Turku and Helsinki take part in the Baltic Sea Challenge - what about your city?

The Baltic Sea Challenge is a network initiative that invites organisations to commit in protecting the Baltic Sea and their local waters, to building their own Baltic Sea Action Plan and to implementing it. In 2019 there are already 300 member organisations in the network from the countries around the Baltic Sea. Even though the initiative was started by the cities of Helsinki and Turku in Finland, it exists especially owing to and for its member organisations.

The preparation for the Baltic Sea Challenge started in 2006 by the initiative of the Mayors of Helsinki and Turku. They wanted their cities to commit to work for the Baltic Sea and to be pioneers in strategic water protection. The joint Baltic Sea Action Plan of the cities was published in 2007, and the Baltic Sea Challenge was initiated. The guideline of the network is working for is the third joint Baltic Sea Action Plan for 2019-2023. The vision is a clean, productive and shared Baltic Sea.

Several international initiatives have been taken in recent years for the benefit of the seas. The period 2021–2030 has been designated as the Decade of Ocean Science of the UN. The operating methods and targets of the EU’s Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region have become more precise, and Finland has also prepared its Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. A decision has been made to update the model of our action plan, the Baltic Sea Action Plan of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, by 2021. With the already closer collaboration, we encourage HELCOM to take into account proposals from our action plan in the update.

The global sustainable development goals of the United Nations are central for our work. For evaluation of how we are enhancing the goals we applied the SDG Impact Assessment Tool, which the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development has developed. The tool helps to assess impact of solutions, research activities, organizations, projects and other initiatives onto the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We can strengthen our work for all goals that we have identified we are working for. For succeeding, we can enlarge our international network, of current 300 members and call on our members to communicate what they have already done, are doing at the moment and plan to do in the future. Together! SDG 14 is the most central SDG for our work, but we also work directly for seven more and indirectly for five more.

Join the network: find a partner, save your local waters!

The Baltic Sea Challenge is a free-of-charge, international network focused on protecting the waters and open to all actors. The members have committed to take concrete action to protect the waters on a voluntary basis, exceeding the requirements of law and their own core operations. The network provides members with a channel that they can use to tell about their work, gain access to versatile events and more.


SDG impact assessment tool of Turku and Helsinki in Baltic Sea Challenge