Sustainable Development – Baltic 2030

Sustainable Development – Baltic 2030

We believe that all levels of society must share responsibility and participate in finding sustainable solutions. Baltic 2030 is continuously building purpose-oriented partnerships, commissioning studies, conducting trainings, facilitating projects and providing policy input.

The Baltic Sea cooperation on sustainable development dates back to 1996 when the Prime Ministers of the CBSS Member States initiated the  “Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region – Baltic 21″: a regional expression of the global United Nations’ (UN) Agenda 21. The Baltic 21 Action Programme was integrated into the CBSS as an Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 in 2010. Today, the Expert Group is focusing on translating the UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals into regionally actionable objectives through Baltic 2030 Action Plan.

Expert Group on Sustainable Development Baltic 2030 logo

Over the past 20 years the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development has acted as a macro-regional expression of the global UN Agenda 21 and 2030 and collected significant experience of working on sustainable development issues in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR).

Our members are various government ministries and agencies from the 11 Baltic Sea states (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden), numerous pan-Baltic and international organisations, non-governmental organisations, academic, as well as local and city networks. The Chair of the Expert Group rotates following the established patterns of the Presidency of the CBSS.


The current mission of the EGSD-Baltic 2030 is to facilitate, support and promote macro-regional engagement in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the operationalisation of its goals and targets. In order to achieve the overall mission, the EGSD shall perform the following tasks:

  • Focus on knowledge sharing in the field of risk assessment and
    climate change adaptation in relation to floods and erosion.
  • Support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by fostering coordinated sustainable development governance and related activities of stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region, taking into account the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region; the Strategy for the Social and Economic Development of the North-West Federal District of the Russian Federation and other relevant regional strategies and action plans;
  • Strengthen sustainable development governance in the Baltic Sea Region through mutual learning, by exchanging and dissemination of best practices, e.g. through the instrument of voluntary peer reviews.

The identified areas of common concern include, inter alia:

  • Sustainability governance on macro-regional level;
  • Mitigation of and adaptation to climate change;
  • Sustainable urban development;
  • Sustainable consumption and production, including resource-efficiency;
  • Environmental education and outreach.


Denmark (Danmark)
Gert Sønderskov Hansen
Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark Environmental Protection Agency
Address: Strandgade 29, DK-1401 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 72 54 40 00
Related website: Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Finland (Suomi)
Saara Lilja-Rothsten
Senior Adviser, Natural Resources Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Address: Hallituskatu 3 A, Helsinki, PO Box 30, FI-00023 Government, Finland
Tel. +358295162060
Related website: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 

Germany (Deutschland)
 Lauri Bode-Kirchhoff
Division for  European Union, Coordination, Strategic and Legal Aspects,
Cooperation with EU Member States, Federal Ministry for the Environment,
Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Address: Stresemannstraße 128-130, 10117, Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 18305-2327
Fax: +49 30 18305-3337
Related website: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

Iceland (ísland)
Danfríður Skarphéðinsdóttir
Head of Division, Sustainable Development and Nordic Affairs,
Office of Policy and International Affairs, Ministry for the Environment

Address: Skuggasund 1, 150 Reykjavik
Phone: +358 50 5256273
Related website: Ministry for the Environment

Latvia (Latvija)
Ugis Zanders
Senior Expert Strategy and sustainable development division, Coordination department,
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development

Address: Peldu iela 25, LV-1494 Riga
Phone: +371 66016590
Related website: Ministry for Environmental Protection and Regional Development

Norway (Norge)
Herbert Kristoffersen
Senior Advisor, Secretariat for Sustainable Development, Ministry of Finance
Address: Akersgt. 40 / Postboks 8008 Dep, 0030 Oslo
Phone: +47 22244519
Related website: Ministry of Climate and Environment

Poland (Polska)
Wioletta Ładno
Chief Specialist, International aspects of sustainable development, Department of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation, Ministry of the Environment
Address: Wawelska str. 52/54 00-922 Warsaw
Phone: +48 22 3692263
Related website: Ministry of the Environment

