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Hur hanteras och uppfattas övergödning i Östersjön?: En fallstudie av nationella handlingsplaner för genomförandet av Baltic Sea Action Plan och uppfattningar kring övergödning i Östersjöregionen
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In November 2007 the countries around the Baltic Sea signed the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). The action plan was an initiative from HELCOM due to the environmental status in the Baltic Sea. The action plan implemented a new approach with measures targeting the whole ecosystem. Eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity and maritime activities constituted the main segments. The parties were to establish national implementation plans to fulfil the BSAP goals, which shall lead to good environmental status in the Baltic Sea by 2021.  

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the points in common regarding conceptions of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea between the management, the science, the media and the public. There are often complex connections between scientific knowledge and decision-making. With the purpose to elucidate these connections the risk management of eutrophication was compared with the scientific knowledge in the area along with the perceptions of the public and media.

The implementation plans of the HELCOM parties differ in both content and ambitions. Overall the implementation plans are technical and many of them give no background descriptions to the causes of eutrophication. The scientific uncertainty that surrounds the calculation models of eutrophication is mentioned in about half of the implementations plans. Some uncertainty is mentioned due to the timescale of the effects of the measures. This can be compared with the fact that some scientists mean that the BSAP goals are unrealistic. Several parties mention the agriculture as an important sector for the reduction of the nutrient supply to the Baltic Sea. The Russian, Lithuanian and Estonian implementation plans also put forward the municipality treatment plants as important actors. There is a big difference between how many times the notion “eutrophication” is mentioned in the implementation plans. In the German implementation plan the notion is mentioned most frequently (29 times), while the Danish implementation plan only mention the notion twice. In the Finnish, Polish and German implementation plans eutrophication is described as a big threat. Only in the Latvian, Polish and German implementation plans eutrophication is described as a risk. The analysis of the implementation plan content shows that the parties has not succeeded to fully use the risk notion in relation to eutrophication. This can affect the risk governance, but also the perception of eutrophication among different stakeholders. Both media and politics affect the complex interactions that constitute the fundament of the relationship between scientific knowledge and public risk awareness. The consequence of eutrophication that is given most of the space in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter is algal growth. 73 % of the Swedes consider the algal growth as a rather big issue or a very big issue. A plausible conclusion is that there is a connection between the descriptions of eutrophication in Swedish media and the perceptions and knowledge of eutrophication by the Swedish respondents.

The perceptions and management of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea are surrounded by complex interactions, uncertainty in the scientific basis and ambiguous opinions. Despite this eutrophication is often treated as a simple risk. For the purpose of successful implementation of the action plans is it important that the public participate in the elaboration of the risk measures. To accomplish real change it might be necessary to make the complex interactions more visible and to make the public participate more.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 61 p.
Keyword [sv]
BSAP, övergödning, miljörisk, riskperception, riskhantering, osäkerhet
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-34529OAI: diva2:720673
Subject / course
Environmental Science
Educational program
Environmental Risk Analysis Master Programme, 60 credits
Available from: 2014-07-14 Created: 2014-06-02 Last updated: 2014-07-14Bibliographically approved

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