Seminar on integrated approaches to maritime economy and first CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy meeting under German Presidency

On 19 October 2022, the German Presidency of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy held an online seminar on integrated approaches to maritime policy and indicators to assess developments in coastal communities, maritime economy, and marine environment.

The Ecologic Institute and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) in Germany worked in the past months on a project developing a set of suitable indicators to make the impacts of Germany’s integrated maritime policy presentable and assessable at the economic, ecological, and social levels. 

During the webinar dr. Nico Stelljes from the Ecologic Institute highlighted the results of the project and gave an overview of the set of indicators in the areas of ecology, economy, and quality of life and attractiveness of the coastal zone to assess an integrated maritime policy.

While the analysis of the outcome of the assessment showed that some indicators of the analysis were strongly interdependent, there were also difficulties regarding the international comparability of the data, for example in regard to the different timing of data collection. The results stimulated a discussion on similarities and differences in the integrated approaches to the maritime economy in the Baltic Sea Region and how to proceed with the project.

First meeting of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy under the German Presidency

The seminar was followed by the first meeting of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Maritime Economy under the German Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. An important part of the meeting was dedicated to a reflection on the future of the Expert Group in the context of Russia’s withdrawal from the CBSS.  On top of it, the main topics on the agenda concerned green shipping lines in the Baltic Sea, dumped and unexploded munitions, blue economy, and EU missions to restore our waters.

In reference to one of the three main priorities of the CBSS German Presidency, Thierry Siegers, DG Mare Desk Officer, presented the study on underwater unexploded munitions which pose a very real threat to the environment of the Baltic Sea. It was concluded that a large amount of the munitions is already about 100 years old and seriously corroded. In the next 5-10 years leakages of toxic substances will increase, the question is only how much. Unexploded dumped munition also poses a threat to the construction of offshore renewable energy sites while also being a danger to fishing vessels.