(European Regional Development Fund and European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument)
The Baltic Sea Region is the first macro-region acknowledged by the European Union as a strategy project for regional cooperation and development. The development of the Baltic Sea Region has been a success story of economical, environmental and social integration in Europe. And consequently, also the maritime industry, as part of this project, has also benefitted from the economic growth and prosperity in the Baltic Sea region. Passenger and freight traffic by sea is the major mode of transport in the Baltic Sea region. Furthermore, a large proportion of the European ship movement takes place in the Baltic Sea and has made this one of the busiest shipping areas in Europe. Consequently, the Baltic Sea is an important means of transport, subject of the sea-based economy and an important area for recreation and tourism.
However, there is always the other side of the coin – and so is here in the Baltic Sea. Given the Europe-wide discussion on environmental protection, the shipping and port industry has unfortunately the reputation of being one of the major contributors of serious environmental pollution and risks. Hence, several measures and regulations have been implemented to lower environmental impacts from the maritime sector. Therefore, the players in the maritime industry in the Baltic Sea – like all other actors in ports and shipping around the world - are facing the challenge to find sustainable solutions for avoiding or reducing emissions and negative impacts on the environment caused by shipping and port operations – while offering competitive and efficient transport services at the same time.
Against this background, the Baltic Sea Forum (BSF) has launched in cooperation with the EU project InnoShip and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) the "Baltic Sea Clean Maritime (BSCM) Award”. The Baltic Sea Forum e.V. was founded in 1992 and has a wide network of members from business, politics and administration. The Baltic Sea Forum is a private non-governmental organization (NGO) and works closely together with intergovernmental and national, regional and local institutions to support the economical, political and cultural cooperation and integration among the Baltic Sea countries. The BSR InnoShip INTERREG IV project supports the Baltic Sea countries and the key maritime stakeholders in order to encourage voluntary measures and economic incentives for low-emission solutions on a local, national and the Baltic Sea level. Baltic maritime regions and cities will be offered with concrete tools for developing feasibility, investment and competitiveness planning for adopting innovative technology and low-emission solutions.
In this context the "Baltic Sea Clean Maritime (BSCM) Award” has been created to support innovative and environmental friendly approaches and ideas in the Baltic Sea and to provide a platform for transparency, knowledge exchange and implementation measures.
The aims of the project BSR InnoShip project characterizes the contents of the award and is essentially based on the objectives of the Helsinki Commission. The Baltic Sea Forum – supported by the BSR InnoShip project - will contribute to the development of the Baltic Sea into a model region for environmentally friendly and competitive shipping.
Accordingly, the award aims to promote approaches and ideas that meet the following criteria:
- reduce and prevent emissions caused by shipping and port operations in the Baltic Sea Region,
- reconcile the different interests and needs within the Baltic maritime sector in order to foster a more environmental-friendly maritime sector,
- coordinate efforts to make the Baltic Sea a model area for clean and competitive shipping in Europe,
- contributing to a coherent maritime spatial planning covering the different activities in the maritime sector.
The award is presented now for the first time in 2013 and will be awarded in the future on an annual basis. All proposals meeting the criteria above in matters of innovation, qualification, coordination and implementation of technical skills are welcome.