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Plan aims to cut agricultural runoff into Baltic Sea by 2027

The measures would be financed by national funds, as well as EU programmes.

Actions listed in the plan could reduce nutrient pollution in the Archipelago Sea region by 100,000 to 150,000 kilograms per year. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Finland's ministries and agricultural sector organisations have unveiled a plan aimed at limiting agricultural runoff that pollutes the Baltic Sea.

The government-backed Archipelago Sea programme, published on Thursday, lists 10 measures for reducing agricultural pollution in the maritime region between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland. The region was listed by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helcom) as one of the Baltic Sea's most polluted.

Measures include taking steps to improve field drainage and soil growth conditions, increasing the use of soil improving materials such as gypsum, lime and wood fibres, promoting the removal of manure from coastal areas and increasing fields' plant cover.

The plan, which aims to resolve the issue by 2027, was drawn up jointly by the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the ELY Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK).

The actions listed in the plan are projected to reduce nutrient pollution in the Archipelago Sea region by 100,000 to 150,000 kilograms per year. The measures will cost 18 million euros per year, bringing the total cost to 100 million euros by 2027, the ministries said in a joint press release on Thursday.

According to the ministries, the measures would be partly financed by national funds, such as the Water Protection Enhancement Programme, as well as EU funding programmes.

“The state of the Archipelago Sea is challenging but far from hopeless. This programme is an important step towards improving the state of the sea," said Environment and Climate Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green).