BSP Newletter 2013

In the editorial the general Co-ordinator presents her considerations.

smilesIt is really a great pleasure for Estonia to take over the role of the BSP coordination. Estonia has the great of honour of taking over the coordination of the BSP. We wish to thank all the students, teachers and coordinators in the participating countries, who have assisted in the project's functioning and activities. Some issues require a joint contribution by various countries, and the protection of the Baltic Sea is onesuch issue.

For me everything starts from our daily choices and decisions. What role does the sea play in the decisions that we make everyday? For most of us, this is our only sea. I have met young people at a camp far from the sea, in Southern Estonia. They have asked, "Why are we having our camp so far from the sea?" The answer is really simple – to demonstrate that you are you are impacting the environment with your actions wherever you are.

In the beginning, you can affect the condition of the Baltic Sea by modifying and being aware of your daily choices and consumption patterns. The Baltic Sea is highly sensitive to the human activities that take place at sea and in its catchment area, which is home to some 85 million people from nine countries.

The Baltic Sea is one of the most unique marine ecosystems in the world because of its specific geographical, climatic and oceanographic features. But there are also many serious problems like eutrophication, over-fishing, irresponsible maritime activities, hazardous substances, and invasive species.

There is a common concern about the state and future of the Earth, and some political steps have been taken to meet the challenge. The results are visible and there are some indications of recovery. In 1980s the ozone hole was a serious problem, but thanks to concrete actions, recovery is on the way. If we talk about the Baltic Sea, we can also see a recovery related to the multiplicity of some endangered species and the reduction of some hazar- dous substances, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus. For broader results,we need to act jointly by cooperating with our neighbouring countries.

We are part of the whole. For better understanding, we can learn more about risk management and see how things on the other side of world also affect us. Every thought and act has an impact.

Kersti Sõgel,
General Co-ordinator of the UNESCO Baltic Sea Project

 

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