Comparing national laws in Baltic Sea countries

By conducting comparative analysis of regulations of nutrients and pollution in different Baltic Sea countries Annika K. Nilsson, a Swedish legal scientist involved in the strategic research programme BEAM, Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management, is assessing the potential and room for ecosystem-based management within the legal system.

- Preliminary results from my analysis show that ecosystems approach is quite well developed on strategic policy and management plan level, but that the operative regulatory instruments and structures are the same as before, with weak or unclear linking to the strategic ecosystems management policy, Annika K. Nilsson explains.

Cross country collaborations

Within the project a cooperation has been initiated with the Universities of Copenhagen, Gdansk and Tartu, where six different legal scientists have conducted the country studies which are used as basis for the comparative analysis. Regulation of sewage treatment and agricultural activities have been studied and compared, and the potential and challenges of ecosystems approach in regulation thus analysed.

- My work will continue with trying to understand what the ecosystem approach entails in the context of regulations, says Annika K. Nilsson. Hopefully it will lead to a useful framework over the legal structures that are necessary to support a functional ecosystem management system.

More information

  • Annika K. Nilsson, Faculty of law, Stockholm University, annika.nilsson(at)

BEAM Short Research Films

Legal Approaches to Controlling Emissions of Nutrients in the Baltic Sea Region