we wish to have, today, tomorrow and in 20 years”, says Håkan Wirtén, WWF Sweden Secretary General and Chairman of the WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme. “Ultimately, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

The report is the result of a process that was launched in 2011 and that has involved a broad spectrum of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. A two-day workshop held in March 2012 involved some 50 persons representing a wide range of countries, sectors and institutions from all around the Baltic Sea. The process has been led by Kairos Future and was made possible by financial support from Trygg-Hansa/RSA.

“By engaging with and using scenarios, we can understand possible futures, creating in our mind’s eye images of what could happen depending on the course the future takes. The future of the Baltic Sea and all of us who are dependent on it concerns us all” says John Tanzer, WWF Global Marine Programme Director “We believe that this report will inform and improve those decisions today that will impact the future for many years to come.”

Notes:

The report
“Counter Currents: Scenarios for the Baltic Sea towards 2030” was launched today at the Baltic Sea Seminar. The seminar is an annual event during the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The Baltic Sea Festival
The Baltic Sea Festival is an international classical music festival – which gathers some of the world’s foremost conductors, ensembles and exciting soloists every year. The festival started ten years ago on the initiative of the General Manager of Berwaldhallen Michael Tydén and conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Valery Gergiev. This year’s festival will take place between August 24 – September 1. For further information: www.balticseafestival.com

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