Russia (Россия)
Alexey Bakhtov
Senior Officer, Division of International Organizations, Department of International Cooperation,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Address: 4/6 Bol. Gruzinskaya, Str., 125993 Moscow
Phone: +7 (499) 254-56-61
Fax: +7 (499) 254-82-83/ 252-67-47
Related website: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Sweden (Sverige)
Anne-Cerise Nilsson
Deputy Director, Climate Division, Ministry of the Environment
Address: Tegelbacken 2, 103 33 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 (0) 8-4054750
Related website: Ministry of the Environment and Energy

International Organisations/Networks

European Commission
Cosima Hufler
DG ENV F.1/SDG Strategy Unit
Address: BU-504/158 Avenue de beaulieu 5, B-1160, Bruxelles
Phone: +3222980925
Related website:  Environment DG

Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
Monika Stankiewicz
Executive Secretary, HELCOM Secretariat
Address: Katajanokanlaituri 6b, FIN-00160 Helsinki
Phone: +358 207 412628
Related website: Helsinki Commission

Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM)
Anniina Kristinsson
Advisor, Sustainable Development
Address: Store Strandstrade 18, DK-1255 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 21 71 71 31
Fax: +45 33 93 29 01
Related website: Norden

CPMR Baltic Sea Commission
Åsa Bjering
Executive Secretary
Phone: +32 470 69 62 66
Related website: CPMR Baltic Sea Commission

Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC)
Björn Grönholm
Head of Secretariat, Environment and Agenda 21 Secretariat
Address: Vanha Suurtori 7, FIN-20500 Turku
Phone: +358 2 262 3172
Related website: Union of the Baltic Cities

Baltic Development Forum (BDF)
Lovisa Selander
Head of Sustainability and Communications
Address: Nytorv 3, 1st floor, DK-1450 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 70 20 93 94
Related website: Baltic Development Forum

Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation (BSSSC)
Ann Irene Saeternes
BSSSC Secretary General c/o Eastern Norway County Network
Address: Akershus fylkeskommune, Postbox 1200 Sentrum, N-0107 OSLO, Norway
Phone: +47 958 32 758
Related website: BSSSC

Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB)
Mikhail Durkin
Head of Secretariat
Address: Östra Ågatan 53, SE-753 22 Uppsala
Phone, +46 18 71 11 70
Fax: +46 18 71 11 75

• IVL – Swedish Environmental Research Institute
Åsa Stenmarck
Climate and sustainable cities – Waste
Phone: +46 10 788 65 66
Related website: IVL

Boverket – Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning
Olov Schultz
Address: P.O. Box 534, SE-371 23 Karlskrona
Related website: Boverket

• ENSI – Environment and School Initiatives
Christine Affolter
Head of Secretariat
Address: Steinen 57, 3534 Signau, Switzerland éducation21, Monbijoustrasse 3, Postfach, 3001 Bern, Switzerland
Phone: +41 79 326 46 26
Email: or
Related website: ENSIEducation21

Baltic Sea Region Spatial Planning Initiative (VASAB)
Talis Linkaits
Head of VASAB Secretariat
Address: Elizabetes str. 19, Riga, LV-1010
Phone: +371 67350628
Fax: + 371 67350626
Related website: VASAB

Asli Tepecik Dis
Research Fellow
Address: Box 1658SE, 111 86 Stockholm
Phone: +46 8 463 54 00
Related website: Nordregio

Baltic University Programme Secretariat (BUP)
Lars Rydén
Director, BUP Secretariat, Uppsala University
Address: Villavägen 16, 752 36 Uppsala
Phone: +46 18 471 6853
Fax: +46 18 471 1789
Related website: The Baltic University

• Nordic Association
Bo Andersson
Secretary General
Address: Drottninggatan 30, 111 51 Stockholm
Phone: +46 8 506 11 302
Related website: Nordic Association

