Governance for a Resilient Baltic Sea Ecosystem

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The Baltic Sea has one of the most established governance regimes, evolving with

the Helsinki Convention in 1972 to protect the ecosystem. This agreement has changed and

now includes signatories of all the Baltic Sea Coastal States, eight of which are EU members

and Russia, the only non-EU state. Despite this robust governance regime, the Baltic Sea is

subject to numerous anthropogenic stressors, including nutrient enrichment from

surrounding farms and from wastewater treatment plants. This has compromised the

ecosystem integrity, resulting in a Baltic Sea plagued by eutrophication which threatens the

provision of ecosystem services. This paper investigates how human actions can be governed

to ensure a resilient Baltic Sea Ecosystem. It examines eutrophication governance of the Baltic

Sea through the lens of resiliency. It looks at the seven pillars of building resiliency as found

in the literature: maintaining diversity and redundancy, managing connectivity, managing

slow variables and feedbacks, fostering complex adaptive systems thinking, encouraging

learning, broadening participation and the promotion of polycentric governance systems.

Ultimately, this paper aims to guide policymakers on actions to restore the Baltic Sea

ecosystem resiliency to ensure continued provision of ecosystem services.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)87–95
JournalCanadian International Journal of Social Science and Education
Issue numberJune 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Governance
  • Eutrophication
  • The Baltic Sea

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