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New Baltic pollution reduction goals will not cause any problems for Lithuania

2013-09-20

On October 3rd, the environmental ministers from the nations of the Helsinki Convention will meet in Copenhagen to accept a declaration that will define the primary environmental protection problems in the Baltic Sea and will confirm new goals for reducing pollution in the Baltic. Based on calculations made by Swedish scientists, the amount by which the convention’s nations will have to reduce their pollution will be changed. For example, conditions will be relaxed for Lithuania – by 2021, Lithuania will have to reduce its nitrogen pollution in the Baltic by 9 thousand tons instead of 11.7.

The declaration also underscored the fact that the Helsinki convention’s changes related to pollution from agricultural sources must be ratified. These changes define the density of animals being kept and create new requirements for fertilizer storage spaces, organic fertilizer use, plant protection measures, environmental protection licenses and environmental monitoring.

Out of the convention’s nine nations, Lithuania and Poland have not yet ratified the changes. Lithuania has not yet ratified them due to concerns expressed regarding licenses for farms raising 400 or more livestock (cattle) and the 25 kg/ha phosphorous norm when using manure for fertilization.

As Vice-Minister of Environment Almantas Petkus said, the Ministry of Environment, after having analyzed other nations’ practices and assessed opportunities to implement the requirements, informed the Seimas’ Committee on Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture that the existing legal framework will suffice and that it would be pointless to create additional requirements and criteria after ratifying the Helsinki Convention changes and signing the aforementioned ministers’ declaration.

Public Information Division
2013-09-20

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas