Östersjöfonden has been awarding persons and organisations for significant and prominent efforts for the Baltic Sea environment since 1990. Altogether, over 820,000 euros has been awarded to 91 persons and organisations over the years.

We want to honour those in the forefront of protection work. The purpose is to show the importance of the individual contribution: it is possible to change and improve! We also want to give these forerunners confirmation of the value of their work and inspire them further. Through the public attention of the award we highlight important Baltic Sea issues in the general discussion and strive to influence decision makers and public opinion. In addition to the the main prize, the Baltic Sea Award, two other prizes are granted: the Åland Award and Lasse Wiklöf’s parliamentarian award.

Award Winners

Baltic Sea Award 2021

Kaisa Kononen and Andris Andrusaitis – the BONUS Secretariat

CEO Kaisa Kononen, Finland, and her successor, Dr Andris Andrusaitis, Latvia, are both awarded EUR 10,000 each for their efforts as the highest responsible for the BONUS Secretariat. They have worked long-term and purposefully for interdisciplinary research on the various ecosystems of the Baltic Sea, as well as the realization of ecosystem-based management those ecosystems, through the BONUS program. The secretariat has created and maintained networks and clusters of researchers, officials and recipients in a pioneering way, throughout the Baltic Sea region under their leadership. It has thus created conditions for synergies between goal-oriented research, communication and societal impact. The secretariat has also served as a role model for the creation of collaboration between researchers, industry and society, all the way from idea to action. In this way, the foundations have been realized for many of the interdisciplinary initiatives that assist society in the work for a cleaner Baltic Sea and sustainable development throughout the region. More than 100 research institutes and universities have participated in the BONUS program. The activities that the BONUS Secretariat has built up for more than 10 years are now a model for the Baltic Sea region as well as for other European coastal areas and inland seas.

Lasse Wiklöf Award 2021

Saara-Sofia Sirén

Member of Parliament Saara-Sofia Sirén from Turku, Finland is awarded the Lasse Wiklöf Award of € 10,000 for her work in the Finnish Parliament, where she is a persistent spokesperson for the Baltic Sea. In a purposeful way, she is promoting issues regarding the protection of the Baltic Sea and has broad networks at her disposal. Among other things, she has been a member of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) and Vice-Chair of the Finnish Delegation to the BSPC. Ms Sirén is very receptive and always has time to listen to and respond to those who need help with the work on the well-being of the Baltic Sea.

Åland Award 2021

The Lappo Vatten och Miljö (Water and Environment) cooperative

The Lappo Vatten och Miljö (Water and Environment) cooperative is awarded 3,000 euros for its work for a joint wastewater treatment system on Lappo in the Brändö municipality. Almost everybody in the village united and lead by the board ran the project pro bono, with planning, financial risk-taking and implementation, including the construction of the main pipeline, pumping stations and the treatment plant itself. The treated wastewater that flows out of the treatment plant is also post-polished in a wetland, which also serves as a spawning area for pike.