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Policy Area (PA) Hazards organizes workshops for capacity building and increased knowledge transfer between national authorities in the Baltic Sea Region.
Pharmaceutical residues in the Baltic Sea are causing concern as the full impact for the marine environment is still unknown. Human and livestock excretion of drugs and metabolites following consumption, as well as disposal of unused pharmaceuticals, are pathways to the environment. Many pharmaceutical substances cannot be effectively removed by conventional waste water treatment.
The topic of hazardous substances is covered as main area in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region, EUSBSR. Under the Policy Area (PA) ‘Hazards’ this year’s activities are focusing on the topic of Pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea environment. Therein the PA is aiming at creating a dynamic network of relevant multi-sector, multilevel stakeholders from across the Baltic Sea region as well as facilitating cooperation, capacity building and policy development in the field.
The PA partnered with Baltic Development Forum and Helcom for this regional stakeholder event, which sought to stimulate innovative project ideas, solutions and approaches on how to prevent pharmaceutical substances to reach the Baltic Sea environment. The conference was held in Copenhagen 15 December 2015. It brought together 60 stakeholders for implementation with policy makers and funding instruments for knowledge exchange and policy discussions.
PA ‘Hazards’ was actively looking for innovative project proposals on applied technical and management solutions on how to prevent pharmaceutical substances to reach the Baltic environment and cause negative effects, including technical and management solutions.
At the conference the status report on Pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea environment was presented.
Policy representatives from Germany, Sweden and HELCOM presented their views on recent policy developments in the field and next steps needed from a national and pan-Baltic perspective.
In an interactive project development workshop participants elaborated six project proposals that will be further developed into potential flagships, highly visible transnational good quality projects, to be implemented in the Baltic Region within the coming years.
This workshop was a joint exercise between EUSBSR Priority Area Hazards and HELCOM. The aim was to share ideas, knowledge and experience among authorities and experts responsible for implementing hazardous substances monitoring in the Baltic Sea Region according to the MSFD and BSAP. The workshop was held back-to-back with the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Vilnius and had 36 participants from 7 Baltic Sea countries and HELCOM.
Based on the discussions in May another workshop was organized in November, together with Baltic Environmental Forum, on the links between different EU legislations on waste, water and marine directives and the classification of dangerous substances that is relevant for work with hazardous substances. The workshop was addressed to officials in the Baltic States and Poland with more than 65 attendees. A policy brief was produced from the workshop and translated into four Baltic languages.
An evaluation of the workshop one year later, based on interviews with 86% of the participants, showed that the workshop considered to have been very useful in their daily work (Fig 1. And 2.).
Report: Evaluation of the seminar "lnterlink of EU legal frame to successfully manage hazardous substances and new developments at EU legislation", taking place on 28-29.11.2012. in Riga, Latvia.
The purpose of the workshop in May was to discuss necessary and desirable activities within PA Hazards. The meeting was co-organized by the Steering Group and HELCOM LAND. Participants were Polish stakeholders in the public sector, a total of 45 participants. The result was that the work of the PA Hazards should focus on two areas: "Capacity building" and "Research for macro-regional needs."