At the Baltic Sea Action Summit in Helsinki on Feb. 10, Nord Stream took a further concrete step in line with its firm commitment to preserve the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream decided to establish a new Data and Information Fund to utilize its extensive knowledge and survey data for further research and preservation of the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream will share the knowledge which it has gathered over several years for the purposes of preparing and submitting the relevant documentation in pursuit of corresponding permits for the construction and operation of the natural gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea
"The Baltic Sea is the home of our project. Therefore, we want to actively participate in its improvement as part of our Baltic Sea co-operation. The Baltic Sea Action Summit is a unique opportunity, bringing together various parties and investments made for the common good," said Matthias Warnig, Managing Director Nord Stream AG.
The objective of the Fund is to increase existing knowledge regarding the state of the Baltic Sea and its preservation. The new Fund will compile and convert the various data, for example high-resolution bathymetry and sediment-type data, into usable information that is needed to conduct projects within the HELCOM's Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP). Nord Stream will equip the Fund with the data, as well as with IT hard- and software and human resources for this purpose. Data which is subject to legal restrictions by laws of the Baltic Sea countries will be excluded from the Fund's database. Nord Stream will liaise with national authorities on this question.
The unique data gathered by Nord Stream covers the entire range of HELCOM's Baltic Sea Action Plan priorities, including eutrophication, hazardous substances, environmentally-friendly maritime activities and biodiversity. Nord Stream has invested over 100 million euros in conducting the most extensive environmental studies of the Baltic Sea.
"We hope that the data we have gathered will help to form a better picture of the challenges which the Baltic Sea is facing. We also want to encourage universities and researchers around the Baltic Sea to create new solutions to improve the state of our sea," said Warnig.
The Nord Stream Data and Information Fund will be complementary to the already existing data pools, e.g. HELCOM. Therefore, in the first phase of setting up the Fund in 2010, Nord Stream intends to work in co-operation with other stakeholders in this field, such as HELCOM, the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), universities and NGOs active in Baltic Sea research. In the second phase in 2011-2013, the database infrastructure and data management system will be completed and the database will be filled with the pre-construction survey data as well as with environmental monitoring information. The Fund will start selecting applicants and distributing data in co-operation with relevant stakeholders in 2013. Nord Stream will maintain the database until 2021, in line with many of the HELCOM projects.
The Baltic Sea Action Summit (BSAS) is a joint initiative of the President of Finland, the Finnish Prime Minister and the BSAG. Its objective is to join resources of public, private and third-party actors for the benefit of the Baltic Sea.