Latvian Green Movement, Coalition Clean Baltic and Friedrich Ebert Foundation have jointly arranged the International conference on “Sustainable Development Goals: To Raise Public Awareness in Building Sustainable Communities around the Baltic Sea” which took place on 26-27 September 2017 at the Baltic Beach Hotel in Jūrmala, Latvia.
The Baltic Sea has been an important communication link for thousands of years, with a flourishing trade and tourism traditions as a natural outcome. Now the time has come to revitalize the cooperation and work together for growth, prosperity and a clean environment.
In 2015, UN countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Objectives of the goals 11, 14 and 17 were discussed at the conference as well as SDGs 8, 15 and 16 were touched as important in the context of the Baltic Sea region.
At the conference participants have addressed the region’s sustainable development solutions in coastal areas to provide both nature protection and accessibility by building and renovating tourism infrastructure in the coastal dune areas. To reach common understanding and develop criteria’s with future certification of such sustainable tourism infrastructure sites as the result, Latvian Green Movement together with the Association of disabled people and their friends Apeirons have started monitoring of the coastal tourism infrastructure objects in Latvian coast in order to advise and propose solutions for green and accessible tourism thus benefiting and developing the local economy and small businesses.
The Conference aimed to look at the region’s challenges and potential as an attractive nature tourism destination and vibrant economic area proposing advanced environmental solutions. It has addressed best practices and opportunities for cross-border cooperation in order to best serve the region’s inhabitants. Therefore, participants were encouraged to discuss the region’s priorities and the subsequent actions to be taken, as well as your role and potential involvement in the process.
Our countries have a long-standing interest in environment, saving the Baltic Sea and sustainable development of our Coastal lines. The Conference served as a forum of well-placed international and Latvian practitioners, local municipality and state institution representatives, policy makers, journalists and NGOs operating in the field of Baltic Sea Region and working with Sustainability, Planning, Economy and Regional Identity issues.
Thanks to our co-operation partners – Coalition Clean Baltic, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Latvian Environmental Protection Fund, CEE Bankwatch, The Swedish Embassy in Latvia, Roja and Jūrmala municipalities, the organizers have been able to invite experts and participants, who will be sharing innovative, promising and evidence-based practical and theoretical insights and lessons from around the Baltic Sea region.
This International Conference was also coupled with a study visit to one of coastal areas of the western part of Latvia – Roja Municipality and Cape of Kolka. Participants were encouraged to participate in conversations and active discussions that will result in new approaches having a direct and indirect influence on the situation in the region.
Two themes formed the Conference Programme. The topics, “Dialogue with” or the Panel debates and World Café will address the following questions:
- Regional identity, public awareness and nature values for promotion of Sustainable Development of the Baltic Sea region
- Tourism infrastructure solutions – to save the nature, provide access and promote the local economy growth at the Coast of Baltic Sea
The organizers of this International conference were pleased to invite policy-makers, representatives of local and state institution, NGO representatives from Baltic Sea region countries, including Belarus and Ukraine, to this conference.
Presentations of the Conference are available on the website of the Latvian Green Movement:
- Mikhail Durkin, CCB Executive secretary – “Regional identity and Nature heritage of BSR” (Sweden)
- Dr. Elmar Römpczyk, Sustainability Expert – “Sustainable Baltic – how to make it a success-story?” (Germany)
- Dr. Ingela Isaksson, Regional coordinator marine spatial planning MSP Kattegatt and Skagerrak,County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland, Planning and building department – “Better and stronger together – collaboration across administrative boarders for a healthier sea” (Sweden)
- Dr.-Ing. Frank Weichbrodt, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – „Coastal protection in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – organisation, examples and challenges“ (Germany)
- Gunta Lukstina, Spatial Planning Dpt, Ministry of Environmental protection and Regional Development – “Complex approach for development of public coastal infrastructure – Latvia’ s story” (Latvia)
- Svetlana Nigmatulina, Director of Autonomous non-commercial organization “The Development Center of Social and Educational Projects AURA”. – “Inclusive and accessible tourism in the Baltic coasts and the project “Dream adventure”” (Russia)
- Juris Briedis, Apeirons, “Presentation of the Certificate Nature-Accessible”
- Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation
- Promotional video of CCB’s information and awareness raising campaign “I am the Baltic” (*.mp4)
- Dream Adventures (*.mov ~ 500 mb)
Picture gallery of the event is available here