Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Driving Forces for Environmental Policy-Making and Capacity Building in the Baltic Sea Region

Ämne: Samtidshistoria, miljövetenskap
Projektledare: Simo Laakonen
Startår: 2011
Projekttyp: Projekt

An integrated study on the environmental history of pollution and protection at national level in the
Baltic Sea Region in the 20th century.

Significance: It is often said that the Baltic Sea is the most polluted, yet the most protected sea in the
world. However, the long history of pollution and protection of the Baltic Sea remains completely
unstudied. We argue that the proposed project is a forerunner in global terms because the environmental history of pollution and the protection of the seas and oceans is in general an unexplored theme, despite the fact that they cover two-thirds of the surface of the globe.

Objectives: The proposed project is the first study to explore the long-term development of national
governance of water pollution and protection in the catchment and coastal area of the Baltic Sea from the late 19th to the 21st century. The following nine coastal countries will participate: Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark. When, how and why did these states start to develop and adopt nation-wide strategies, policies and institutional tools to control inland and coastal water pollution? What were the driving forces and obstacles for water protection in capitalist and socialist states?

Materials and methods: Environmental policy-making (choices), related capacity building (structures)
and driving forces (context) of national water pollution and protection will be examined in all
participating countries by using the DPSIR framework (Driving forces, Pressures, State, Impacts,
Responses). Thereby project network generates interdisciplinary co-operation between experts in the
social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and environmental technology. The project relates the
whole (BSR) to the part (state authorities, private sector, civil society) and represents a hermeneutic

International framework: The proposed study will analyze the development of national measures to
combat water pollution in the international context of ecology of war, that is, cycles of war and peace.
We will explore to what extent cycles of water protection in the Baltic Sea Region over the past century were caused by major continental political crises, that is WW I and II, Soviet expansion, the Cold War, and the consequent collapse of the USSR followed by the expansion of NATO and the EU in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.