Local forerunners networking for urban water protection: Baltic Sea Challenge

Wednesday 26 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: NL 357

This event offers examples of water protection and management at the local level, and presents the Baltic Sea Challenge (BSC) as a framework for cooperation. BSC is a macro-regional network of organizations committed to local water protection.

Experts will present concrete water protection cases that improve the quality of life, the state of the surrounding environment, and bring monetary gain. Cases may include natural management of storm waters, efficient waste water treatment and management of green urban areas together with tools to support implementation. The models are internationally transferrable.

The event will show that open cooperation between public and private organizations leads to tangible results. Local actors such as municipalities, companies, associations and educational institutions provide many water related services, and must take an even more active role in protecting two basic human needs, water and nature.

The BSC claims that the extra effort put into these matters, also when exceeding the requirements of law, will attract many benefits for the local actors. The network promotes open partnership and joint reviewing of implementation. Through open discussion and best-practice sharing it also serves in capacity-building of single organizations, and results in healthier water systems.



  • Showcasing different angles on getting your water protection action started: bottom-up project work and to-down strategies
  • Showcasing how cross-sectoral cooperation can work
  • Showcasing already implemented concrete actions with wide cooperation nationally and internationally
  • Showcasing results, benefits, tips for others in water protection both regionally and globally

PROGRAMME at 11.00-12.30

Welcome by moderator

  • Lotta Nummelin, Managing Director, Baltic Sea Fund (Östersjöfonden), Finland

Interviews with municipalities: strategy work, nutrient recycling (algae into biogas), waste water treatment, natural storm water management and cooperation with academia

  • Mika Akkanen, Manager of International Affairs, City of Turku, Finland
  • Matilda Gradin, Environmental Strategist, Trelleborg Municipality, Sweden
  • Silver Riige, Leading Specialist on Water Protection, City of Tallinn, Estonia
  • Lotta Ruokanen, Environmental Planner, City of Helsinki, Finland
  • Jacek Skarbek, President, Gdansk Water and Sewage Company, Poland

Dialogue and reflections on building local welfare through regional water protection collaboration

Summary and wrap-up