Forskning / Forskarutbildningsområden

Miljövetenskapliga studier

Grafiskt element för forskningsområdet miljövetenskapliga studierSödertörns högskola har antagit utmaningen att integrera naturvetenskapliga och samhällsvetenskapliga ansatser för att skapa ett modernt, tvär- och mångvetenskapligt område: Miljövetenskapliga studier.

Cooperation for sustainable marine governance – The case of fisheries and agricultural nutrient run-off to the Baltic Sea

Project Cooperation 2013-2015.pdf

The management of Baltic Sea ecosystem integrity has been characterized by ambitious initiatives and elaborate action plans. The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) was set up already in 1974, and the Helsinki convention entered into force in 1980 (Hassler 2003a). The 1992 region-wide action plan JCP was followed by the BSAP in 2007.1 In parallel with this development, the two rounds of EU enlargement in 1995 (Sweden and Finland) and 2004 (the Baltic States and Poland) gave improved potentials for binding regulations as all Baltic Sea countries except Russia now became members of the Union. However, despite these comparably thick institutional layers of governance, the Baltic Sea is still plagued by serious environmental threats and governance shortcomings (HELCOM 2010). A significant heterogeneity among the Baltic Sea countries in terms of concern for the environment as well as economic and administrative capacity, a hesitance to seriously address regional rather than national management perspectives and a substantial implementation deficit are among the most important reasons why the ecological status of the Baltic Sea still is considered to be highly problematic (Hassler et al. 2010).

A common denominator behind these sources of governance failures has been difficulties in finding effective, robust and sustainable cooperative schemes among the Baltic Sea countries, comprising not only governments but sector organizations, NGOs, public authorities and civil society representatives as well. Despite the collective nature of Baltic Sea ecosystem services and the view shared by most stakeholders that cooperation is a prerequisite of managing ecological hazards effectively and a requirement for turning the Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM) into a new form of sustainable governance, the prerogatives of national interests, free-riding temptations and varying concern and capability among the coastal states continue to haunt the search for sustainability in marine governance (Gilek et al. 2012). A better understanding of prerequisites for regional cooperation and the value of unbroken reflexivity in institutional design and maintenance that in turn could improve environmental governance of the Baltic Sea is thus of critical importance.