A farmer's view on the Baltic Sea - MTK

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A farmer's view on the Baltic Sea - MTK

A ong>farmer'song> ong>viewong>

on the Baltic Sea

Stories from

Baltic Sea islands


A ong>farmer'song> ong>viewong> on

the Baltic Sea

Stories from Baltic Sea islands

Kaasinen, S. & Kulmala, A. (Eds.)

Original cover photo: Airi Kulmala

3


Summary

The purpose of the study was to find out about the farmers’ attitudes towards agriculture, the

Baltic Sea and motivation to change. The study was conducted in six Baltic Sea islands:

Bornholm, Gotland, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, Åland and Öland. Five farmers per island were

interong>viewong>ed. The selection of farmers is not statistically representative and thus we can't draw

any statistical conclusions from the material, but it can still give us some insight on what

farmers on the islands think about different issues.

Based on the interong>viewong>s, farmers want to know that everybody around the Baltic Sea is

pulling their weight because if not, why should they themselves bother. They want that

farmers in all the countries in the region are doing their share to improve the environmental

situation of the Baltic Sea. Many thought that the role of agriculture as the main source of

nutrient leaching has been exaggerated and other sectors like boat traffic and wastewater

treatment should do more.

Majority of the interong>viewong>ed farmers thought that it is justified to have at least some

obligatory measures for farmers if they really reduce nutrient leaching. Only voluntary

measures would not be effective. Farmers also thought that they need support to make agrienvironmental

investments especially now when the economic situation in many farms is not

so good. However, the rules and the support should be equal in all Baltic Sea Region

countries so they would not distort competition.

To have the motivation to apply measures that reduce nutrient leaching, the farmers need to

know that the measures are really effective. Now when there is a lot of contradictory

information this is not always the case.

Half of the interong>viewong>ed farmers thought that it is not easy to find the knowledge of the

measures to reduce leaching and one third thought that it is not easy to find the right advice

so there is clearly a need for improvement.

One attempt to improve the situation is the Baltic Deal project. Well-working agrienvironmental

measures are presented in the project’s demo farms, A lot of information

about the measures itself and tools for advisory are published on Baltic Deal’s web page. It is

also important to share knowledge between countries because one measure that is in common

use in a certain country can be rather unknown in the other one.

The economic situation might quite often be so poor that farms do not have possibilities to

make agri-environmental investments or even use measures that do not need special

investments. Also often-changing rules complicate putting best agri-environmental practices

into work. The CAP reform and the planning of the next rural development program (incl.

agri-environmetal programs) are in progress right now. The policymakers should keep in

mind that when the farm economy is in good condition and regulations are not changing so

often the farmers have better possibilities to make agri-environmental investments for better

environmental quality.

5


Table of content

1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................7

2 The interong>viewong>ed farmers .............................................................................................8

3 Findings based on interong>viewong>s ....................................................................................10

3.1 FARMING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ISLANDS ...........................................................................10

3.2 THE FUTURE PROSPECTS AT THE FARMS ................................................................................10

3.3 STATUS OF THE BALTIC SEA .........................................................................................................11

3.4 DOES FARMING HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE BALTIC SEA ENVIRONMENT? ...................12

3.5 THE FARMER’S ROLE ......................................................................................................................14

3.6 CARROT OR STICK? .........................................................................................................................14

3.7 FINDING THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE AND ADVICE ..................................................................17

4 Conclusions .................................................................................................................17

5 The B7 islands ............................................................................................................19

5.1 BORNHOLM .........................................................................................................................................19

5.2 GOTLAND .............................................................................................................................................26

5.3 HIIUMAA ..............................................................................................................................................31

5.4 RÜGEN...................................................................................................................................................33

5.5 SAAREMAA ..........................................................................................................................................35

5.6 ÅLAND ...................................................................................................................................................38

5.7 ÖLAND...................................................................................................................................................41

References ...............................................................................................................................45

Annex 1. The questionnaire ..................................................................................................47

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1 Introduction

The purpose of the study was to clarify the farmers’ values and attitudes as regards to the

Baltic Sea and the part agriculture plays, according to the farmers, in leaching of nutrients

into the Baltic Sea. The intention was also to test the theses that farmers wish to be included

in the management of the Baltic Sea environment and to have a wider freedom of choice

between instruments that can reduce leaching.

The study was conducted in six Baltic Sea islands: Bornholm, Gotland, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa,

Åland and Öland. The B7 islands are all depending on agriculture, even if it is in various

ways, and as they are situated in the middle of the Baltic Sea they are very interesting as

“study objects”.

The following three chapters tell about the interong>viewong>ed farmers and the results and findings

from the interong>viewong>s. More background information about the B7 islands can be found in the

last two chapters.

Photo: Airi Kulmala

7


2 The interong>viewong>ed farmers

Five farmers per island in Bornholm, Gotland, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, Åland and Öland were

interong>viewong>ed in summer 2011. No farmers from Rügen were interong>viewong>ed because Germany is

not a partner in the Baltic Deal project.

The selection of farmers is not statistically representative and thus we can't draw any

statistical conclusions from the material, but it could still give us some insight on what

farmers on the islands think about different issues. The interong>viewong>ed farmers are only shortly

described in the Table 1 to remain farmers anonymous. For comparison, the general

agricultural statistics of the islands are gathered in Table 2. You can learn more about

agriculture on the islands from chapter 5.

Table 1. Interong>viewong>ed farmers in Bornholm, Gotland, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, Åland and Öland.

Island Bornholm Gotland Hiiumaa Saaremaa Åland Öland

Number of

interong>viewong>s

Number of

animal farms

5 5 5 5 5 5

4 3 3 4 4 4

Interong>viewong>ed

persons in the

farm:

men/women/

5 men 3 men /

2 couples

3 men /

1 woman /

1 couple

3 men /

1 woman /

1 couple

3 men /

2 women

3 men/

2 families

couple/family

Distribution

of part/full

time farms

1 part time/

4 full time

5 full time 5 full time 2 part time /

3 full time

1 part time /

4 full time

5 full time

Age of

interong>viewong>ed

persons

40-58 years

Average 49

28-58 years

Average 45

29-69 years

Average 47

39-62 years

Average 49

44-53 years

Average 50

18-65 years

Average 47

Number of

organic farms

1 1 and 1 partly 3 3 3 1

Farm size * 60-295 ha 150-440 ha 80-600 ha 20-1500 ha 6-64 ha 85-435 ha

*Farm size including also rented area and pasture.

8


Table 2. Agriculture in Bornholm, Gotland, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, Åland and Öland.

Island Bornholm Gotland Hiiumaa Saaremaa Åland Öland

Number of

farms

481* 1506 461 1357 535 720

Agricultural

area** / % of

all land area

34 083 ha /

55 %

109 534 ha /

35 %

15 578 ha /

25 %

54 734ha /

21 %

13 771 ha/

9 %

83 957 ha /

62 %

Number of

organic

farms

29 154 87 136 141 71

Cultivated

organic farm

area

1130 ha 8580 ha 7830 ha 11 144 ha 2813 ha 3231 ha

*Include only farms at 5 ha or more.

**Including pastures

The interong>viewong>s were made by the Baltic Deal project workers at the farms and followed the

form of a questionnaire (Annex 1). Also background information about the farm’s production

was asked.

As the number of farmers interong>viewong>ed on each islands was small, we could not have any

expectations on finding a statistically representative group. Our choice of farmers was still

based on the fact that we wanted active farmers with different branches of productions, a

group with different ages and sex represented and we wanted at least one farm on each island

to be an organic producer.

In Hiiumaa, Saaremaa Gotland, Öland and Åland, the choice of farmers was made with the

help of the local advisory or farmers’ federation organizations. In Bornholm, the Baltic Deal

worker doing the interong>viewong>s was also a worker of the local advisory organization and could

choose the farms based on her own knowledge.

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3 Findings based on interong>viewong>s

3.1 FARMING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ISLANDS

The farmers interong>viewong>ed found the opportunities for being a farmer very positive especially

in Åland, Gotland and Öland. Good climate and soils, short distances as well as close contact

to customers were regarded positive in a small island. Positive spirit among farmers was

something that the farmers on the Swedish islands mentioned and were happy about. The

products of the island have a good special brand, thought some farmers of Gotland and

Bornholm. The EU supports were generally regarded as a good thing for the farming in

Estonian islands. Finally, the farmer’s own activity was also seen as an important part of the

success.

The downsides of farming on an island were pretty much the same in all islands. There are

difficulties in the connections to mainland, e.g. when quickly needing spare parts, and

transportation costs are high. There can also be additional costs due to a lack of competition

because some companies have almost a monopoly in the area. It is also difficult to find more

cultivation land with a reasonable price in a restricted area. The farmers on Bornholm were

not happy that there are a lot of restrictive rules in Denmark concerning agriculture.

A few farmers said that “it is a lifestyle to be a farmer”. On the other hand, there was also a

comment “The production is nearly totally run by rules, not by professionalism and

biological factors. The pride to be a farmer is for quite a great part taken away”. These two

sentences describe the wide difference between the feelings for being a farmer.

