Institutional Change and the Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach: A Case Study of HELCOM and the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP)

Savitri Jetoo*, Nina Tynkkynen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The goal of this article is to explore the ways in which institutional changes are made to accommodate the application of the ecosystem approach for the governance of international environmental organizations. It examines the case of the Helsinki Commission, the governing body for restoration of good ecological status to the Baltic Sea, using the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) as its main tool. The Parties to the Helsinki Convention committed to adopting the ecosystem approach in the BSAP, recognizing that a clear shift was needed from the previous sectoral emphasis. The analysis is relevant and timely, as a review of BSAP indicates that implementation actions are lagging. The findings show that while the ecosystem approach influenced problem framing and envisioning, the overarching governance paradigm within HELCOM has not changed. Targeted transition leadership is crucial to guide more formal rules of engagement among actors and sectors for the better implementation of this holistic approach
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironments
Volume8
Issue number83
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Governance
  • Baltic sea
  • Ecosystem approach
  • Institutions
  • Transition management
  • Climate change
  • Wicked problems

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