The protection of the Baltic Sea is important to the cities of Helsinki and Turku. This is why already in 2007 the cities started the Baltic Sea Challenge initiative and invited other organisations to voluntarily protect the Baltic Sea beyond the legislation’s provisions. By 2020, 280 organisations from Finland and other Baltic Sea countries have joined the Baltic Sea Challenge network.
For more than a decade, we have with joint Baltic Sea Action Plans implemented dozens of tangible actions in order to reduce the environmental loads from the cities of Helsinki and Turku to waters. Our Baltic Sea Challenge partners have taken hundreds of measures for the benefit of their nearby waters and the entire Baltic Sea.
We have implemented several international projects to develop our activities and arranged numerous events and meetings for exchanging best practices and experiences. The third joint Baltic Sea Action Plan of our cities for the years 2019–2023 was endorsed in City Boards on 22 October 2018.
The joint Action Plan 2019–2023 makes use of synergies, for example between curbing climate change and our circular economy commitments with the water protection goals, and includes over 100 measures to reduce loading to waters and improve cities’ own processes and services in the water protection point of view.
The measures support work towards the following goals: clear coastal waters, healthy marine ecosystems, clean and safe water traffic, systematic water area management and active Baltic Sea citizenship.
Means to control storm water and to protect small water bodies are defined in the Storm Water Management Program and small water bodies programme.