3.2 THE FUTURE PROSPECTS AT THE FARMS

In these 30 farms, there was a lot of faith in the future. Nineteen farms believed that in five

years (in 2016) the economy at their farm will be better than today. Two farms believed that

their economy will be worse and the rest thought it to be the same as it is now.

Twenty farms planned to increase their production in the next five years. Two of these farms

were also planning a change in type of production. Seven farms thought that their production

will be the same in five years; one farm thought that the production will decrease and one

farm planned to cease the production. Besides increasing the amount produced there were

also other targets: find out subsidiary trades like tourism, farm store or wind mills, no bulk

products, and increase the degree of processing. Two farms were planning a generation

change.

The plans to continue and even increase the production as well as confidence in better

economy in the future in these farms gives positive signals about the farming although

there are a lot of economic and other pressures towards farms nowadays.

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3.3 STATUS OF THE BALTIC SEA

Most of the farmers believed that the status of the Baltic Sea in the part of the sea

where they live is ok. Only one farmer considered it bad and a few farmers thought it less

than ok. E.g. in Åland some farmers thought that the situation is different even in different

parts of the Åland islands.

24 of the 30 interong>viewong>ed said they were at least somewhat worried about the Baltic Sea

environment. The rest of the farmers were not worried because they thought that we can

solve the problem or that nature will take its course anyway. In all islands there were farmers

who thought that the situation has gone worse in the last ten years and those who thought that

it has become better. Some thought that the contradictory information given by different

sources makes it difficult to answer. If the farmers had their own concrete experiences about

how the situation has changed it was easier for them to answer.

Ten years is quite a short time when

considering large environmental

changes. One farmer described well

how difficult it is to affect the status of

the Baltic Sea: “It is like driving an oil

tanker. It takes a long time to stop and

to swing it”.

The farmers were asked about two

indicators of the status of the Baltic

Sea: algal blooms and anoxic sea

bottoms. The two phenomena are both

enhanced by nutrient loading but algal

blooming is the issue that is visible

and perhaps more often mentioned in

the media.

Photo:Airi Kulmala

The majority of the farmers thought

that algal blooms were a problem.

Many of the Finnish and Swedish

farmers were aware that this

phenomenon is typical to the Baltic

Sea but it has been enhanced by

human activities. They also told that

there are cycles of blooms and they

happen more often nowadays than

before.

On the other hand, one farmer told that his father remembers that the situation has been even

worse in the 1940’s. It might be also that when algae monitoring is now more active then we

know more about it. Some farmers also pointed out that the blooms itself is not the problem

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ut the real problem is the reason behind them. The blooming has negative effects e.g. on

tourism and grazing when animals cannot drink sea water. One farmer was asking why we do

not utilize algae somehow.

Lack of oxygen in the sea bottom is a serious problem, thought most farmers from Åland,

Gotland and Öland. However, this problem was not so well known as algal blooms and there

were some farmers that had not heard of this issue or had heard too little to give an opinion.

In the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, 8 of the 10 farmers interong>viewong>ed either had

not heard of this issue or did not think that it was a problem. This difference in awareness

and opinion could be linked to the fact that the largest areas of longer term anoxic sea

bottoms are in the middle of the Baltic Sea nearer to the Swedish islands than to the Estonian

ones (HELCOM 2009). Although anoxic sea bottoms weren’t a well-recognized problem by

Estonian farmers some of them said, however, that algal blooms are a problem in certain

areas but not in all bays.

These findings are in line with a survey made in all the Baltic Sea coastal countries in 2010,

where the Finns and the Swedes were the ones that were most worried about algal blooms

and lack of oxygen in sea bottoms (Baltic Survey 2010).

3.4 DOES FARMING HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE BALTIC SEA ENVIRONMENT?

All human activities have an effect on the Baltic Sea, also agriculture, was the opinion

of the majority, 26 out of the 30 interong>viewong>ed farmers. The Danish and the Estonian

farmers were most skeptical to the idea that leaching from agriculture affects the Baltic Sea.

Also the other farmers were not convinced about how much it affects. Many thought that

the role of agriculture in nutrient leaching has been overestimated. Farmers also pointed

out that farming has so much rules and legislations concerning the use of nutrients nowadays.

The farmers mentioned other sources of nutrients like wastewater treatment, boat traffic, big

cities and fish industry which they feel should also do their share in reducing nutrient

loading. These are issues that are often featured in the media when talking about nutrient

leaching. Three farmers from Åland also said that one of the causes for eutrophication is

aviation which is not commonly mentioned in this context. Flight traffic does produce NOx

emissions which are calculated to the airborne nitrogen emissions. According to HELCOM

(2005) the atmospheric deposition of nitrogen directly into the Baltic Sea was in 2000

roughly one quarter of all nitrogen deposited into the Baltic Sea. In addition to direct

deposition, a portion of the nitrogen deposited in the Baltic Sea catchment area will finally

end up in the sea via runoff from land. The contribution of air traffic to airborne nitrogen

emissions is however not separately mentioned or calculated.

Many of the farmers in Åland, Gotland, Öland and Bornholm thought that there is less

leaching from their countries and more from the Baltic States and Poland and that the

measures should be directed there. Many felt that they have done their share and now it is

time for the East European countries to act. They suspected that the others do not have the

same environmental requirements that they have. Some of these farmers from Åland, Gotland

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and Öland had some time ago seen the film “Dirty waters” which gives a rather gloomy

picture of manure handling e.g. in Russia.

Total waterborne phosphorus (Ptotal) inputs (in tons)

into the Baltic Sea in 2006 by country. Russia did not

report unmonitored areas. Note: The loads for Latvia,

Lithuania, Poland and Sweden also include

transboundary loads Source: HELCOM 2011

Total waterborne nitrogen (Ntotal) inputs (in

tons) into the Baltic Sea by country in 2006.

Note: The loads for Latvia, Lithuania, Poland

and Sweden also include transboundary loads.

Source: HELCOM 2011

All the interong>viewong>ed farmers from the Estonian islands thought that nutrient leaching

from agriculture is not a big problem in Estonia The reasons were that the fertilizer prices

are so high that farmers don’t have money to overuse them and that Estonia has strict

regulations in these issues. Some farmers said that nutrient leaching is not a problem in

Estonia anymore but it was in Soviet times.

In Bornholm, some farmers claimed that there has been too much focus on nitrogen leaching

when the real problem is phosphorus. The farmers have been influenced by a critical

movement among the Danish farmers called “Baeredygtigt Landbrug” that protests to the

new tighter regulations and claims that nitrogen leaching isn’t the real issue. Denmark has a

lot of regulation that aims to reduce mainly nitrogen leaching from agriculture. These

regulations include e.g. farm specific nitrogen fertilizer quotas and mandatory cultivation of

catch crops. The Danish farmer gets no extra financial compensation for this whereas in

Finland and Sweden e.g. the cultivation of catch crops is subsidized. In the Danish

interong>viewong>s, these mandatory requirements were criticized a lot.

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3.5 THE FARMER’S ROLE

The farmers were also asked if their own farming affects the Baltic Sea environment. Most of

the farmers agreed that their farming has at least some effect - like all human activity around

the sea’s catchment area. Some Estonian farmers argued that their effect is positive when

their cattle graze the coastal meadows. By contrast, none of the farmers from Bornholm

thought that their farming has an effect on the Baltic Sea environment. Also, it was

mentioned that sea streams transport nutrients from one place to other and it is difficult to

know their origin and affect them.

Most farmers said that they as a farmer play a role in improving the Baltic Sea

environment. Also, all farmers thought that they already use practices and measures that

reduce the leaching of nutrient to the Baltic Sea. One farmer couldn’t name any specific

measure but mentioned that their farming is resource efficient in general.

Constructed wetland is a measure that some of the

interong>viewong>ed farmers had chosen to reduce leaching of

nutrients to the Baltic Sea. Photo: Airi Kulmala

Examples of good practices and

measures that the farmers named

were manure storages, manure

spreading techniques and timing,

controlled drainage, good

drainage, phosphorus traps, plant

cover in winter, spring

ploughing, buffer zones, nutrient

balances, catch crops, green

fertilization, organic or

integrated production, soil

mapping, leaf analyzes to know

plants’ need of nutrients,

fertilization based on expected

not hoped yields, wetlands,

irrigation dams, and no-till

farming and in Sweden taking

part in Focus on nutrients

project.

3.6 CARROT OR STICK?

The majority of the interong>viewong>ed farmers, 23 agreed and 5 agreed to some extent, with

the statement “The measures have to be obligatory to reduce nutrient leaching

effectively”. Also most of the farmers who didn’t completely agree thought that there is need

for both stick and carrot or that there should be obligatory but still flexible rules.

14


“If it helps to prevent pollution, then they (measures) should be obligatory for all”, said one

farmer and “Not too much patronizing, but if we want results, rules will be needed”, said

another.

