PRESTO project in Belarus now completed
The PRESTO project (Project on Reduction of Eutrophication of the Sea Today) invested in improving the efficiency of nutrient removal in the three Belarusian cities of Grodno, Vitebsk, and Molodechno. The Foundation was responsible for technical plans and investments related to improved nutrient removal. Construction and equipment installation were started in autumn 2013 and finalized at the end of August 2014. PRESTO investments will reduce the phosphorus load entering the waterways with several hundreds of tonnes.
BSAP Trust Fund granted additional funding to handling leaking manure pools from the Udarnik poultry farm
John Nurminen Foundation and Udarnik poultry farm, situated in the village of Pobeda around 50 kilometres from Vyborg, have together charted out alternative ways to minimise manure leakages from the farm to environment. The issue is that over the dozens of years of its operation, a huge amount of manure has piled up in the vicinity of the farm, releasing around 10-20 tonnes of phosphorus to the river Vammel every year. At worst, the leakage corresponds to the amount of phosphorus that the Helsinki Viikki treatment plant releases in a year. About half of this amount is estimated to end up in Gulf of Finland through waterways. In the research commissioned by HELCOM, the poultry farm has been identified as one of the top hot spots causing real environmental risk to its environment in the area of the Baltic Sea.
The Baltic Sea Action Plan Trust Fund, jointly financed by Finland and Sweden, granted in August 2014 additional funding for the project, with which a filtering system for treating the runoff waters can be acquired. The Foundation is responsible for leading the project, the technical plans, and construction works of the filtering system.
New projects to cut the nutrient load
The Foundation is currently working on a number of new projects which aim at reducing the nutrient load of the Sea by improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment especially in Poland, the Baltic countries, Belarus, Kaliningrad and Leningrad region in Russia.
Project BEST under preparation
One project under preparation is EU-funded BEST (Better Efficiency for Sewage Treatment), where the main partner is City of Helsinki Environment Centre. Other key partners include the City of Warsaw and a number of water utilities and authorities in Poland, Belarus and the Baltic countries. The project has been nominated as a potential flagship project by the EU Baltic Sea Strategy group. In other words, the project is considered to be one of the most important initiatives in the field of cutting the nutrient load of the Baltic Sea. Once the new financing round opens in 2015, funding from EU Baltic Sea Programme will be applied for the project.
Nutrient trading project plan as pro bono donation
Martin Grotenfelt joined the Foundation in December 2013 and has during 2014 worked two days per week pro bono for Eutrophication Projects. During this time, Grotenfelt has done a remarkable job in outlining and creating a baseline for new project to do with nutrient trading.
Nutrient trading has for long been considered as a promising way to cost-effectively reduce the nutrient load of the Baltic Sea. The goal of the NutriTrade project is proceed from plans to action and start the first nutrient trading scheme and marketplace across the Baltic Sea. Potential participants for nutrient trading are players who are committed to reducing the nutrient load of the Sea with their own measurable actions, e.g. water utilities who are willing to voluntarily outperform the minimum required level of nutrient removal. Buyers can be cities, municipalities, private companies and citizens who wish to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea and neutralize their own phosphorus footprint.
NutriTrade project, as the BEST project already earlier this year, was given the status of a potential flagship project by the EU Baltic Sea Programme in September. With this, NutriTrade is recognized as one of the key projects reducing the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.
Also a domestic project in the Archipelago Sea under investigation
The Foundation is currently charting out a possibility to kick off a new project which has to do with fishing and nutrient recycling – and would help remove nutrients from the ecosystem of the Archipelago Sea. The Foundation started the work during the spring with the leading research institutes and universities that are conducting research to do with fishery. In addition, the Foundation has met up and conducted extensive dialogue with all stakeholders and interest groups around this matter.