The ecologically vulnerable Baltic Sea has the potential of producing and sustaining a rich array of ecosystem services important for our identity, lifestyles, and wellbeing. However, the provision of many important services (such as opportunities for recreation and food fit for consumption) has alarmingly reduced during the past 40 years.
Climate change and other challenges
Pressures such as increased nutrient loads, that have caused undesired development, will become even more difficult to control in the near future due to global climate change, population growth and increasing demand for food.
Costly measures, valuable services
The policy instruments and measures to abate nutrient loads, to control fishing effort, and to mitigate other undesirable pressures are costly for the taxpayers and economic actors, thus raising questions on their societal benefits.
At the moment, there is only little knowledge of how valuable marine ecosystem services are to the citizens of the Baltic Sea countries, where are the most important hotspot areas that provide the core ecosystem services, and finally, how can we secure the future provision of marine ecosystem services under changing climate and anticipated socioeconomic developments.