The arguments to support the notion of at least some obligatory rules were that if there are no

rules “there will be too many that do not bother” and that having same rules for all makes the

situation more equal. Especially, the farmers wanted that farmers from all countries make an

effort and that the rules are same for all. “Measures have to be obligatory in all countries

around the Baltic Sea.”

Furthermore, almost all farmers thought that farmers need to be paid for the

environmental benefits they produce. “It is nowadays so tight in primary production that

there is no room for any extra costs.” This can be done either in form of subsidies or even

preferably in form of better price for agricultural products. “If I get paid for my work and

measures it feels like an incentive to do more.” On the other hand, one farmer said that “I

think farmers should do it because they really want to do well for environment and not

because you can get money for it”. He thought that some farmers just ask support but don’t

follow the rules for the support.

24 out of 30 farmers were interested in learning more about agri-environmental measures to

reduce leaching. Some also answered that they are maybe interested to learn more. Some of

the ones who were interested said that it is not only to improve the Baltic Sea environment

but they are interested in measures that would also improve the financial situation of their

farm.

Manure handling is a measure on which the farmers were planning to

invest. Covered manure storage reduces losses of nitrogen. Photo: Airi

Kulmala

15


In the next five years, 17 out of 30 farmers were planning to introduce practices and

measures which reduce leaching at their farm. All but one of the Estonian farmers were

planning to do so. They have plans concerning e.g. manure handling, livestock buildings and

feeding places, drilling or organic farming. Most of the farmers from Bornholm were

planning to do so only if there will be new regulations that demand it because they have done

so much already. One third of the farmers thought that it will be necessary in the next five

years to invest in agri-environmental measures to reduce leaching. Most of these farmers

were Estonian.

The farmers were asked what has until now kept them from doing more to reduce leaching

and given four alternatives (Table 3). The farmers could choose more than one alternative

and they could also give another explanation. Most commonly mentioned in all other islands

except for Bornholm was lack of possibilities for investments. In Bornholm, the most

common answer was lack of technology. Other given explanations were lack of interest,

bureaucracy or that the farmer has done what is possible or there is no need.

Table 3. What has until now kept you from doing more to reduce leaching? The farmers were

given four alternatives or they could give their own explanation. It was possible to choose

more than one alternative.

What has until now kept

you from doing more to

reduce leaching?

Bornholm Gotland Hiiumaa Saaremaa Åland Öland Total

Lack of knowledge 1 1 1 2 1 6

Lack of environmental

advice

Lack of possibilities for

investments

2 1 2 1 6

1 3 4 3 3 2 16

Lack of technology 3 1 2 1 1 1 9

The farmers were also asked what could make them do (even) more to reduce leaching and

given the same four alternatives (Table 4). Again “better possibilities for investments” was

the most common choice followed by new technology. Other reasons mentioned by the

farmers were political will to make it possible to use nutrients according to the crops’ needs,

support rules that are not changing all the time, better economic gain from the measures,

theme evenings and better legislation. One farmer also thought that “advisors should talk

about the possible measures in positive ways and should have more competence in

environmental issues.” Some farmers also said that there is no need for further measures in

their farms.

16


Table 4. What can make you do (even) more to reduce leaching? The farmers were given

four alternatives or they could give their own explanation. It was possible to choose more

than one alternative.

What can make you do

(even) more to reduce

leaching?

Bornholm Gotland Hiiumaa Saaremaa Åland Öland Total

More knowledge 2 2 1 3 1 9

More environmental

advice

Better possibilities for

investments

New environmental

technology

2 1 2 2 2 9

1 4 3 3 3 1 15

2 2 2 2 3 3 14

3.7 FINDING THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE AND ADVICE

Around half of the farmers thought that it is easy for them to find the knowledge they need

about environmental measures to reduce leaching. The other half said that it is not so easy to

find it, to have time to find it or to know what to make of it. “Many measures have

contradictory effects. There is not an easy answer. It is difficult to see the whole

picture”, one farmer described the situation. Although there is information available the

question is also how it can be put into practice at farm level. Besides environmental aspects

also e.g. farm economy needs to be kept in mind.

Two thirds of the farmers thought that it is easy or quite easy to find the advice they need

about agri-environmental measures to reduce leaching. But finally “it is the farm that has to

make the decisions and to live with them”.

4 Conclusions

The farmers want to know that everybody around the Baltic Sea is pulling their weight

because if not, why should they themselves bother. They want that farmers in all the

countries in the region are doing their share to improve the environmental situation of the

Baltic Sea. Many thought that the role of agriculture as the main source of nutrient leaching

has been exaggerated and other sectors like boat traffic and wastewater treatment should do

more.

Majority of the interong>viewong>ed farmers thought that it is justified to have at least some

obligatory measures for farmers if they really reduce nutrient leaching. Only voluntary

17


measures would not be effective. Farmers also thought that they need support to make agrienvironmental

investments especially now when the economic situation in many farms is not

so good. However, the rules and the support should be equal in all Baltic Sea Region

countries so they would not distort competition.

To have the motivation to do measures that reduce nutrient leaching, the farmers need to

know that the measures they do are really effective. Now when there is a lot of contradictory

information this is not always the case.

Half of the interong>viewong>ed farmers thought that it is not easy to find the knowledge of the

measures to reduce leaching and one third thought that it is not easy to find the right advice

so there is clearly a need for improvement.

One attempt to improve the situation is the Baltic Deal project. Well-working agrienvironmental

measures are presented in the project’s demo farms, A lot of information

about the measures itself and tools for advisory are published on Baltic Deal’s web page. It is

also important to share knowledge between countries because one measure that is in common

use in a certain country can be rather unknown in the other one.

The economic situation might quite often be so poor that farms do not have possibilities to

make agri-environmental investments or even use measures that do not need special

investments. Also often-changing rules complicate putting best agri-environmental practices

into work. The CAP reform and the planning of the next rural development program (incl.

agri-environmetal programs) are in progress right now. The policymakers should keep in

mind that when the farm economy is in good condition and regulations are not changing so

often the farmers have better possibilities to make agri-environmental investments for better

environmental quality.

18


5 The B7 islands

The B7 islands are the seven largest

islands in the Baltic Sea: Bornholm

(Denmark), Gotland (Sweden), Hiiumaa

(Estonia), Rügen (Germany), Saaremaa

(Estonia), Åland (Finland) and Öland

(Sweden).

The Baltic Deal interong>viewong>s were done on

six islands but all seven islands are shortly

introduced in the following chapters.

The islands have been cooperating in B7

Baltic Islands Network since 1989. The

network aims to promote the strategic

goals of the islands (http://www.b7.org/).

Background map: HELCOM Map and Data Service

2011

Table 5. General information about the B7

islands.

Island Bornholm Gotland Hiiumaa Rügen Saaremaa Åland Öland

Country Denmark Sweden Estonia Germany Estonia Finland Sweden

Population 42 000 57 000 11 087 73 500 39 231 28 007 24 698

Area km 2 588 3 140 989 974 2 922 1 553 1 344

Biggest town Rønne Visby Kärdla Bergen Kuressaare Mariehamn Färjestaden

5.1 BORNHOLM

General information

Bornholm´s 588 km 2 area resembles a crooked square jutting up like a horst from the floor of

the Baltic Sea. The coastline is 158 km long. The distance from the rocky “Hammeren” in the

north, and to the sandy beach “Dueodde” in the south is 40 km as the crow flies. The highest

point is in the middle of the Bornholm in the forest “Almindingen” (6 000 ha), and is 162 m

above sea level.

The closest Danish coast is 135 km to the west. Poland is 100 km to the southeast, Rügen in

Germany is 90 km to the southeast, and Sweden is only 40 km to the northwest.

The history of Bornholm is closely related to the location in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

There have been quite a lot of archaeological findings on Bornholm compared to the rest of

19


Denmark, and these findings as well as the historical monuments tell the story about war and

peace in the Baltic Region and of cultural and business exchanges from the Stone Age until

today. Shipping and trade were equally historically important.

In the 1650s, Bornholm was offered to Sweden by the Danish king and was Swedish for a

few years. During the 2 nd World War, Bornholm was occupied first by Germany, then by the

Soviet Union until 1946.

Bornholm has no villages. Since ancient time, the settlements have primarily consisted of

scattered, single farms and houses that were often placed in rows. Several farms are old

family farms.

Most of the towns on Bornholm are located at the west coast, the northeast coast and the east

coast because of the deep sea, which historically has given good possibilities for the many

small harbours around the coast. The towns have low buildings, and in the old parts of the

towns, the houses are small and build together. Rønne is the largest town on Bornholm where

e.g. a great part of the administration of the municipality is located.

Jersey from Bornholm at Østerlars round church and the castle ruin “Hammershus”

from the middle age. Photos: Olav Vivild

20


The Regional Municipality

Bornholm is one regional municipality called Bornholms

Regionskommune. The Regional Municipality of Bornholm was

formed in 2003 by the five former municipalities. The mayor´s

office is located in Rønne.

Three largest towns are Rønne (13 000 inhabitants), Nexø and

Aakirkeby. The challenges of Bornholm, and of the municipality,

are related to the distance from the mainland, and are among others

unemployment and migration of the young people, in particular.

