Pharmaceutical residues in the Baltic Sea environment are causing concern even though the full impact for the marine environment is still unknown. Many pharmaceuticals substances cannot be effectively removed by conventional waste water treatment. The flagship on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea environment is designed as an umbrella/platform for the implementation of projects and different types of activities aiming to reduce pharmaceutical in the Baltic environment, as well as to support regional policy development and stakeholder cooperation.
The project aims to:
• Contribute to the identification, development and implementation of (transnational) projects and activities within the area of pharmaceuticals in the environment, as well as foster synergies between them
• Catalyse exchange of information and best practices in the region
• Promote stakeholder cooperation and awareness in the Baltic region
• Support the development of regional policy in the area of pharmaceuticals in the environment
• Implementation of physical measures resulting in reduced emissions of pharmaceuticals to the Baltic environment
• Development of regional policy, e.g. a regional strategy, recommendation or guidelines
• Development of projects and activities tackling the problem through e.g. waste water and sludge management, clean-tech innovation and public procurement
The flagship is targeting both human and veterinary medicines. Activities mainly focus on non-regulatory solutions.
The flagship contributes to the EUSBSR objective "Save the Sea" and its sub-objectives "Clean water" and "Rich and healthy wildlife" by focussing on pharmaceuticals as a group of chemicals that includes emerging pollutants which are assessed to pose a risk aquatic life at individual as well as community level, and potentially to human health.
The following activities are integrated part of the flagship’s umbrella:
• Regional status report on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea Region Governance
• Regional stakeholder process on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea environment
The project involves partners from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden as well as HELCOM.
2015 – 2016 Project development and joint process with Helcom:
A strategic work to stimulate the development of new transnational projects was undertaken. In December 2015, a project development workshop, with funding institutions and policy makers present, was organized in Copenhagen.
Simultaneously, PA Hazards initiated cooperation with Helcom to produce a regional status report on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic environment. A Background report on pharmaceutical concentrations and effects in the Baltic Sea was published by PA Hazards in 2015.
In 2016, the Pharma platform concept was developed and accepted as a flagship of the EUSBSR. Helcom initiated a Correspondence Group on pharmaceuticals.
2017 Projects funded, platform launch and status report:
Four project ideas presented at the stakeholder workshop in Copenhagen received funding by the Interreg South Baltic and Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme (see above).
The Baltic Sea Pharma platform was launched at the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin. The kick-off meeting in Riga 22 November 2017 has three main aims:
1. Facilitate contact and information exchange between PA Hazards projects addressing pharmaceuticals,
2. Inform relevant regional stakeholders about the projects and how they can contribute to policy development (and vice versa),
3. Develop future platform work for added value and outreach.
A status report has been recently published by UNESCO and HELCOM. The report was developed jointly by Helcom and PA Hazards. It serves as a case study within the framework of UNESCO Emerging Pollutants in Water Series under UNESCO-IHP's International Initiative on Water Quality (IIWQ) Project on 'Emerging Pollutants in Wastewater Reuse in Developing Countries'.
See under: http://www.helcom.fi/Lists/Publications/BSEP149.pdf