HELCOM is leading the economic and social analyses activity in the Pan Baltic Scope project, which is an ongoing two-year project that brings together eight maritime spatial planning (MSP) authorities from seven HELCOM countries with the aim of developing a coherent national maritime spatial planning initiative in the Baltic Sea region, creating a lasting macro-regional mechanism for cross-border MSP cooperation. Both, the TAPAS and SPICE project support the Project for Developing the Second Holistic Assessment of Ecosystem Health in the Baltic Sea (HOLAS II). So far HELCOM does not collect spatially explicit socio-economic data. The presented analysis is a first approach.
Questions this practice may help answer
- How do human activities contribute to national and regional economies?
- How does the state of the marine environment contribute to the wellbeing of current and future generations?
Economic and social analyses have been developed in HELCOM under the TAPAS project in 2017 and the SPICE project in 2018, co-financed by the EU. The TAPAS project conducted analyses of the use of marine waters and cost of degradation for the Baltic Sea Region. The work has continued in SPICE, with added topics on, for example, ecosystem services, baseline scenario and integrated assessment of activities, pressures, state and welfare impacts. Both TAPAS and SPICE support the Project for Developing the Second Holistic Assessment of Ecosystem Health in the Baltic Sea (HOLAS II), which runs from December 2014 to June 2018. HOLAS II assesses the overall environmental status of the Baltic Sea and its pressures, and evaluate progress in relation to the goals of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). It has been developed so that it can be used by Contracting Parties also being EU Member States in reporting under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), and can serve other policies and goals, such as UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The first version of the State of the Baltic Sea report was released in June 2017. The results of the SPICE project are to be included in the update of the report in the summer 2018, and contribute to the development of regional economic and social analyses in the Baltic Sea. HELCOM is leading the economic and social analyses activity in the Pan Baltic Scope, which is an ongoing two-year project that brings together eight maritime spatial planning (MSP) authorities from seven HELCOM countries with the aim of developing a coherent national maritime spatial planning initiative in the Baltic Sea region, creating a lasting macro-regional mechanism for cross-border MSP cooperation.
Guidance to the work on socio-economic analysis is provided by HELCOM Working groups (in particular Gear group), the HOLAS II core team, and through expertise from Contracting Parties through HELCOM workshops on this topic.
The following figure shows the role of the anaylsis within this ongoing work.
Aspects / Objectives
The aim of the work strains is to gain coherent and comparable information across countries.
Four pieces of work have been started by HELCOM. First, there is a general development of economic and social analyses taking into account the HELCOM expert network on economic and social analyses. Further work strains are linked to the 2nd holistic assessment of ecosystem health, the “State of the Baltic Sea” report as well as the SPICE project (2017) and the processes in MSP (application of Pan Baltic SCOPE project).
In the “State of the Baltic Sea” report, the analysis compared the use of marine waters with the costs of degradation based on the approach to assess human activities, pressures and state of the ecosystems.
Main Outputs / Results
First results have been achieved related to the contribution from the use of marine waters to the economy in the BSR annually. The analysis referred to selected sectors and monetary value, employment and quantitative indicators like a) fish and shellfish harvesting, b) finfish aquaculture, c) marine and coastal recreation and d) transport infrastructure. In a next step, annual welfare losses for citizens if good environmental status is not reached were outlined. First numbers have been provided for a) losses from eutrophication, b) losses of recreation values and c) losses from degradation of perennial vegetation and fish stocks.
The approach of the “State of the Baltic Sea” report can be transferred to other regions, always depending on reliability and availability of data. The Pan Baltic SCOPE project is expected to include ecosystem services, which are not common for European MSP processes. However, the project can foster an understanding of what underlying services of the ecosystems are providing and it can support the ecosystem-based approach, which is a requirement in the MSP Directive.
A difficulty is that tourism statistics mostly do not include the local population. Also tourism data do not show recreational benefits. Another open question is how to take into account welfare losses / property price development and other economic developments during the analysis.
Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission
- Helsinki Commission -
Katajanokanlaituri 6 B, 3rd floor
Phone: +358 207 412 649
Costs / Funding Source