Economy

Nexø has traditionally been a centre for the fishery in the Baltic Sea. Fishery and shipping

used to be an important part of the employment on Bornholm but reduced fish stocks and

increasing competition from other countries in the Baltic Region have necessitated scrapping

of a great part of the fishing fleet. Today only one fish processing company is left. Its

administration is placed on Bornholm as the company has moved the production plants to

Poland, Lithuania and China.

Small and medium enterprises dominate crafts and industries on Bornholm. The use of

geological resources in granite quarry and stoneware industries was of great importance

earlier on. Today, only a few granite quarries are left. The handicrafts have a proud tradition

on Bornholm and it has the highest density of art-craft workers in Denmark.

Since the late 1800s, tourism has been of great importance to the income of Bornholm. On

Bornholm, there are about 500,000 overnight stays per year, and thereby quite a few hotels,

hostels and campsites are located on the island.

There are several possibilities to get to and from Bornholm. A combined passenger and cargo

ferry has daily departures for Køge (Denmark) and Ystad (Sweden), weekly for Sassnitz

(Germany) and a passenger ferry for Simrishamn (Sweden). During summer it’s possible to

go by ferry to Kolobrzeg (Poland). The Airport of Bornholm, 5 km from Rønne, has daily

flights to Copenhagen.

21


Nature

Bornholm has a temperate coastal climate.

Bornholm is climatically more similar to

Öland and Gotland than to the rest of

Denmark. The Baltic Sea makes spring on

Bornholm quite cold, whereas it ensures

the island quite a warm autumn. Thereby,

spring on Bornholm usually arrives about

two weeks later than in the rest of

Denmark, but equally there is a long

“Indian Summer” in August-September

which means that plants like fig and

mulberry, common further south, ripen on

Bornholm.

On average, the rainfall is less on

Bornholm than in the rest of Denmark. In

return the sun shines more hours in the

eastern part of Bornholm and the small

islands “Ertholmene” than in the rest of

Denmark.

Scottish Highland Cattle at the rift valley

“Ekkodalen” in Almindingen. Photo: Annette

Holmenlund

There are three basic types of coastlines

on Bornholm: rocks, dunes and cliffs. The

rocky coast is located in the northern part,

and dunes and cliffs in the southern part.

The varied Bornholm landscape has many different biospheres as rift valleys, rocky pastures,

heath, forests, ponds, marshes, meadows, etc. Several of the biospheres are found on

Bornholm as the only place in Denmark. Today, more than two-thirds of the island consists

of cultivated farmland in rotation. Bornholm´s soil (mostly clay) and climate are favourable

for farming.

There are also Natura 2000 areas on Bornholm. Two special protected areas for birds and 11

special areas of conservation for habitat, of which 3 are areas in the sea, have been appointed

on Bornholm. Furthermore, Ertholmene to the northeast of Bornholm is designated Ramsar

area.

Agriculture

Compared to Denmark as a whole, Bornholm accounts for approximately 1 % of the

agricultural area, nearly 1 % of the milk production and nearly 2 % of the pork production.

Furthermore, there are 3 producers of chicken on Bornholm.

22


Harvesting in august 2011 near Østerlars at the east coast of Bornholm. Photo:

Elisabeth Falk

Plant production

The land is grown with grain (barley and wheat), grass seed, rape, peas, maize and grass.

Only a small area is grown with potatoes for consumption. There is no production of sugar

beets and only a very small commercial production of vegetables and fruits.

Crops are cultivated on 34 083 ha (55 % of the total area of Bornholm). Grain is cultivated

on 20 000 ha. The annual harvesting amounts to 150 000 tonnes of grain of which 90 % is

used for feed.

An area of 2 000 ha is cultivated with roughage: grass, maize and a few places beets. Most of

the livestock producers also have crop production – partly because it is a legal requirement to

have land in case you have livestock and thereby produce manure, partly because you

thereby produce the feed for their own animals.

From 1 500 to 2 000 ha is grown with grass seed, and a lot of seeds are exported. The climate

on Bornholm is very suitable for white clover because of the late spring.

23


Animal husbandry

The pig industry has seen a dramatic decline in the number of producers: from 300 in 2002,

to the present 121 producers. Despite this, the pig production has increased slightly during

the last 5 years but the number of sows is slightly declining. Also the number of piglet

producers has equally declined being 50 in 2011. The pigs are mainly fed by grain produced

locally (75 %). The producers of slaughter pigs deliver about 465 000 slaughter pigs annually

to Danish Crown. The pigs are being processed locally and are then exported.

Whereas the number of dairy cows has been quite stable during the last years, the number of

milk producers has decreased during the last decade as a consequence of the structural

change: in year 2000, Bornholm had 97 milk producers and today only 44 milk producers are

left. The number of dairy cows is approximately 5 500 and the annual delivery is 47 000 tons

of milk to the local dairy, St. Clemens. This is about 1 % of the total Danish milk production.

To meet the demand for dairy products, the dairy equally gets milk from Sweden. Most of the

milk is used for cheese production, mostly blue cheese which is exported worldwide.

There are several small herds of beef cattle on Bornholm, both crosses between beef cattle

and dairy cows and pure race beef cattle. But less than a handful of farms have more than 30

suckler cows.

There are several

small herds of

sheep. Most of the

sheep breeders are

part time farmers

and only a few

farms have more

than 30 sheep.

There are many

horses and ponies

for riding, sport

and small-scale

breeding, but it has

almost no

importance in the

agricultural

production.

Sheep doing landscaping in the area”Aarsdale Ret” (Natura 2000 area).

Photo: Jørgen Hansen

4 to 6 farmers have cattle or sheep that are being used for landscaping. These farmers are

specialised in professional landscaping. The biggest of these is a sheep breeder, and his 600

sheep mainly maintain public nature areas.

24


Environmental technology

In order to meet the strict Danish environmental legislation, many local farmers have

invested in environmental technology. Many of the nature areas of the island are sensitive to

ammonia and as a consequence, a few slurry acidification plants and several slurry cooling

plants have been established in

order to reduce the ammonia

emission from the housings and

reuse waste heat.

Craftsmen installing heat pipes for slurry cooling in a

new barn on Bornholm. Photo: Kim Kure

25

Two farms have invested in slurry

acidification that reduces the

ammonia emission from the

housings strongly. Several farmers

have covered their slurry tanks to

reduce the ammonia emission and

many of the new housings have

floors reducing the ammonia

emission. In the fields, too, steps

are taken to reduce the ammonia

emission when spreading slurry.

The farmers protect the ground

water and the surface water (streams and lakes) by a restrictive appliance of fertilizer, by

sowing catch crops and by choosing crop rotation thereby minimizing the leaching.

The biogas plant west of Aakirkeby receives about 100 000 tonnes of slurry from cattle,

slurry fibres from pigs and manure from poultry every year, and supply with maize silage.

The plant makes energy for district heating and is a part of the Regional Municipality´s plan

for “Green Energy”. Furthermore, the nutrients, especially phosphorus, can be redistributed,

which is a benefit for the environment. The biogas plant is owned by the local electricity

company.

Organic Farming

Only a relatively small part of the total agricultural production on Bornholm is organic. The

organically cultivated area is about 1 130 hectare (3.3 % of the agricultural area). Bornholm

has 29 organic farmers and the number is stable. One local farmer has organic milk

production and one more is converting his production but there is no local organic pig

farmer. One farmer has, however, started production of outdoor pigs. Finally, a few small

producers of vegetables and fruits are organic.

Local production of food products

Bornholm has succeeded in creating local productions in areas such as rape oil production,

production of the so called “Bornholm Rooster”, dairy products from the local dairy,


exquisite flour from the local mill, and lately the “Bornholm Pig” all of them products that

are being sold in supermarkets chains nationwide.

The local mill, Valsemøllen in Aakirkeby, mills flour from local grain. It is as well the

traditional sorts like wheat and barley as for instance the specialty varieties durum wheat,

spelled and Öland wheat. Also several nationwide supermarket chains sell flour from

Valsemøllen. Since 2003, Lehnsgaard has produced oil from local rapeseed. Lehnsgaard also

has a production of mustard.

The “Bornholm pig” is a local product produced by 8 farmers on Bornholm. The pigs have

more space, bedding every day, short transport and to ensure a better quality of the meat, the

pig has a higher weight when slaughtered and the meat ripens for more days at the

slaughterhouse to make it tenderer. The Bornholm pig is slaughtered locally but is sold

nationwide.

Bornholm also has its own “Bornholm Rooster” produced by 3 farmers on Bornholm. The

roosters live longer than chicken for consumption normally do and they are slaughtered

locally at Born Poultry.

5.2 GOTLAND

General information

Gotland is the biggest island in the Baltic Sea, situated roughly 80 km off the coast of

southern mainland Sweden.

57 000 people live year round on the island, a number that changes dramatically during the

summer as Gotland is one of Sweden’s most popular summer destinations. Beautiful beaches,

rich history and a welcoming climate contribute to the island’s popularity.

