HELCOM LAND to identify cost-effective measures to combat eutrophication
Further actions to combat eutrophication and reduce pollution of hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea area were the main focus of discussions at the Ninth Meeting of the working group on Land-based pollution (HELCOM LAND) held in Tallinn, Estonia, on 24-26 May 2004.
The results of the recent HELCOM report “The Fourth Pollution Load Compilation” (in print) show that the major portions of discharges of nutrients originate from diffuse sources, especially agriculture. Furthermore, the inputs from the agricultural sector are expected to increase as a result of the foreseen growth in production with the EU enlargement.
In order to come up with concrete proposals to reduce inputs of nutrients the HELCOM LAND meeting has initiated a project to assess the implications of different policy scenarios in the Contracting Parties on the changes in inputs of nutrients to the Baltic Sea.
The final aim is to enable the identification of cost-effective measures in the different parts of the Baltic Sea catchment area required to achieve good ecological status throughout the Baltic Sea area.
Another significant source of nutrient inputs is the atmospheric deposition of nitrogen. In order to address this issue HELCOM LAND will assess sources of airborne nitrogen deposited to the Baltic Sea, including the differentiation in the most significant sectors in order to come up with solutions to reduce pollution from the identified sources.
Further measures are also needed to combat pollution in Belarus, Ukraine and the Czech Republic which contribute to the input of pollutants to the Baltic Sea. HELCOM LAND has initiated an activity to assess the significance of transboundary pollution and the most important sources of nutrients and some selected heavy metals in these three countries in order to find solutions for measures.
The Meeting considered also actions to reduce pollution of hazardous substances, such as dioxins, mercury and cadmium, and identified waste incineration as an important source for these substances where further action should be taken. Effects of long-range air pollutants can be seen far from the sources and regional actions are not always sufficient. Therefore HELCOM wants to influence also decision-making in other fora and proposes EU, which is currently developing a strategy on mercury, to take action especially in the following fields:
1. Combustion plants, including residential heating,
2. Product controls for thermometers and other instruments and electronic equipment,
4. Mercury contaminated building components,
5. Management of obsolete pesticides.
The meeting elected Mr. Georg Maue, Germany, as Chairman and Mr. Leonid Korovin, Russia, as Vice-Chairman for the HELCOM LAND Group for the next two-year period.
Chairman of HELCOM LAND
Mr. Torben Wallach
Danish Environmental Protection Agency
Tel: +45 3266 0506
Fax: +45 3266 0500
Mr. Kaj Forsius
Tel: +358 9 62202221
Fax: +358 9 62202239
The Land-based Pollution Group is responsible for reducing pollution from all sources on land within the Baltic Seas catchment area, by promoting environmentally sound practices and technologies as well as practical measures to limit emissions.