Expert Group Meetings

Expert Group Meetings

17th meeting, 11 October 2017, Stockholm, Sweden

CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development (EGSD) gathered in Stockholm for its 17th meeting to review the work on the Baltic 2030 Action Plan, refine the communication strategy of the group and approve EGSD Working Plan for the next six months. Experts from 5 pan-Baltic organisations and 6 countries participated in the meeting. Read more 

16th meeting, 17 May 2017, Reykjavik, Iceland

On the 17th of May 2017, CBSS Baltic 2030 Expert Group on Sustainable Development (EGSD) met for the 16th time in Reykjavík, Iceland. The meeting focused on two main topics: information exchange regarding Member States’ efforts in SDGs/2030 Agenda implementation and finalising the Baltic 2030 Action Plan. 17 participants represented 9 countries and 3 pan-Baltic organisations in the meeting. Read more 

15th meeting, 7 November 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

On November 7th, 2016 CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development met for the 15th time to kick-off discussions on an Action Plan on Sustainable Development – “BALTIC 2030”. Consensus: to keep the momentum, drafting process should start in the CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit in the near future. Read more

14th meeting, 11 April 2016, Warsaw, Poland

The 14th Meeting focused on drafting the CBSS Declaration “Baltic 2030: Renewing the Commitment to Sustainable Development in the Baltic Sea region”. The countries also discussed  preparation for the high-level political event organised within the upcoming 7th EUSBSR Strategy Forum.  The participants agreed to initiate a new Seed Money project for preparation of the large-scale SDGs capacity building and awareness rising project. The project will  include the establishment of the web-based learning and information exchange platform for supporting the implementation of the SDGs in the Baltic Sea region.

13th meeting, 28-29 October 2015, Warsaw, Poland

The Polish Ministry of Environment hosted the 13th meeting of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 and the 5th Roundtable of the Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Dialogue Platform took place on 28-29 October. Read more 

12th meeting, 28th April 2015, Tallinn, Estonia

The second meeting under the Estonian CBSS chairmanship discussed the final results of the Baltic 21 review and the way ahead to a new mandate for the Expert Group post 2015. In this respect the first draft results from the assessment study on the status of sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region was introduced by Uppsala University, along with an internal review of the implementation of the CBSS Strategy on Sustainable Development 2010 – 2015. In relation to the role of the expert group as the reference group for EUSBSR Horizontal Action Sustainable Development, the meeting was arranged back to back with the 4th Round Table of the BSR Climate Change Dialogue Platform. 

11th meeting, 21 – 22 October 2014, Tallinn, Estonia

The first Expert Group meeting under the Estonian presidency was arranged as a lunch to lunch event discussing the new CBSS long term priority ‘Sustainable and Prosperous region’ and its defined goals, along with new project ideas on local food markets, energy efficiency in buildings and waste management. Furthermore, there was arranged a focus group discussion on the first findings and results of the CBSS-Baltic 21 review. As the reference group to the EUSBSR Horizontal Action Sustainable Development the meeting shared views on the on-going revision process of the EUSBSR Action Plan and its potential implications for HA Sustainable Development as well as the status of the  EUSBSR seed money projects, ClimUrban, Balloon and SmartCities.

10th meeting, 5th June 2014, Turku, Finland


9th meeting, 5th December 2013, Stockholm, Sweden

The 9th meeting of the EGSD was a one day event in December this year focussing mainly on the revision of the ToR for the Baltic 21 review, one of the main priorities of the Finnish chairmanship in Baltic 21. Furthermore, the EGSD welcomed the Baltic 21 Lighthouse and EUSBSR flagship project Bioenergy Promotion for its second round table on the promotion of Bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region. The project introduced and discussed the final policy recommendations of the project that will also be introduced to the BSPC – CBSS – BASREC seminar on Energy and Resource Efficiency on 4th March 214 in Helsinki Finland. In a second round table EGSD members met with national climate change adaptation experts from relevant ministries to discuss the potential establishment and cooperation framework of a transnational dialogue platform on climate change adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region. The event was followed-up in a second round table that is scheduled for April 2014.