Visby was one of the biggest and most important trading towns of the Baltic region in

medieval times. Visby has the most well preserved medieval curtain wall of all of northern

Europe, almost three and a half kilometers long. The narrow alleys in the old town are lined

with buildings and church ruins that call to mind Visby’s age of greatness in the 13 th century.

The Hanseatic town of Visby is a World Heritage since 1995. There are also 92 medieval

churches on Gotland which are still in use.

Visby is the only city on the island and has 22 593 habitants. There are six villages with 800 -

1 700 inhabitants (Hemse, Slite, Klintehamn, Vibble, Romakloster and Fårösund) and 10

smaller villages with 260 - 930 inhabitants. In the countryside, some of the houses are

gathered in “church villages” and the rest of the houses especially the farms are spread out in

the landscape.

26


Public transportation to

Gotland is either by ferry

or airplane. By ferry, one

can travel from

Oskarshamn or

Nynäshanm.

Donner’s Square (Donnersplats) in the Hanseatic town of Visby.

Photo: Region Gotland

There are 2 - 8 departures

depending on the season

and it takes about three

hours to reach the

mainland Sweden. By

airplane, there are many

daily flights and the

travel time is around 40

minutes.

Environmental

technology

In 2010, there were 155 wind turbines on the island, generating 225 GWh of electricity,

which equates to 25 % of the island’s power. Näsudden, Gotlands largest wind farm, is

currently undergoing generational shift. Smaller turbines are being replaced by larger and

more powerful turbines, which will produce four times more electricity as the old ones.

The island’s first biogas station opened in Visby 2010, the initiative is a joint venture

between the private and public sectors. The biogas is produced by Visby’s wastewater

treatment plant. A second biogas plant where gas from manure and plant material is planned

to be produced is under planning in Bro.

The private drains are being upgraded in many areas. The project “Clear Water” surveys all

the islands 14 000 drains with a ong>viewong> to having them repaired and approved if they are in bad

condition.

Municipality

Historically Gotland Municipality was founded in 1971

through a merge between several small municipalities on the

island. In 2011, Gotland Municipality changed its name to

Region Gotland. Region Gotland has three main tasks:

municipal operations, county council operations and regional

development. The change to Region Gotland was both a

statement and a clarification of the duties that the municipality

had, and now Region Gotland has. The decision to change the

name from municipality to region also made the democratic situation more explicit. Citizens

vote for a regional council, with much broader responsibilities than a municipal council

normally has.

27


The Regional Executive Board is the committee which monitors the operations of the other

committees and the business conducted through corporations. The Regional Executive board

also manages the finances, executes the decisions of the Regional Council and prepares or

comments on matters before the council. The committees are responsible for the operations

as directed by the Regional Council and frequently as regulated by law. The Regional

Council is the “parliament” of Region Gotland and the Regional Executive Board comprises

its “government”.

Economy

Around 26 000 people are in gainful employment on Gotland. Important industries include

tourism and agriculture/food, along with the cement, limestone and timber industries.

However, other service industries are increasing in significance. Several smaller

manufacturing businesses focusing on quality and design are emerging, especially in

furniture-making. Gotland has the highest gainful employment in agriculture, forestry,

hunting and fishing compared to the rest of Sweden, 5,9 % compared with 1,8 %.

The share of jobs depending on the agricultural sector is 31 %. Processing agricultural

products is an important and expanding business in Gotland. Today there are 50 - 70 small

scale food producing companies on the island.

Gotland has one of the highest business densities in the country, with around 8 000

companies. The rate of creation of new businesses is also among the highest in Sweden, and

has increased steadily since 2001. In 2010, 473 businesses were started.

2010 was a record year for travel to and from Gotland. A total of almost 2 million people

traveled to and from Gotland by ferry or air. 560 000 guest nights were registered for 2010.

Many tourists have their own “summer house” on the island and many rents from private

persons.

Nature

Gotland has about 800 km of coastline. The north end of the island is barren and rocky, while

the southern part is greener, with deciduous forests and wooded meadows. Some of the most

striking natural experiences on Gotland include orchid fields, limestone heaths, beaches and

idyllic meadows. Gotland also have “raukar” – exotic stone pillars shaped by the wind, wild

Gotland russ ponies and vibrant small-scale cultural landscapes with walled pastures and lots

of sheep that keep the lands open with their grazing.

28


Coastline of the island Stora Karlsö. Guillemots and razorbills nest here each year (left). Landscape

in Sundre (right). Photos: Sara Almqvist

There are plenty of other unique places off the coast of Gotland. To the north lies the island

of Gotska Sandön, Gotland’s only national park, with long sandy beaches and an intriguing,

dramatic history. The area of the national park is 3 655 ha land and 4 438 ha water. To the

west lie the islands of Stora and Lilla Karlsö, both unique in Sweden. Lilla Karlsö, the

smaller island, is a nature reserve and home to giant colonies of auks. Thousands of pairs of

guillemots, razorbills and cormorants also nest there every year. Stora Karlsö is called ‘the

only bird cliff in the Baltic’. Some 8 000 pairs of guillemots and razorbills nest there each

year.

Gotland is an island created from a

coral reef. The bedrock of the island

was formed during the Silurian age,

which started 400 million years ago.

During this era, vast quantities of

sand, mud and calcareous silt

collected on the bottom, which

gradually hardened into marl slate.

Then various types of limestone and

sandstone formed (sandstone is only

found on southernmost Gotland).

Gotlandic limestone has many traces

of this era – fossils of trilobites

(extinct crustaceans), squid, corals

and sea lilies. Of Sweden’s 46 orchid

species 36 species are found at

Gotland.

“Blåeld” at Sysneudd in Östergarn. Photo: Sara

Almqvist

There are 117 nature conservation

areas with a total area of about 86 700 ha. There are 131 Natura 2000 areas with an area

29


about 200 000 ha. Of those Natura 2000 areas 129 are established as habitat sites and 30

areas are bird sites (some areas are overlapping).

Agriculture

In 2010, there were 1 506 commercial farms of various sizes with more than 2 ha of land.

That is a drop of 1 223 farms since 1979. Over the past 30 years, the average size of the

farms has risen from 30.5 ha to 57 ha (average size is 37 ha in the whole Sweden). The total

amount of cultivated area is 109 534 ha.

Gotland accounts for 3,3 % of

Sweden’s total arable land. Among

the crops grown on Gotland, forage

crops are the largest and most

important, although cereals and

oilseed crops are also popular. Crops

for which Gotland has greatest

market share and is best known are

root vegetables such as potatoes,

onions and carrots plus other early

spring crops such as asparagus. 3.5%

of all potatoes in Sweden are grown

on Gotland. Today Gotlandic food

can be found everywhere in Sweden.

The primary market for Gotland’s

600 farms raise cattle in Gotland. Photo: Sara Almqvist food is the Mälardalen region. 600

farms raise cattle, of which 258 have

dairy herds. 57 keep pigs and 70 rear chickens. 395 farms rear a combined total of 65 034

sheep on Gotland. Lamb production is seeing most growth.

Organically grown crops are becoming increasingly prominent in all types of farming in

Gotland. There are 154 organic animal farms in the island. In 2010, Gotland accounted for

22.3% of the KRAV (certified organic) land for potato fields in Sweden (185 ha of a total

820 ha).

30


5.3 HIIUMAA

General information

Hiiumaa is the second largest island in Estonia situated 22 km

from the mainland. The island of Hiiumaa and a number of

small islets cover an area of more than 1 000 km². The island

has a population of 10 495 inhabitants.

There are five local municipalities on Hiiumaa. The biggest

town is Kärdla with 4200 inhabitants located on the northeast

coast of Hiiumaa. It is the administrative and economic center

where most of the government offices and utilities are located.

Economy

Most recent trends in Hiiumaa economy have been towards smaller farms and tourism. Also

Service sector is widening due to development of tourism. Small industry, such as plastics

and medical instruments are essential part of the island’s economy. Creation of IT based jobs

is important for offering new possibilities for young people to remain in island.

The history of Kõpu lighthouse dates back over

500 years to Hansaetic times.Photo: Tuuli

Tammla

Fishing is an important source of livelihood in

Hiiumaa.Photo: Tuuli Tammla

31


In the primary sector, which includes fishing, farming and forestry, about 800 people are

employed. The biggest employer in the island is also the biggest fishing company in Estonia.

The processing industries adding value to raw materials employ about 850 people.

Ice road connects Hiiumaa

to mainland Estonia during

winter time.Photo: Jarek

Jõepera

There are two ways of getting to the island – by boat or by plane. The plane operates from

Tallinn and the boat from Rohuküla harbour on the west coast of Estonia

Nature

The coastal area around Hiiumaa is shallow and full of

reefs. The best known of them is Hiiumadal in the

northwest, where hundreds of ships have wrecked.

