Continuation of Luga Samplings Expected to Be Discussed this Week
16 April 2012 (HELCOM Information Services) – The BALTHAZAR Project working meeting will be set up soonest, hopefully by Friday 20th, to discuss technical and procedural details of the continuation of the intensified sampling in Luga River, in Kingisepp, Russia. The joint sampling programme carried out by a Finnish-Russian research team started four weeks ago for investigating further the high phosphorus loads, found late last year by BALTHAZAR near a fertilizer plant in River Luga which runs its waters to the Baltic Sea.
Last Wednesday on 11 April a SYKE researcher who works in BALTHAZAR’s Finnish-Russian research team was arrested during an official sampling trip on the River Luga. After an authority investigation he has returned to Finland on Friday morning. Finnish authorities are currently clarifying the issue.
“BALTHAZAR Project plans to continue with the agreed samplings, though there will be a gap in some sample taking for this week. I will discuss the next joint sampling round scheduled for week 18 with the Russian Project Partner and the representatives of the Finnish-Russian research team in the working level meeting which we are trying to arrange this week,” says Kaj Forsius, Project Manager of BALTHAZAR.
The EU funded BALTHAZAR Project is managed by Helsinki Commission (HELCOM). Following the request by the annual HELCOM Meeting in March the Project has earlier this year agreed with the relevant Russian authorities, about the additional joint sampling programme for finding the reasons behind the phosphorus findings in the area.
Information about the Luga River study can be found in:
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EU-funded BALTHAZAR project supports Russia in the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, including the improvement of pollution load data contributing to HELCOM assessments. One central measure is better management of hazardous and agricultural wastes by piloting environmentally sustainable management measures in the City of St. Petersburg, Leningrad Region and Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation. The Project is funded by the European Parliament Pilot Project Facility and managed by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) established at the HELCOM Secretariat.
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), is an intergovernmental organisation of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Community working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1972 HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.
The Finnish Environment Institute (also known as SYKE, after the Institute's Finnish acronym) is both a research institute, and a centre for environmental expertise. SYKE's research focuses on changes in the environment, and seeks ways to control these changes. Our expertise is based on long-term environmental monitoring, wide-ranging research results, and the Institute's highly-qualified staff.
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For further information, please contact:
Mr. Kaj Forsius
BALTHAZAR / HELCOM
Tel: +358 (0)46 8509212
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645
Ms. Johanna Laurila
Tel: +358 (0)40 523 8988
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645