8th Meeting, 5 – 6 September 2013, Stockholm, Sweden

The 8th meeting of the EGSD took place in Stockholm, Sweden under Finnish Chairmanship. Discussions concerned new project development where the Secretariat introduced the project REALS application to become a Lighthouse project. The meeting continued discussions from the 7th EGSD meeting on the study on Sustainable Development in BSR. With a view to close the project to policy loop of the Baltic 21 Lighthouse project BALTADAPT the meeting decided to organize a round-table back to back with the 9th EGSD meeting to facilitate the establishment of a BSR CCA dialogue platform. The final item was the review of Baltic 21, with view to select the members for the Evaluation Task Force.  

7th meeting, 18-19 June 2013, Helsinki, Finland

The 7th meeting of the CBSS Expert Group was held in Helsinki, Finland. The meeting started with discussions on the implementation of the Baltic 21 Work plan, where it was decided that a desk study should be conducted to set the context for sustainable development in BSR. Another main point of discussions was the governance structure for Horizontal Action for Sustainable Development within the context of EUSBSR (steering group).  The Expert Group exchanged views on the state of play in the implementation of the CBSS Strategy on Sustainable Development 2010-2015 and discussed main results and follow-up activities of B21 Lighthouse projects. A conclusion from this discussion was that the Secretariat will develop an overview of these projects and their relations to the CBSS and EUBSR Strategy. Other items for discussion were planned activities with partners in Russia and Belarus and the potential establishment of a BSR network on Education for Sustainable Development, BSRNESD. Last but not least the meeting focused on the introduction of the mid-term review of the Baltic 21, specifically looking at methodology, work plan and next steps.  

6th meeting, 20-21 November 2012, Stockholm, Sweden

The 6th meeting of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development will take place on 20 – 21 November 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. This meeting will be hosted at the premises of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat. It will be led by the current Baltic 21 Russian Chair and income new Head of Baltic 21 Unit, Senior Adviser Sustainable Development, Ms Krista Kampus. On the agenda of the meeting will be preparations for a mid-term review of the CBSS Strategy on Sustainable Development, post Rio+20, new project developments, incl. new Lighthouse projects, input to the revision of the EUSBSR Action Plan and ETC Financial Framework Programmes 2014 – 2020. Furthermore, there will be a round table workshop on sustainable renewable energy arranged by the Bioenergy Promotion II project. Invitations will be sent out in September.  The Bioenergy Roundtable A key activity within Bioenergy Promotion is to carry out a Roundtable in cooperation with Baltic 21, CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development. The first Bioenergy Roundtable was arranged in conjunction with the 6th meeting of the Expert Group on 20-21 November 2012 in Stockholm. . The Bioenergy Roundtable aims at creating a dialogue between the Bioenergy Promotion project and the Baltic 21, CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development about how to move the development and dissemination of bioenergy systems forward in the Baltic Sea Region. The Bioenergy Promotion project presented recommendations based on findings and conclusions from Bioenergy Promotion (2009-2011) and from Bioenergy Promotion 2.  

5th meeting, 23 April 2012, Berlin, Germany

The fifth meeting of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development-Baltic 21 took place on 23 April 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The meeting is hosted by the current Chair of Baltic 21, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety at their new premises in Berlin in conjunction with “Baltic Sea Days” 23-25 April 2012, an event organised by the German CBSS Presidency 2011 – 2012. The meeting will focus on discussing policy recommendations and input to the 9th Baltic Sea States Summit, Rio+20 as well as the Annual Conference of the Baltic Sea States Subregional Co-operation, BSSSC and the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation, BASREC.  

