Press Release about the Baltic Sea Forum

One of the main and the most discussed topics of the Baltic Sea Forum was the development of public-private partnership in the region. The Russian Federation fully supports this format of cooperation, considering it the most efficient and effective.

This was reported by Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, on April 6, 2013, during the final plenary session of the Baltic Sea Forum in St. Petersburg.

As the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia explained, currently the government faces the task of creating the regulatory and legal environment, so as to encourage businesses for active support of global environmental initiatives. The participation in projects aimed at reducing the negative impact on the environment should be beneficial to all parties.

Mr. Donskoy said: “We already have examples of such mutually beneficial partnership between the state and business structures. The reports on the largest and the most resonant of the implemented projects were presented during the first day of the Forum. They include: the results of the environmental monitoring of the project North Stream, the Pilot Finance Initiative of the Group KfW jointly with Vnesheconombank and, of course, a unique experience of SUE Vodokanal of St. Petersburg in wastewater treatment. During the morning session, the participants continued discussions of the priority issues within the framework of integrated work for the protection of the Baltic Sea.” The Minister noted the importance of the issues raised at the round table of Gazprom OJSC on the introduction of innovative environmental technologies. “The transition to the use of liquefied petroleum gas as bunkering fuel can significantly reduce the load on the environment and the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. However, we must clearly define the mechanisms and conditions of this transition, in order to ensure that they take into account both environmental and economic aspects,” he emphasized.

According to Mr. Donskoy, an important practical result of the Forum was an agreement on the establishment of the St. Petersburg Initiate: “The establishment of this new platform, based on the principles of public-private partnership, will enable businesses and environmental and non-governmental organizations to work on the improvement of the ecology of the Baltic Sea directly and more effectively. I would like to note that the St. Petersburg Initiative is a unique format, the appearance of which indicates a high degree of the constructive dialogue that is taking place between the participants of the Forum.”

According to the Minister, another relevant topic is the preservation of the biological and landscape diversity of the Baltic Sea. “I would like to emphasize that the effective and coordinated activities in this area depend largely on the well-being of citizens of all countries in the Baltic Region,” he emphasized.

Summing up the results of the Baltic Forum, Mr. Donskoy noted the undeniable importance of a coherent marine spatial planning in the Baltic Region: “We appreciate the efforts of all parties to strengthen cooperation on this issue. The round table has once again emphasized the need for the ecosystem approach when deciding issues of marine spatial planning.”

Among the interesting suggestions made in the course of the second day, Mr. Donskoy noted the project for creating a regional center for monitoring the aquatic area and water intake area of the Baltic Sea, suggestions on the possibility of creating an innovation center for the development of water partnership between Russia and the EU, institutions of a training and production center on the technology of agricultural waste disposal in Leningrad Oblast, the development of environmental education, etc.

In addition, an important result of the discussions of the experts was called the decision to establish a working group for the development of the St. Petersburg Initiative and its implementation, which is to be presented at the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in October 2013 in Copenhagen.

Posted on: 06 April 2013 (17:25)

Source: Press Service of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia