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Environmental economic research as a tool in the protection of the Baltic Sea

Costs and benefits of reducing eutrophication

image of Environmental economic research as a tool in the protection of the Baltic Sea

This report reviews the findings of an ecological/economicanalyses regarding the on-going and prospective effortsto reduce eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, conducted byBalticSTERN, an international research network. The results indicate that the overall benefits of fulfillingthe targets of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP)clearly outweigh their aggregate costs, suggesting thatthe BSAP is an economically sound plan for solvingthe transboundary eutrophication problem. The cost ofinaction - not implementing the objectives of the BSAP -would be significant.

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Benefits of improving the state of the Baltic

BalticSTERN analyses provide valuable insights into the importance of the Baltic Sea and its ecosystem services to the general public, revealing how people in the region value improvements in the environmental state of the sea. These findings need to be taken into account in future policy decisions. Research results show that the majority of citizens living in the nine Baltic countries have visited the sea and many people use the sea for recreational purposes. There is a high general awareness of eutrophication, and many people in the region are worried about the environmental state of the Sea. The majority of the population in the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea are willing to pay for an improved environmental state. The total benefits of achieving the nutrient reduction targets of the BSAP are estimated at around EUR 3,800 million annually.

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