The Baltic Sea countries have made cooperation on sustainable development since 1992, when the foreign ministers of this region founded the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
The Presidency of the Council rotates among the Member States on an annual basis and from 1 July 2014 to the end of 2015 the CBSS Presidency is held by Estonia. Activities are coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In June 2014, the Council of the Baltic Sea States approved its new goals: regional identity, sustainability, successfulness and civil safety.
The Estonian Presidency places a focus on the practical implementation of these goals. For Estonia, the 2014 is a year dedicated to the Baltic Sea, including management of Baltic and Nordic-Baltic cooperation and organisation of several activities related to the Baltic Sea environment in cooperation with Finland and Russia. Estonian 2-year chairmanship of HELCOM started in July 2014.
During the Estonian Presidency, the CBSS Expert Groups are managed by relevant ministries. The Ministry of the Environment manages the work of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development - Baltic 21 - dealing with launching and implementation of the national joint projects related to sustainable development.
Until the end of 2015, the most important topics are the following: climate change, sustainable consumption and production, innovation and education supporting sustainable development and sustainable development urban and rural areas. During the Estonian Presidency, evaluations are made regarding the work and progress towards achieving the set goals of the Baltic21 Expert Group.
Since 2009, the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has been implemented in the Baltic Sea region. Sustainable development as an horizontal activity was included recently and is coordinated by the CBSS. Main coordinator in Estonia is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the other ministries participate in the activities according to specific topics.
Clean water, clean air, natural resources and services of ecological systems are the Earth’s limited resources which we are using on a daily basis.
National competitiveness and economic growth, as well as human health and daily welfare depend on the availability of price of resources.
In order to improve resource efficiency, efforts are made to reorganise production and waste management and make people’s consumption habits more environmentally-friendly.
General framework of the activities is developed by the resource efficiency initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy - creating bigger value by using less material.
For more detailed information about the resource efficiency policies, see the European Commission website.