Improving the ecological wellbeing of the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund (BSAP Fund) was set up in 2010 to help speed up the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, adopted by the HELCOM countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) in 2007. The ultimate aim of the Action Plan and the Fund is to restore the ecological status of the Baltic marine environment. The Action Plan is currently under revision, integrating new environmental challenges to continue improving the status of the sea and its catchment.
Small steps to greater impact
Although 97% of the Baltic Sea is currently still affected by eutrophication, the sea has experienced substantial environmental improvements thanks to various efforts done 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.
Since the establishment of the BSAP Fund, 38 projects with demonstrable effects have been completed. The projects are spread across the Baltic Sea region including Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Finland to 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. For more information about past financed projects, see the BSAP Fund publications listed below.
A key purpose of the BSAP Fund is to facilitate and speed up the preparation of bankable projects from both public and private entities. To date, these grants have accelerated investments by up to two years, speeding up the implementation of the projects and their environmental benefits for the Baltic Sea.
Sweden and Finland initiated the BSAP Fund in 2010. The fund is co-managed by Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and Nefco.
Available financing and eligibility criteria
Financing can be awarded to commercial or non-commercial partners for projects in the Baltic Sea Region and its catchment area for:
- institutional support
- demonstration purposes
- project preparation and development
- project implementation
Selected proposals may receive grant financing from EUR 30,000 to EUR 200,000 subject to certain co-financing requirements.
How to apply
The BSAP Fund opens calls for applications to grant projects that will benefit the ecological wellbeing of the Baltic Sea. The next call will be in fall 2021.
The Fund can finance new initiatives as well as support activities that have been developed from previous application calls.
Eligible project activities can include, but are not limited to, measures that:
- reduce land-based nutrient inputs
- improve nutrient recycling
- manage internal nutrient reserves
- address pollution by hazardous substances
- reduce marine litter, microplastics etc.
See our eligibility criteria and download the application form further down the page under Related publications.
The latest call for applications for the BSAP Fund ended in October 2020, and 15 projects from 4 countries were approved with a total sum of EUR 1.5 million. More information about the selected projects.