Race for the Baltic

The Baltic Sea’s health is currently threatened by pollution, the over-exploitation of its natural resources and conflicting jurisdictional responsibility. By working to restore the Baltic Sea we hope to provide a successful model that can be used by others to restore our threatened seas and oceans.

In 2013, Zennström Philanthropies along with our grantees co-ordinated a platform and campaign called Race for the Baltic to bring together all the stakeholders affected by the Baltic Sea and by doing so created a coalition of leadership made up of NGO’s, businesses, concerned citizens and forward thinking politicians who are now working with businesses and governments to find concrete solutions for a sustainable Baltic Sea.

Current grantees include:

GLOBE Europe

GLOBE Europe provides an opportunity for parliamentarians to build relationships, exchange experiences and learn from fellow European legislators with different political backgrounds yet united by a belief in the importance to advance environmental governance in our respective Parliaments and worldwide. The European Union is a unique regional multi-level system of governance. For this reason the greatest added value of interparliamentary dialogue on environmental policy in the framework of GLOBE in Europe is the possibility to help support a high level of ambition of EU climate and environment policy, as well as the exchange of best national practices with particular reference to the Baltic Sea.

The Archipelago Foundation/Skärgårdsstiftelsen

Zennström Philanthropies has provided financing for a pre-study for the project Green Islands, the aim of which is to improve the environmental conditions in the Swedsih Archipelago. The project aims at achieving “greener” islands by mapping, analyzing and evaluating waste, energy and water management together with greenhouse gas footprints, and ecosystem services provided and utilized on islands in Sweden. The project will examine the feasibility of introducing new innovations to reduce environmental impact as a test case for the Baltic region.

KSLA – Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) is running a pilot programme in River Moälven in Northern Sweden to improve the spawning ground for fish at the mouth of the river. Substantial investments have been made to restore the river and it is a listed Natura 2000 site. KSLA hopes that salmon and sea trout will be able to form self-reproducing populations in Moälven for the benefit of both the river’s biodiversity and the people who live along the river valley. Zennström Philanthropies provides a grant to this project.


Oceana is undertaking a new campaign to improve the health of the Baltic Sea by reducing illegal fishing and improving the network of marine protected areas. By keeping more life in the ocean and protecting the habitats on which life depend, we can address the most acute needs for restoring the Baltic Sea. In the initial two-year phase of their campaign, Oceana will conduct in-port investigations and at-sea expeditions to identify and document illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Baltic, leading to increased enforcement, reduced IUU fishing, and improved compliance with fishing limits. Additionally, Oceana will document vulnerable marine habitats in the Baltic Sea that deserve official designation as a Marine Protected Area, as we have successfully done in other European countries.

Past grantees include:

Coalition Clean Baltic

In Helsinki, February 1990, non-governmental environmental organizations from the countries of the Baltic Sea Region united and established Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) in order to co-operate in activities concerning the Baltic Sea. CCB is a politically independent, non-profit association. At present, CCB unites 27 member organizations from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark,Ukraine and Sweden. The CCB member organisations combined have over half a million members in all countries around the Baltic Sea. The main goal of CCB is to promote the protection and improvement of the Baltic Sea environment and natural resources.

Fisheries Secretariat

The Fisheries Secretariat (FISH) is a non-profit organisation working towards sustainable fisheries in Europe and worldwide. Their long-term goal is healthy seas with thriving fish stocks and great diversity. At FISH, they work towards more sustainable fisheries through information, international co-operation, capacity building and lobbying at an international level, but with a focus on the Baltic Sea region and the European Union. They have a particular mission to support and help other organisations, as well as the public, with information and knowledge.

Swedish Society for Nature Conservation

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) is an environmental organization with power to bring about change. They spread knowledge, map environmental threats, create solutions, and influence politicians and public authorities, at both national and international levels.