4th meeting, 15 November 2011, Gdynia, Poland

The fourth meeting of the Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 took place on 15 November 2011 in Gdynia, Poland. The Meeting was hosted by the Baltic 21 Lighthouse project “EcoRegion” and held in conjunction with its final conference. The Meeting put an emphasis on project developments and discussions on Rio+20 process as well as the implementation of the CBSS Strategy on Sustainable Development 2010-2015.

3rd meeting, 14-15 March 2011, Oslo, Norway

The third meeting of the Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 took place on 14-15 March 2011 in Oslo, Norway. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance. The meeting discussed policy input to the EU Consultation on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 as well as the 16th Ministerial Session of CBSS. On 15 March a joint meeting was held between the Expert Group and the CBSS Committee of Senior Officials.  

2nd meeting, 1 – 3 December 2013, Berlin, Germany

The second meeting of the Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 took place on 1-3 December 2010 in Berlin, Germany. The meeting was hosted by the Germany Ministries for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Main issues of the meeting were the discussion of revised criteria for Lighthouse projects, decisions on new project receiving Lighthouse status and updating of the Baltic 21 promotional material.  

1st meeting: 13-14 April 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania

The first meeting of the Expert Group on Sustainable Development – Baltic 21 took place on 13-14 April 2010 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The meeting was hosted by the Lithuanian Ministry of the Environment. Main issue of the meeting was the discussion of the new Strategy on Sustainable Development 2010-2015 “Actions for Sustainable Development around the Baltic Sea”.

Seminar: Climate Resilience in the Baltic Sea Region

11 May 2020 at the Danish Ministry of the Environment and Food, Copenhagen. Rising sea Read more

CBSS at the 10th Annual EUSBSR Forum

The 10th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) on 12‑13 June Read more

100 young adults discussed regional identity and sustainability at the Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2019

Baltic Sea Youth Camp 2019 – a three-day camp in Gdansk, Poland – brought together Read more

Second Baltic 2030 workshop on localising Sustainable Development Goals

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and Global Utmaning hosted the second module Read more

Localising Sustainability

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and Global Utmaning are pleased to host Read more

First Baltic 2030 workshop on localising SDGs

The 1st module of the Baltic 2030 Capacity Building Programme – Localising SDGs took place Read more

Localising Sustainable Development Goals: Baltic 2030 Capacity-Building Programme

The Council of the Baltic Sea States – Baltic 2030 and Swedish think-tank Global Utmaning, with the support Read more

“Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals: European and Russian Experience” conference

On 26-27 February 2019 the CBSS participated in the conference “Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals: European Read more

ReGeneration 2030 Summit

Save the date for the next ReGeneration 2030 Summit that will take place 24-26 August Read more

ReGeneration 2030 Strategy Meeting

On 10-11 January 2019, CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm hosted the Strategy Meeting for the members Read more


Sustainable Urban Mobility and Commuting in Baltic Cities (SUMBA)

The main project proposal focuses on the development of mobility concepts for more sustainable and intermodal commuting in cities involving also their suburbs. Challenges identified are missing cross-city communicating and planning, the lack of practical examples that take into account commuters and changed mobility patterns, and the lack of financing of mobility services across city-borders. The project aims at involving various stakeholders such as cities and suburbs, transport operators, mobility providers or lobby groups in a participatory planning approach. Expected outcomes are new city mobility concepts, guidelines for different stakeholders for planning and implementation and pilots testing different solutions.


EFFECT4 Building is a Swedish Institute seed money supported project for preparing the major project application for INTERREG BSP support aiming to increase energy efficiency based on enhanced capacity of public and private actors involved in energy planning. The project partners remained largely the same since the project is an extension of EFFECT, the EUSBSR Flagship project which was implemented during 2012-2015. Lead partner in the project is County Board of Dalarna, Sweden. You can access and download the reports of the earlier EFFECT project in our library.

