Eutrophication and the Ecosystem Approach to Management: A Case Study of Baltic Sea Environmental Governance

Karlsson Mikael, Gilek Michael, Cecilia Lundberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This study investigates if and how present institutional structures andinteractions between scientific assessment and environmental management are sufficient for implementing the ecosystem approach to management (EAM) in the case of Baltic Sea eutrophication. Concerning governance structures, a number of institutions and policies focus on issues relating to eutrophication. In many cases, the policies are mutually supportive rather than contradictory, as seen, for example, inthe case of the mutually supportive BSAP and MSFD. The opposite is true, however,when it comes to the linkages with some other policy areas, in particular regardingagricultural policy, where the EU CAP subsidises intensive agriculture with atbest minor consideration of environmental objectives, thereby underminingEAM. Enhanced policy coherence and stricter policies on concrete measures to combat eutrophication seem well needed in order to reach stated environmental objectives. When it comes to assessment-management interactions, the science- policy interface has worked well in periods, but the more specifi c that policies have become, for example, in the BSAP case, the more question marks have been raised about scienceby affected stakeholders. At present, outright controversies exist, and EAM is far from realised in eutrophication policy in the Baltic Sea region. Besides coping with remaining uncertainties by improving the knowledge on problems and solutions – not least in terms of the socio-economic impacts of eutrophication – it may therefore be valuable to develop venues for improved stakeholder participation.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Governance of the Baltic Sea
EditorsM Gilek, M Karlsson, S Linke, K Smolarz
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-27006-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-27005-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Cite this