Working for a healthy Baltic Sea
Although 97 per cent of the Baltic Sea is still affected 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.
About the BSAP Fund
The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund (BSAP Fund) was set up in 2010 to help quicken the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan. The key purpose of the BSAP Fund is to facilitate and accelerate the preparation of bankable projects from both public and private entities. To date, these grants have accelerated investments by up to two years, hastening the implementation of projects and their environmental benefits for the Baltic Sea.
Since the establishment of the BSAP Fund, 47 projects with demonstrable effects have been completed. The projects are spread across the Baltic Sea region including Estonia, Finland, Russia*, Sweden, and Belarus*, as part of the Baltic Sea catchment area. 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 were not eligible to apply for the grant in the latest Call for project proposals of 2022.
BSAP Fund key figures
year when the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund was set up
allocated to projects since 2010
projects with demonstration effects financed & completed at the end of 2022
allocated for 19 ongoing projects at the end of 2022
Eligibility criteria and supported projects
Financing has been awarded to commercial or non-commercial partners for projects in the Baltic Sea region and its catchment area for:
- Demonstration purposes
- Project development and preparation
- Project implementation
- Institutional support
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
Impact of the BSAP Fund
The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
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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