Past projects

Sustainable and Ethical Adaptation to Rising Sea Levels (SEA-RIMS)

Funded by FORMAS, the project SEA-RIMS (Sustainable and Ethical Adaptation to Rising Mean Sea levels), during 2016-2021, will produce knowledge and tools that can assist local and regional actors in Sweden in making sustainable and ethically legitimate adaptation decisions in response to sea level rise. The objectives of the research project are: 1. Provide an inventory and in-depth analysis of the ethical problems, including goal conflicts and value trade-offs, that arise in adapting to rising mean sea levels, with particular focus on southern Sweden. 2. Develop two complementary GIS-visualisations for coastal vulnerability indices in collaboration with our municipal partners, and provide structured guidance as to how this new information can be used in adaptation to sea level rise. 3. Explore different strategies to manage long-term sea level rise at municipal and regional levels in Sweden and generate scenarios of sustainable and ethical sea level rise adaptation. The research will be performed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Division of Philosophy at KTH and the Swedish Geotechnical Institute in collaboration with 5 municipalities from Swedish South, the Foundation Halland County Museums, CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit and White Arkitekter AB. Project started with a kick-off meeting on 21-22 March 2017.

Towards Baltic 2030 – From Talk to Walk

Seed money funding was granted to CBSS Secretariat by Swedish Institute for developing of a project which addresses the implementation challenges towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both on a national and on a Baltic Sea Region level. CBSS Secretariat is identifying key areas to be addressed in the future project, and is working on developing the outline of an open learning platform for sharing knowledge, best practices and raising awareness on SDGs and Baltic 2030. A study, assessing the preliminary status of the 2030 Agenda implementation, was conducted by SEI Tallinn to serve as a basis for further SDG-related activities within the project. Update: the project’s final event took place on the 27th of April 2017. For agenda, conclusions, participants, presentations and photos – click here.

For the period 2010-2015, the Baltic 21 Expert Group (now Baltic2030 Expert Group) was implementing the CBSS Strategy on Sustainable Development, focusing on four strategic areas:

  • Climate change
  • Sustainable urban and rural development
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Innovation and education for sustainable development

Concentrating on environmental, social and economic challenges in the Baltic Sea Region, Baltic21 developed a multitude of sustainability projects, the so-called Lighthouse Projects. Representing the core of our work, these projects were either developed within the Baltic21 network or in ad-hoc working groups.

Climate Change

  • BaltAdapt

BaltAdapt has prepared the proposal for a BSR wide Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. BaltAdapt was a flagship project in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSBSR under EUSBSR Horizontal Action Sustainable development. It facilitated the action “Climate change adaptation”. The project had 11 partners from Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany and Finland and ran until autumn 2013.   More information on the project, including its final results can be found here.

  • Bioenergy Promotion I & II

The Baltic Sea Bioenergy Promotion Project was running during 2009-2011.The project was a platform for cross-sectoral and transnational networking to facilitate information and knowledge exchange, a coordinated policy development and application of bio-energy promotion instruments. The project has held several workshops and conferences focused on sustainability criteria for the production and use of biomass, national renewable energy action plans and certification systems. The extension phase – Bioenergy Promotion 2 – was running from October 2011 to January 2014 implementing key final results of the Main Stage via demonstration, testing and transfer activities. Bioenergy Promotion 2 strived to promote sustainability on transnational and national strategic policy level and in (sub) regional planning and implementation processes, addressing administration, authorities and utility companies.  More information.

Sustainable Urban and Rural Development

  • Agora 2.0

AGORA 2.0 aimed at close cooperation between tourism stakeholders of the Baltic Sea Region. Partners are public authorities on national and regional level, as well as international NGOs and business and heritage organizations, which are all dealing with tourism development and influence the national tourism policies. The project’s aim was to increase the BSR identity by means of heritage tourism (where heritage includes natural heritage), based on principles of sustainability.