There are about 200 small islands and partly exposed

reefs around Hiiumaa

All over the island the limestone is covered by loose

deposits from the last ice age and by marine sediments,

beach ridges and dunes from the different phases of the

Baltic Sea. The landscape provides examples of pine

forests, mixed spruce- and deciduous forests, swampy

thickets and juniper shrubbery, coastal meadows and

dunes, peat moors and bogs.

32

Sääretirp peninsula in Hiiumaa.

Photo: Lembit Michelson


Hiiumaa has a rich flora

and fauna including lynx,

wild boars and deer among

others.Photo: Jarek Jõepera

One can find about 1 000 species of higher plants in the rich flora of Hiiumaa. Over 50 rare

species are protected. Elks, red deer, roe deer, foxes, lynx and wild boars live in the forests.

The bird fauna of the island is also worth mentioning. Among nesting or migrating birds one

can see black storks, golden eagles, cranes, avocets, swans, etc.

Agriculture

There is 15 578 ha of agricultural land on Hiiumaa. Most of it is permanent grassland, 9 379

ha, or other temporary grassland, 1872 ha. Spring cereals are grown on 728 ha barley being

the most popular crop. The sown area for winter cereals is 199 ha. Spring rape is grown on

719 ha.

There are 461 farms on Hiiumaa and the number of farms has been in the decline in the past

ten years. 293 farms have animals. Most of them are cattle and dairy farms or sheep farms.

Many farms have also poultry. There are also farms with goats, horses, pigs and doe-rabbits.

5.4 RÜGEN

General information

With an area of 974 sq. km (including the island Hiddensee) Rügen is Germany's largest

island and has at present 73 500 inhabitants. The island is linked to the mainland by a bridge

called Rügendamm (2.5 km). Rügen's urban centre is Bergen, a town of 15 000 inhabitants.

Economy

At present appr. 23 000 people are regularly employed, most of them in the service sector

including tourism, construction, trade, manufacturing or administration. International ferry

traffic terminals are located at Sassnitz and Mukran. The island's growing number of visitors

33


eached 1 300 000 in 2002. Among the oldest and most traditional bathing resorts are

Sassnitz (town), Lohme, Göhren, Sellin and Baabe. Prosperous small and medium-sized

enterprises, environmentally-friendly tourism as well as an effective service sector will

continue to be the economic base. Agriculture and forestry have always existed on the island.

The continuation of the traditional fishery located in Sassnitz and the exploitation of chalk

resources shall be perpetuated and Rügen´s plans predict expanding the ferry port Mukran as

Gateway to the north. Rügen's major future target is to harmonise all spheres of life and in

this sense to become a model region.

Nature

The 80 million year old chalk massif of the island's bedrock rises to a height of 161 m at the

Jasmund peninsula. Along with the hilly surface, the flat areas and the permanent change

between land and water makes a landscape rich in contrasts (15 % forest, 61 % agricultural

area).

The wide sandy beaches, the shady avenues of trees, and the many hiking paths, still existing

on Rügen, or the experience of the chalk coast with the majestic Königsstuhl (117 m), the

Flint Fields at the Narrow Heath - a geological phenomenon - the magic beauty of Southeast,

to mention only a few details of Rügen's unique landscape panorama, which are worth

protecting even in a European dimension. Special emphasis is placed upon the environment

and nature conservation with 2 national parks, 1 biosphere preserve, 32 nature reserves and 3

nature conservation areas, the total protected area comprises 527 km².

Agriculture

The cultivated area on Rügen is 62 191 ha and there area 215 farms on the island (year

2010). The most popular crop is winter wheat which is cultivated on one third of the

cultivation area followed by winter rape and winter barley. Around 11 000 ha of the

cultivated are is permanent pasture. The average farm size is 289 ha.

The most common forms of animal husbandry are beef cattle, dairy and poultry (chicken,

geese, ducks) production and there are also many horse farms. There are also sheep, goat and

pig farms.

There are 24 organic farms on the island (11.2 % of farms). They cultivate an area of 2 733

ha (4.4 % of cultivation area).

34


5.5 SAAREMAA

General information

Saaremaa is the second biggest island in the Baltic Sea and the

biggest island of Estonia with an area of 2 668 km². Saaremaa is

situated close to the western coast of the mainland of Estonia. The

nearest point on the mainland is the harbour of Virtsu, 8 km away.

The island has a population of around 35,000 inhabitants.

Kuressaare, the capital of the island of Saaremaa, has 16 122

inhabitants. Besides Kuressaare, there are 15 other municipalities

on the island.

Medieval castle in Kuressaare. Photo: Toomas Tuul

Economy

A great majority of

country people work in

agriculture. Fishing and

fish processing are

becoming more important

branches of economy.

Saaremaa has an old

tradition of boat-building.

Today both wooden and

plastic boats are

manufactured.

Tourism is becoming increasingly important to the economy of

Saaremaa. Kuressaare town is one of the main attractions.Photo:

Toomas Tuul

Also electronics industry is

becoming more important

in the island’s economy.

Tourism will have an

important role in economy

in the near future.

35


To get to Saaremaa there are flight connections from Tallinn and also a ferry connection

from Virtsu to the island of Muhu which is linked by a bridge to Saaremaa.

Nature

Because of its mild maritime climate and soil rich in lime, Saaremaa has very rich flora and

fauna. Over two hundred local species have received special protection status. The most

famous endemic species is Rhinanthus osiliensis which is a rare little flower growing mostly

in spring fens.

A number of Roman snails, rare butterflies and beautiful orchids can be found in Saaremaa.

Each year hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, a great number of which are under

protection, e.g. barnacle goose and mute swan, visit Saaremaa. Besides Viidumae and

Vilsandi Nature Reserves, there are over two hundred single nature objects under protection -

parks, high cliffs, large trees, erratic boulders and unique marshy lowlands. The meteorite

crater at Kaali is the biggest in Europe.

Over half of Saaremaa is

covered with forests. They

are mostly mixed forests

but in some areas one can

also find broad-leaved

(deciduous), which are

relict plant communities of

former milder climatic

periods.

The same is true for alvars

(limestone areas covered

with thin soil and stunted

vegetation). Once a typical

and exclusive landscape

element in Saaremaa

alvars are now in decline.

Nature conservation

planning for Saaremaa

now includes protection of

the largest and most unique alvar areas.

Agriculture

The biggest one of the Kaali meteorite craters is 16 meters in depth

and 110 meters in diametre.Photo: Jarek Jõepera

The agricultural area in Saaremaa is 54 734 ha. Most of it is permanent grassland, 29 233 ha.

There is also 5994 ha of other temporary grassland. The sown area for spring cereals is 4831

ha. The most popular spring cereal is barley. Winter cereals are cultivated in an area of 1761

ha. Also spring rape is a popular crop with 2062 ha.

36


Windmills are

important symbols

of Saaremaa.

Photo: J. Nilson

There are 1357 farms on Saaremaa. The number of farms has declined in the past ten years

with over half.

There are animals on 857 farms. Most of the farms are cattle, dairy and sheep farms. Also

many farms have poultry. Some farms have also pigs, horses, goats and doe-rabbits.

Two famous Saaremaa products are bread and beer. The sour-sweet rye bread has long

traditions. A great number of islanders consider the pan bread Borodino the real Saaremaa's

bread. This bread was given the quality mark Appreciated Estonian Taste. The tradition of

industrial beer brewing and home-brewed beer are also very long in Saaremaa.

37


5.6 ÅLAND

General information

Åland is an autonomous region of Finland. It is composed of 6 757 islands and has a total

land area of 1 553 km 2 . Around 60 islands are inhabited and 90 % of the population lives in

the largest island called “the mainland Åland”. The population was 28 007 in the end of the

year 2010. The biggest municipality is Mariehamn where over 40 % of the population lives.

Åland is located between

Sweden and Finland. When

Finland became independent

from Russia in 1917, Åland,

which had been a part of the

Grand Duchy of Finland in

the Russian times, would

have wanted to join Sweden

instead of staying as a part

of Finland.

The argument between

Finland, Åland and Sweden

was finally solved with a

decision of the League of the

Nations in 1921. Åland

became an autonomous

Åland is composed of thousands of islands. Photo: Airi Kulmala

region of Finland and was

guaranteed its Swedish

culture, language, local customs and a self-governance. Still today, unlike in the mainland

Finland, the only official language of Åland is Swedish. The League of the Nations also

decided that Åland was demilitarized so it would not become a military threat to Sweden.

Governance

companies

Åland’s autonomy gives it the right to pass laws in areas relating

to the internal affairs of the region and to exercise its own

budgetary power. Åland’s Parliament is known as lagtinget. The

Parliament appoints the regional Åland Government,

landskapsregeringen. The Åland Parliament has the right to pass

legislation on for example education, health and medical care and

the environment, postal communication and radio and television.

Åland has its own stamp and publicly owned radio and television

In matters where the Åland Parliament does not have law-making powers, Finnish State law

applies in the same way as in other parts of the country. These are for example most areas of

38


civil and criminal law, state taxation and foreign affairs. To ensure that Åland’s interests are

taken into account also in these areas, Åland has a representative in the Finnish Parliament.

