Transitional waters (TW) link adjacent river basins and marine areas and are critically important for the ecological health of the Baltic Sea.
The European Water Policy and the EU Water Framework Directive set the guidelines for managing river basins, while marine areas are managed within the EU Maritime Spatial Planning framework. ARTWEI aims to strike an operational balance between EU requirements for Maritime Spatial Planning framework, Water Framework Directive and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, which do often overlap or contradict each other. This aim will be achieved by establishing the South Baltic Transitional Waters’ partnership network of the key institutions based on the long-term cooperation agreement and supported by the regional activity network of EUCC – The Coastal and Marine Union. Thus, the cross-border cooperation of local and regional interest groups, citizens and politicians is crucial.
ARTWEI project is based on existing experiences from the EU and international Baltic Sea cooperation networks within development of local and regional methods for effective management of TWs from two perspectives:
- cross border cooperation
- environmental integrity of river basins –TWs – open sea
- 4 Transitional Waters
ARTWEI project has four cross-border Transitional Waters regions of the South Baltic Area as target areas:
- Curonian Lagoon (LT/RU),
- Vistula Lagoon (RU/PL),
- Odra Lagoon (PL/DE),
- Oresund (DK/SE).
Concrete conclusions and recommendations for the durable reinforcement of the environmental integrity of the Transitional waters are developed in the form of a Good Practice Code of Conduct. A web-based multilingual platform, including webGIS and other ICT tools, created facilitating an interactive knowledge exchange within and among Transitional Waters Stakeholder Bodies. Environmental education is an additional tool implemented in the form of a transboundary coastal dialogue, a photo competition and a public information system.
ARTWEI project is part of the South Baltic Programme 2007 – 2013. The lead partner is the Klaipėda University and the partnership comprises other five partners from Lithuania, Germany, Poland and Sweden.
March 2010 – June 2013.
Henrik Nilsson, Ramūnas Povilanskas, and Nardine Stybel
Transitional waters have the ecological peculiarity of being both very fragile and resilient at the same time. The degradation of the transitional waters and the decline of their economic value arise from the excessive use of the resources, external input of pollutants mostly brought by large tributaries and from the mismanagement of the adjacent areas. The EU Water Framework Directive has accelerated the transboundary co-operation and development of spatially integrative management approaches in the south Baltic transitional waters. A high-level political committment in countries sharing a transitional water body, a professional agency, a stakeholders‘ forum and regular funding is the key to successful transboundary management of transitional waters.