Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund

The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund accelerates the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan adopted by the HELCOM countries.

Accelerating the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan

Although 97 per cent of the Baltic Sea is still impacted by eutrophication, the sea has experienced substantial environmental improvements thanks to various efforts in the catchment area. The intensity of the spring blooms was reduced between 2000 and 2014 due to reductions in nutrient loading, and there has been a decrease in nitrogen concentrations in most of the Baltic Sea and an improvement in water clarity.

The Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) was adopted by the HELCOM countries in 2007 to restore the ecological status of the Baltic marine environment. The plan was updated in 2021 and includes almost 200 actions focused on issues addressed in the original BSAP, such as biodiversity, eutrophication, hazardous substances, shipping and fisheries. It also includes new actions on marine litter, pharmaceuticals, underwater noise, and seabed disturbance.

Concrete actions for a healthy Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund (BSAP Fund) was set up in 2010 to help quicken the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. The primary objective of the BSAP Fund is to facilitate and accelerate the preparation and implementation of projects addressing the key challenges facing the Baltic Sea.

Given the transboundary nature of many of these challenges, projects often need early-stage financial support for initiation and assessment of potential solutions. The support of the BSAP Fund enables project testing and evaluation of replicability and scalability, as well as assessment of financial viability. Since the establishment of the BSAP Fund, 53 projects with demonstrable effects have been completed. The projects are spread across the Baltic Sea region. Most of the financed projects involve nutrient recycling, manure management, small-scale sanitation plants, wastewater treatment, alternative fuels, or harbour facilities for wastewater management. Nefco only publishes information on the projects that have been signed with the project partners. Please view the list of signed projects under Related Publications.

* As outlined by the Fund’s Steering Committee, applicants, or projects where project partners are from Russia or Belarus are not eligible to apply for funding from the BSAP Fund.

Funding for biodiversity conservation and pollution prevention

The BSAP Fund has made significant contributions towards fostering a healthy and resilient Baltic Sea ecosystem. About 80% of funded projects address biodiversity conservation or pollution prevention. For example, the BSAP Fund has financed project preparation for several wastewater treatment plants across the Baltic Sea area.

BSAP Fund key figures


establishment of the BSAP Fund by Sweden and Finland


additional investments generated by financing from BSAP Fund


projects with demonstration effects financed as of the end of 2023


Baltic Sea countries where funding is available

Eligibility criteria and supported projects

Funding is available for projects with the objectives and activities outlined in the BSAP to commercial or non-commercial partners for projects in the Baltic Sea region and its catchment area.

The BSAP Fund provides grants for:

  • Demonstration purposes
  • Project development and preparation
  • Project implementation
  • Technical assistance

Eligible project activities can include, but are not limited to:

  • Fighting eutrophication
    • Measures to reduce land-based nutrient inputs
    • Measures to improve nutrient recycling
    • Measures to manage internal nutrient reserves (in coastal areas) in line with the pre-cautionary principle and HELCOM’s Ministerial Declaration 2018
  • Measures to address pollution by hazardous substances
  • Measures to reduce marine litter

Projects and measures that address one or several areas highlighted in the Baltic Sea Action Plan

Supporting global and local marine environmental goals

The BSAP Fund is a tool to accelerate concrete actions on marine biodiversity and con-tribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the environmental politi-cal agenda of the countries in the Baltic Sea catchment area. The fund serves as a mechanism for its contributors to take concrete actions to achieve the BSAP goals for 2030, a commitment shared by all HELCOM countries.

How to apply

The BSAP Fund can finance new initiatives and support activities that have been developed from previous application calls. The latest call for applications for the BSAP Fund ended in February 2023. If further Call for Proposals would open, information would be updated on this page.


Sweden and Finland initiated the BSAP Fund in 2010. The fund is co-managed by the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and Nefco.

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Nea Westerlund Financial Analyst
Swedish, Finnish, English

Controlled drainage helps reduce nutrient losses in the Baltic Sea

Eutrophication is one of the main threats to the Baltic Sea. The Swedish organisation Tullstorpsån Ekonomisk Förening is testing how to improve the retention of nutrients in fields with grants from the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund.

Read more

Microplastics removal project reduces pollution in the Baltic

Microplastics in the Baltic Sea cause environmental damages. The Finnish company Sofi Filtration developed a filter to solve the problem with a grant from the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund.

Read more

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