Latvia failing in Baltic Sea protection

  • 2011-09-07
  • From wire reports

RIGA - The nine countries bordering the Baltic Sea coast are not doing enough to protect this very polluted body of water, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a report published on Aug. 31, reports AFP. “We need less talk and more action. If we are to succeed in saving our common sea, we need to work more effectively across sectors and national borders,” the head of WWF Sweden, Haakan Wirten, said when presenting the organization’s 2011 Baltic Scorecard.

According to the report, Germany and Sweden fare better than their neighbors in protecting the sea, with 36 points each out of a maximum of 79. WWF said they were the region’s best in implementing regional and international agreements on the environment.

Russia and Latvia were at the bottom of the scale, which took into account the presence of fertilizer, hazardous substances, bio-diversity, navigation and the management of the sea, obtaining 18 and 19 points, respectively.
The most important progress was made in fulfilling agreements to manage toxins, WWF said in a statement, stressing, however, that “much work remains.”

On the other hand, all of the countries lost points when it came to bio-diversity and fertilizers. The widespread use of the agricultural chemicals can be witnessed through the presence of green algae along the coast.
Finland came in third place, with 29 points, ahead of Denmark (28 points) and Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, which all scored 25 points.

“Germany has worked particularly hard to reduce its emissions of nutrients and has done fairly well in the other areas,” WWF said.
Sweden, on the other hand, got top marks for “implementing environmental commitments for shipping and integrated sea management,” Aasa Andersson, in charge of the Baltic at WWF, said. The Scandinavian nation, however, was the worst in preserving bio-diversity.