Although foreign affairs are not transferred to Åland under the Autonomy Act, but remains

under the control of the Finnish Government, Åland has a degree of influence on

international treaties.

A speciality in Åland is “the right of domicile” which is a requirement for the right to vote

and stand for election in elections to the Parliament, own and or be in possession of real

property in Åland and conduct a business in Åland. The limitation in the right to own or be in

possession of real property was introduced to ensure that the land would remain in the hands

of the local population. It does not prevent people from settling in the Åland Islands. Right of

domicile is acquired at birth if it is possessed by either parent. Immigrants who have lived in

Åland for five years and have an adequate knowledge of Swedish may apply for the status,

provided they are Finnish citizens. Those who have lived outside Åland for more than five

years lose their right of domicile.

Economy

In the summer, many visitors arrive in their own

sailing or motorboats, and stay in one of Åland’s 20

or so guest harbors. Photo: Airi Kulmala

Åland has a large number of businesses

and a long entrepreneurial tradition.

There are currently about 2 100

businesses and more than 90 per cent

have less than 10 employees, and many

are one-man businesses. Åland’s

economy is dominated by the service

sector, particularly the maritime

industry, which accounts for 40 per cent

of local GDP. As Åland’s shipping

companies offer more workplaces than

the local labor market is able to provide,

the crews also include many people

living in other parts of Finland and

Sweden.

There has been a strong growth of

tourism in Åland and the ferry services

to the island are frequent. In the last few years the number of arrivals has been around 2.2

million. Most return the same day, but about 530 000 guest nights are registered each year.

The tourist attractions in Åland include the city of Mariehamn and the castle of Kastelholm

built in the 16 th century.

Despite their relatively modest returns, the primary industries, agriculture and fishing, play a

vital role as providers of raw produce for the food industry in the archipelago and other

sparsely populated areas. The share of primary industries is around five per cent of the

employment.

39


In early spring, juniper meadows are colored yellow

when cowslips (Primula veris) are flowering. Photo:

Kimmo Härjämäki

Nature

Åland is composed of mosaic-like

archipelago. The islands lie within the

Nordic “oak zone”, which is

characterized by a relatively high share

of broad-leaf trees such as oak, ash, elm,

maple and lime as well as more

southerly species of flowering plants.

The mild sea climate and chalky soil

also help to create a rich flora.

Åland has many species of orchids and

is widely known for its wooded

meadows, which are richer in species

than anywhere else in Finland. Åland

has its own nature conservation laws. In

the year 2009, there were 2 538 ha of

nature conservation areas in land areas and 32 947 ha in water areas. There are 87 Natura

2000 areas in Åland.

Agriculture

There are 535 farms in Åland

and an area of 13 771 ha is

under cultivation. Average farm

size is around 26 ha (36 ha in

the whole Finland). The number

of farms has been declining

since the 1990’s. The most

common production types are

grain and special crop

production and horticulture.

Wheat is the most popular grain

crop.

Small units combined with a

favorable climate have also

encouraged local producers to

specialize in crops like onions, Most of the arable land under cultivation in Åland is

Chinese cabbage, sugar beets, grasslands or pasture. Photo: Airi Kulmala.

apples and potatoes. A big part

of the potatoes are cultivated for

chips because the Finland’s biggest chips factory is in Åland.

40


Dairy, cattle and sheep production are the most

common forms of animal husbandry. Ålandic

farmers typically conduct supplementary and

auxiliary activities in forestry, coastal fishing,

aquaculture, small-scale food processing, farmbased

tourism or other activities which help to

preserve the landscape. In 2010, 209 farms in

Åland had supplementary activities.

Organic farming is more popular in Åland than in

mainland Finland. Around 26 % of Ålandic

farmers are organic producers (around 6 % in the

whole country). There are 141 organic animal

farms in the island.

Almost 72 % of Finnish apple yield is

produced in Åland. Photo: Airi Kulmala

Åland has its own Rural Development

Programme. 90 % of farmers take part in the

Åland’s agri-environmental scheme (2007-13).

5.7 ÖLAND

General information

Öland is situated

approximately 10 km

off the coast of

southeast mainland

of Sweden. Öland is

connected to the

mainland with a

bridge placed

between Färjestaden

(on Öland) and

Kalmar (on the

mainland); the bridge

runs for more than 6

km over the open

waters

of

Kalmarsund.

Almost 25 000

people live on Öland

on a year around

basis. A large amount

Öland bridge connects Öland to mainland Sweden. Photo: Öland’s

tourist office

41


of people commute to work both to and from Öland. During the summer Öland’s population

increases both by tourists and the people that spend a great deal of time in their

summerhouses. On Öland, there are about 3,5 million guest nights/year. Öland is also very

popular destination for birdwatchers, and visitors especially interested in nature and culture

which extends the tourist season.

Two municipalities - Borgholm and Mörbylånga

Öland, and the two municipalities, Borgholm and Mörbylånga are

connected to the county Administrative board of Kalmar and the

Regional Council of Kalmar County, which is of importance for

the farmers of Öland in many various issues.

Borgholms municipality covers the northern half of the island. The

main locations are Borgholm and Löttorp. The main occupations

of the municipality are tourism and agriculture and the service

sector is also of great importance. The combination of tourism and

agriculture gives good mutual growth conditions for the future.

The municipality of Borgholm has almost 11 000 inhabitants and

more than 2 million visitors per year.

Mörbylånga municipality covers the southern part of the island. The main locations are

Färjestaden and Mörbylånga. The Municipality of Mörbylånga has just above 14 000

inhabitants. Agriculture is a more important occupation than tourism in the municipality,

compared to Borgholm, but to Mörbylånga many visitors come for the rich birdlife and of

natural and cultural interests. Also in Mörbylånga is the service sector of great importance.

The lighthouse on the southern cape, Långe Jan, is the highest lighthouse in Sweden and

gives a great ong>viewong> of the southern part of the island and the Baltic Sea. A large part of the

municipality is one of UNESCOs world heritage “The farmland of southern Öland”.

Färjestaden is the largest agglomeration of Öland and has in the last years grown to become

an important suburb to Kalmar. The inhabitants of Färjestaden, Borgholm, Mörbylånga and

Löttorp see themselves as living in agglomerations, while the rest of the inhabitants of Öland

live in smaller villages and mostly see themselves as living in the countryside.

Nature

Öland is a tall and rather narrow island, 130 km long and 20 km wide. The nature differs a lot

from north to south, but very significant on most of the island is that it is so close to the coast

and the presence of Alvar.

42


Viking stone ship burial ground in Gettlinge is one example of

Öland’s ancient cultural landscape. Photo: Öland’s tourist office

Sandstone, slate and limestone

make up Ölands

bedrock. The limestone

base and climate have

produced a flora that has a

wealth of rare plants and

lots of orchids.

On the Stora Alvaret on

southern Öland - the

treeless 40 km long steppe -

the limestone is often

exposed or only slightly

covered by a thin layer of

earth. The Alvaret is unique

as a landscape type for

Northern Europe. Another

kind of countryside meets

one upon proceeding

northward from the Alvaret towards the Borgholm district: Southern Sweden's largest

continuous deciduous forest.

Öland is an ancient cultural landscape. The many grave fields and ancient defence

fortifications which the nomads built for their defence during the Migratory ages provide a

vigorous reminder of prehistoric times.

The meadows along the coast with a very interesting flora and a paradise for birdwatchers are

another important landscape type of Öland. Birdwatchers will find many different birds that

will rest on Öland on their long journeys in the spring and autumn – this has made Öland an

Eldorado for birdwatchers.

Agriculture

Agriculture is the most important business on Öland, even if it differs over the island. The

arable land area is 40 854 ha and and there is also 42 633 ha of pasture. There are 720 farms

on the island. The cultivated area for organic production is 3 231 ha and there are 71 organic

farms.

There are 574 cattle farms on the island of which 207 dairy farms. On most of the island,

dairy production is of tradition very important, but over the past 10 years there have been big

changes on the dairy farms. Quite many farms have grown a lot and increased their number

of cows from approximately 50 cows to 150 cows. This means that other farmers have ended

their business or changed to beef cattle or sheep production. There are also some pig farmers

on the island.

43


Livestock production is essential all over

Öland and it has been important for how the

farms have developed, but it is also of great

importance for how the landscape is

maintained. The livestock production adds a

lot of values – open fields and pastures,

beautiful nature and is also very important

for biodiversity.

Of tradition and the good soils the farmers

on the south western part of the island are

focused on crop and specialized crop

production – cereals, onion, potatoes, brown

beans, oilseed etc. Until some few years ago

it was common in this area to grow sugar

beets but that has all ended. Instead there

are some areas used to grow maize as

fodder for the dairy farms on the rest of the

island.

Agriculture is the most important business on

Öland. Photo: Öland’s tourist office

44


References

B7 Islands

B7 Baltic Islands Network. http://www.b7.org/.

Bornholm

Agricultural Statistics 2012.

Gotland

County administrative board of Gotland 2011.

Olsson, L. & Öhrman, R. 1996. Gotland: förr och nu. 2nd edition. Gotlands

Läromedelscentral. ISBN 9789185446186.

