Three questions to… Daiva Semėnienė, Activity 1 expert (Environmental economist)

Dr. Daiva Semėnienė, HELCOM BLUES Activity 1 expert, is an environmental economist and director of the Aplinkos apsaugos politikos centras (eng. Center for Environmental Policy), Lithuania. Through her more than 20 years of consultancy work she has assisted ministries and municipalities in Central Eastern European, Western Balkan countries and Turkey in developing various environmental strategies, programmes and plans, including investment needs assessment, financing demand and supply and affordability analysis, in particular in the water sector. Recently she has been deeply involved in the implementation of the Water Framework and Marine Strategy Framework Directives, especially focusing on the economic analysis, including environmental and resource cost assessment, cost recovery, cost benefit analysis and development of programmes of measures.

What is your Activity/Task in HELCOM BLUES all about? What main challenges and/or pressures on the Baltic Sea does it try to solve?

Economic aspects are very important in the development of the strategies / plans for the protection of the Baltic Sea. Measures to improve the sea waters should be effective and efficient, i.e., benefits that the implementation of such measures bring to the society should be higher than costs. Activity 1 is devoted to the analyses to support such policies and measures. I am involved in the estimation of benefits of various measures, including the thorough literature review and production of benefit values. Am supporting other tasks such as conducting economic analysis of the use of marine waters, estimation of costs of degradation of marine waters and the final step of Activity 1 – cost-benefit analysis of implementation of measures to protect the Baltic Sea for selected marine topics.

What are the planned outcomes of your specific BLUES Activity/Task?

The main outcome of our Activity 1 is to show how important to the society are various human activities that impact marine waters, how much implementation of measures defined in the new Baltic Sea Action Plan may cost and what kind of benefits it would bring. The Activity will also propose incentives to be applied for more efficient protection of our Sea.

How will your BLUES Activity/Task benefit your organization in particular and the Baltic Sea in general?

Participation in the BLUES Activity 1 is very useful to our organization as it allows to strengthen capacities in the field of economic analyses related to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, to share experiences thereof with our national institutions and bring new developments in the methodology and practical implementation for all the countries of the HELCOM.