Saturday, April 6, 2013

Russia seeks Baltic pollution partnerships

Terra Daily via UPI: Russia's push to create public-private partnerships as a way to help clean up the polluted Baltic Sea is the focus of an environmental summit in St. Petersburg.

The meeting, to be attended by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and premiers from 10 other Baltic and northern European nations, is being called in part to strengthen international cooperation on tackling the chronic environmental woes of the Baltic, which is plagued by nitrates and phosphates from waste run-off.

The nutrients, contained in fertilizers and sewage, enter the sea from large "spot" sources such as wastewater treatment facilities and also from diffuse sources, such as scattered farm fields. Environmentalists say the pollution is causing the "eutrophication" of the Baltic Sea, though which algae blooms deplete oxygen from the water, triggering fish die-offs and creating a 25,000-square-mile-wide "dead zone" the size of Latvia.

A 2007 action plan developed by the Helsinki Commission of nine Baltic Sea nations has achieved a 40 percent reduction in direct nitrogen and phosphorus discharges as well as a 40 percent decrease in airborne nitrogen emissions. Some 200 Baltic Sea anti-pollution commitments have been at previous summits, including 11 by sovereign states..

A sunset on the Baltic, shot by Kharlosluz, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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