Region Gotland 2011. http://www.gotland.se

Region Gotland 2011. Gotland in figures 2011 – facts and statistics.

Statistics Sweden (SCB) 2011. Yearbook of agricultural statistics 2011 – including food

statistics. Available: http://www.scb.se/Pages/Product____37559.aspx.

Hiiumaa

B7 Baltic Islands Network. http://www.b7.org/.

Hiiumaa Tourist Information. Available: http://www.hiiumaa.ee

Statistics Estonia 2011. Available: http://.stat.ee/.

Rügen

B7 Baltic Islands Network. Rügen. Available:

http://www.b7.org/index.php?option=com_content&ong>viewong>=article&id=46&Itemid=42

Statistisches Jahrbuch Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 2011.

Available: http://www.statistik-mv.de/cms2/STAM_prod/STAM/_downloads/

Veroeffentlichungen/7._Gesamtausgabe(2010).pdf.

Saaremaa

B7 Baltic Islands Network. http://www.b7.org/.

Saaremaa Tourist Information: www.saaremaa.ee

45


Statistics Estonia.2011 Available: http://.stat.ee/.

Åland

Statistics and Research Åland (ÅSUB) 2010. Statistical yearbook of Åland 2010. Available:

http://www.asub.ax/files/statistisk_arsbok_for_aland.pdf.

Government of Åland 2007. Rural Development Programme for the Region of Åland 2007-

2013. Available: http://www.regeringen.ax/.composer/upload/naringsavd/jordbruksbyran/

LBU-programkompl_eng.pdf.

The Åland Parliament and the Åland Government 2008. Åland in brief. Available:

http://www.aland.ax/.composer/upload//alandinbrief08.pdf.

Öland

County Administrative board of Kalmar.

Swedish official statistics - SJV statistic database 2010.

Öland Business Office.

Other

HELCOM 2005. Airborne nitrogen loads to the Baltic Sea. Available:

http://www.helcom.fi/stc/files/Publications/OtherPublications/Airborne_nitrogen_loads_toB

S.pdf.

HELCOM 2009. Eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. An integrated thematic assessment of the

effects of nutrient enrichment in the Baltic Sea region. Executive Summary. Baltic Sea

Environment Proceedings No. 115A Available:

http://meeting.helcom.fi/c/document_library/get_file?p_l_id=79889&folderId=377779&nam

e=DLFE-36817.pdf.

HELCOM 2011. Fifth Baltic Sea Pollution Load Compilation (PLC-5). Baltic Sea

Environmental Proceedings No. 128 Available: Available:

http://www.helcom.fi/stc/files/Publications/Proceedings/BSEP128.pdf.

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2010. Baltic Survey - a study in the Baltic Sea

countries of public attitudes and use of the sea Report 6382. Available:

http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Documents/publikationer/978-91-620-6382-5.pdf.

46


Annex 1. The questionnaire

Interong>viewong> questions to farmers at the B7-islands, Baltic Deal

Name: ________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________

1. At which B7-island is your farm located?

2. Sex

Hiiuma

Saarema

Öland

Åland

Gotland

Bornholm

Female

Male

Couple (both participate in interong>viewong>)

Family (son, father or other family members take part in interong>viewong>) (write

who): __________________________________________________

3. What is your relation to the property?

Owner

Factor

Tenant

Other (write): ____________________________________________________

4. How old are you? ___________ years old

5. For how many years have you been a farmer? ___________ years

6. Are you a part time or a full time farmer?

Full time

47


Part time

7. a How many persons (salaried staff) work permanent at your farm at least part time?

___________

7. b How many persons (salaried staff) work only seasonal at your farm?

___________

8. Is your partner (wife/husband) working at the farm?

Yes

No

9. Are other family members working at the farm?

Yes

No

Who (write): ____________________________________________________

10. How do you find the opportunities for being a farmer in __________ (own island/own

country)?

Positive

Negative

Why:____________________________________________________

11. In your opinion, what will be the situation at your own farm in five years (2016)?

11.1 Economy

11.2 Production

Better economy (bottom line)

Worse economy (bottom line)

Same economy (bottom line)

Increasing production

48


Decreasing production

Same production as today

Ceased

New owner/next generation continues the production

Change in type of production

Comments:___________________________________________________

Attitudes to the Baltic Sea environment and the role of the agriculture

12. In your opinion, what is the status of the environment in the ________ish (own country)

part of the Baltic Sea in general?

(Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘very bad’ and 5 stands for ‘very good’)

1 (very bad)

2 3 4 5 (very good)

Comments:____________________________________________________

13. Statements to Baltic Sea environment

To what extent do you disagree or agree with the following statements

(Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘I totally disagree’ and 5 stands for ‘I

totally agree’):

13.1 “I am worried about the Baltic Sea environment”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

13.2 “The Baltic Sea environment is better today than 10 years ago”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

13.3 “The Baltic Sea environment is poorer today than 10 years ago”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

49


Comments:___________________________________________________

13.4 “The Baltic Sea is in general affected by farming”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

13.5 “I affect the Baltic Sea environment by my farming”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

14. Which environmental issues are a problem in the Baltic Sea?

To what extent do you ong>viewong> the following issues as a problem?

(Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘Not at all a problem in the Baltic Sea’ and

5 stands for ‘A very big problem in the Baltic Sea’)

14.1 “Algal blooms”

1 (Not at all a problem in the Baltic Sea) 2 3 4 5 (A very

big problem in the Baltic Sea)

Comments:____________________________________________________

14.2 “Lack of oxygen in sea bottoms”

1 (Not at all a problem in the Baltic Sea) 2 3 4 5 (A very

big problem in the Baltic Sea)

Comments:____________________________________________________

14.3 “Too many nutrients leaching from the agriculture around the Baltic Sea

1 (Not at all a problem in the Baltic Sea) 2 3 4 5 (A very

big problem in the Baltic Sea)

Comments:____________________________________________________

15. The farmer’s role

To what extent do you disagree or agree with the following statements

(Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘I totally disagree’ and 5 stands for ‘I

totally agree’)

50


15.1 “As a farmer I play a role in improving the Baltic Sea environment”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

15.2 “I already use practices and measures which reduce the leaching of nutrients to the

Baltic Sea

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

15.3 “In the next five years, I am planning to introduce practices and measures at my farm,

which reduce the leaching of nutrients to the Baltic Sea

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

15.4 “I think that at my farm, it will be necessary in the next five years to invest in agroenvironmental

measures to reduce leaching of nutrients to the Baltic Sea

1 (No, totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (Yes, totally agree)

Other comments:___________________________________________________

15.5 “I am interested in learning more about agro-environmental measures to reduce leaching

of nutrients to the Baltic Sea

1 (No, totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (Yes, totally agree)

Other comments:____________________________________________________

16. What has until now kept you from doing (even) more to reduce the leaching of nutrients

to the Baltic Sea?

Lack of knowledge

Lack of environmental advice

Lack of possibilities for investments

Lack of technology

Lack of interest

Other reasons, describe

which:____________________________________________________

51


17. What can make you do (even) more to reduce the leaching of nutrients to the Baltic Sea?

More knowledge

More environmental advice

Better possibilities for investments

New environmental technology

Other reasons, describe

which:___________________________________________________

18. If money not play a role, how would you then choose to reduce the leaching of nutrients

to the Baltic Sea?

Describe how:____________________________________________________

19. Knowledge and advice

To what extent do you disagree or agree with the following statements

(Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘I totally disagree’ and 5 stands for ‘I

totally agree’):

19.1 “It is easy for me to find the knowledge I need, about environmental measures to reduce

leaching of nutrients to the Baltic Sea

1 (No, totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (Yes, totally agree)

Other comments:____________________________________________________

19.2 “It is easy for me to find the advice I need, about environmental measures to reduce

leaching of nutrients to the Baltic Sea

1 (No, totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (Yes, totally agree)

Other comments:____________________________________________________

20. Implementation of measures

To what extent do you disagree or agree with the following statements

(Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 stands for ‘I totally disagree’ and 5 stands for ‘I

totally agree’):

20.1 “The public authorities has to have an early and good dialogue with the farmers and

their organization, to implement good decisions for the Baltic Sea

52


1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

20.2 “The measures have to be obligatory, if the leaching to the Baltic Sea shall be reduced

effectively”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

20.3 “The farmers need to be paid for the environmental benefits they produce”

1 (totally disagree) 2 3 4 5 (totally agree)

Comments:____________________________________________________

21. Other comments (the word is free)

(write): ____________________________________________________

53


Baltic deal gathers farmers and farmers’ advisory organisations around the Baltic Sea in a unique effort to raise

the competence concerning agri-environmental practises and measures among farmers and advisors. The aim is to

support farmers to reduce nutrient losses from farms, with maintained production and competiveness.

Baltic Deal is a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It is funded by the Baltic Sea

Regional Programme 2007–2013 and by the NEFCO/NIB Baltic Sea Action Plan Trust Fund. The project period

is 2010 to 2013.

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