  • New Bridges

New Bridges aimed at improving the management of the urban-rural interactions and to strengthen the quality of life within these interactions. The project applied the concept of quality of life in urban-rural planning and management, by the three criteria identified as Residential preferences, Mobility and accessibility, Provision of services, with the main object to improve the management of quality of life in urban-rural planning, evaluating potentials for more sustainable urban-rural interactions within the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). Further, the project contributed to build up new urban-rural partnerships that would strengthen the city-regions organizing capacities to become more sustainable and attractive places to invest, live and work in. More information.

  • Ecovillages

The overall objective of this project was to develop more sustainable ways of living in the rural areas of the BSR by offering a toolkit for initiators and developers of eco-villages. Within the project, also an effective model for planning and implementation of eco-villages was developed and 3 manuals focusing on (1) eco-settlement practices and environmentally friendly technologies applied in ecovillages; (2) cultural aspects of ecovillage establishment and governance; (3) and green business and entrepreneurship were launched. More info and the manuals can be accessed here.

  • Baltic Landscape

Baltic Landscapes was a follow-up of Baltic Forest. The project’s focus of was on sustainable use and management of natural resources, emphasizing empowerment of societies to meet sustainable development challenges on the local level. To achieve progress along this line there is an evident need for neutral platforms to develop cooperation and common understanding between different local land use stakeholders and actors with different interests and visions. This also included aspects of gender, minorities (i.e. Sámi people) and disabled groups (i.e. accessibility in the landscape). More information.

Sustainable Consumption and Production

  • SPIN

The SPIN project was led by the German Federal Environment Agency and run during 2009-2011. SPIN aimed at identifying and testing appropriate incentives for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to apply eco-innovations and increase the exploitation of the innovation potential.  The project was a flagship project in the Action plan accompanying the EU BSR Strategy. More information.

  • RECO

The “Reco Baltic 21 Tech” (RB21T) is partly funded by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 and is running from October 2010 to December 2013. The project aimed at strengthening the capacity of Baltic Sea countries to climb the waste hierarchy and meet the various EU directives on waste management. The project’s final event “Baltic Sea Waste Management Conference – Cornerstones for Sustainable Waste Management in the Baltic Sea Region” took place in October 2013 in Minsk, Belarus.

  • Baltic Green Public Procurement (Baltic GPP)

“Baltic Green Public Procurement” (Baltic GPP) was a flagship project under the EUSBSR Horizontal Action Sustainable Development led by the CBSS – Baltic21 Expert Group (now Baltic2030). GPP is a tool widely recognized across Europe as having the potential to significantly contribute to a sustainable model of growth for countries and regions, by channelling the huge purchasing power of the public sector. Baltic GPP contributed to overcoming the insufficient use of innovation potential and low intensity of joint efforts by strengthening knowledge transfer and exchange on various important aspects of GPP. Furthermore, it has produced common training material and realised train-trainers-seminars in each partner country (Denmark, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Norway). More information.


EFFECT’s main aim was to map, communicate, foster and learn from good practice solutions on eco-efficiency in the Baltic Sea Region. The project wanted to attract and enable cities, villages and BSR sub-regions as well as other relevant actors from the local, regional, national and pan-Baltic level to jointly develop and implement policies and concrete actions on becoming more energy and resource efficient, sustainable and resilient, while stimulating a greener economy. The project was funded by Swedish Institute, SI Baltic Sea Unit as Thematic Partnerships. Furthermore, EFFECT received the status of a CBSS Baltic 21 Lighthouse project in November 2012.

Innovation and Education for Sustainable Development

  • EcoRegion

EcoRegion run from 2009-2011 and was led by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. EcoRegion aimed at developing the Baltic Sea Region into the world’s first EcoRegion, where economic growth goes hand in hand with environmental integrity and social justice. During the reporting period, EcoRegion partners held three project conferences. During these conferences regional partners attended training workshops on cyclical sustainability management.  Sector partners discussed and developed a database of good practices on sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region. The database was launched in the early fall of 2010 and can be accessed via our library. More information.

