Baltic Sea Research Programme BIREME



The objective of the Baltic Sea Research Programme (BIREME) was to deepen our understanding of the conditions for science-based management of environmental issues in the Baltic Sea. The programme focused on research aiming at preventing problems caused by eutrophication and harmful substances, as well as on maintenance of biodiversity and the sustainable use of marine resources. 

Themes and thematic sectors

The themes of the programme were:

  • Analysis of change in the Baltic Sea and its drainage basin
  • Interactions between the land, coast, air and open sea
  • Social and environmental interactions in the Baltic Sea region

For more information, see the Programme memorandum.


The total budget of the programme was EUR 5.83 million, allocated to 24 projects. Funding from the Academy of Finland amounted to EUR 4.7 million. The other funding sources were the Ministry of the Environment (EUR 0.5 million), the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (EUR 0.3 million), the Ministry of Transport and Communications (EUR 0.07 million), the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation (EUR 0.25 million) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (EUR 0.06 million).

Duration 2003–2005

Evaluation of the programme

According to the evaluation panel, the programme achieved part of its goals well. The scientific quality of the research was high and the output of the programme was considered impressive. The objective to deepen our understanding and knowledge on environmental issues was also met. The panel, however, pointed out that the programme was designed as subject-oriented rather than problem-oriented. The panel noted that a clear problem-oriented approach would have enhanced true interdisciplinary collaboration within the projects. 

For more information, see the Evaluation Report.


The programme was coordinated by Programme Manager Tuula Aarnio, PhD, Academy of Finland.


The BIREME programme operated in close collaboration with other research programmes in the Baltic Sea region, such as Marine Research on Eutrophication, MARE, funded by MISTRA, Sweden and Baltic Sea Regional Programme, funded by the World Bank Global Environment Facility.

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