  • Ecosystem Health EHSA

The project was built upon the cooperation between two educational networks, the Baltic University Programme (Lead Partner) and Envirovet Baltic. EHSA developed a new educational package for higher education on sustainable agriculture, land use and rural development, and preservation of ecosystem health. A long series of seminars and trainings have been held, including those specially designed for teachers. EHSA was producing three Master-level textbooks focusing on: 1. Rural development and land use, 2. Sustainable agriculture, 3. Ecology and animal health – which can be accessed and downloaded on the Baltic University’s website.


The Baltic Marine Litter (MARLIN) project run from 2011-2013 and intended to contribute to the reduction of marine litter on the shores of the Central Baltic area. It tried to raise the awareness on marine litter among policymakers, other relevant stakeholders, media and the broader public in this geographical area, and capacity building measures in local municipalities and NGOs to address the issue of marine litter in environmental management routines. With the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation as lead partner, the project aspired to use the competence gathered in the network of the project partners to engage the stakeholders in the joint education and information campaign, as recommended by the HELCOM Baltic Seas Action Plan. More information.

Activities in Russia and Belarus

According to the decision of the Swedish Ministry of Environment, an extra contribution to Baltic 21 was foreseen for cooperation with Russia and Belarus for participation of partners from these countries in Baltic 21 Lighthouse projects and/ or activities clearly related to the implementation of the main areas of cooperation as outlined in the CBSS Strategy on Sustainable Development 2010 – 2015. Read more about the past activities and the Cooperation with Russia and Belarus.

  • Resilient and Ecological Approaches for Living Sustainably (REALS+)

 The lead partner of the project was Permaculture Sweden.  The main aim of the project is to create networks and intercultural learning between Sweden, Russia and Belarus, with a focus on socio-ecological resilience and sustainable lifestyle. The project supports the increase of learning, awareness and access to information in relation to sustainable lifestyles, waste reduction and sustainable resource management. The project contributed to increased knowledge, oversight and awareness related to the areas of permaculture, land-stewardship, urban design and hands on–practical implementation within civil society in Belarus. It has facilitated and encouraged further discussions on proposals for policy recommendations, as well as highlighted interesting cases. It has also supported ways ahead concerning follow-up activities and possible future joint projects and actions. Most importantly – it has empowered and strengthened civil actors for sustainable development in Belarus and Russia. The held seminars had a networking and educative aim, and new contacts, experiences have been made. The project dissemination will lead to further empowerment in the partner organisations, the civil sector (and beyond) in Belarus and Russia. More information.

  • Food – Formation of new local food markets

The projects aimed at developing a better conceptualization of the ways in which new local food markets are socially constructed; a better understanding of the scale and form of local food sourcing practices, and potential market opportunities and challenges for the conventional supply chain actors to participate within the local food system. The objective was to analyse the initiatives based on partnership approach which helps to lower the barrier to market entry for small- to medium-size producers and cooperatives seeking to increase their local retail sales in Lithuania, Kaliningrad county of Russia and Belarus. Further information and documents can be found in our library.

  • LearnWater – Building Neighbourhood Learning Facility for Water Experts

The German wastewater treatment (WWT) sector has successfully implemented a peer-to-peer learning concept “Neighbourhoods” since 1968 through facilitated meetings. Basic idea of this concept is “Helping the people to help themselves”. A similar life-long-learning concept is needed in Belarus as well, but the “Neighbourhood” concept should be localised to Belarusian conditions. The purpose of this proposal was to facilitate an exchange of experiences and launch the development of a Belarusian “Neighbourhoods” life-long-learning concept for the water management sector and support e.g. the sustainability of the investments on new technology. It was attempted to also start planning and drafting ideas for bigger projects to mainstream the life-long-learning concept in Belarus and to bring Russian experts into similar cooperation.


Strategy Papers

Material on Former Projects

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