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The Baltic Sea Challange

The Baltic Sea Challenge organization

The mayor of Turku Minna Arve and the mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen provide support for the initiative. Improving the condition of the Baltic Sea is strongly integrated into the strategy of both cities

The work of the Baltic Sea Challenge is guided by a joint working committee of the cities, chaired by Olli-Pekka Mäki, Environmental Protection Manager of the City of Turku, and Esa Nikunen, Director of Environmental Services of the City of Helsinki. They serve as contact persons between the cities and support the daily Baltic Sea work in their respective municipalities. In addition to them, the working committee of the Baltic Sea Challenge includes:

Environmental Protection Planner Liisa Vainio from Turku Urban Environment Division

Head of International Affairs Mika Akkanen from Turun Central Administration

Head of Unit Katariina Serenius from Helsinki Urban Environment Division

Team leader Jari-Pekka Pääkkönen from Helsinki Urban Environment Division

Special Planner Outi Jäppinen from Helsinki Executive Office.

The Baltic Sea Challenge coordinators, Outi Seppälä in Helsinki and Natalie Helenius in Turku, are responsible for implementing the Baltic Sea Challenge with the support of the working committee. The coordinators support the entities that have taken up the challenge and coordinate collaboration with other Baltic Sea actors, as well as handle the communications and visibility of the Baltic Sea Challenge. Additionally, they are responsible for updating the joint action program of the cities, monitoring its implementation, and participating in its execution as needed. In Helsinki, the Baltic Sea Challenge coordinator works alongside environmental planner Milla Stenström. Planner Saana Helmi works with the Baltic Sea Challenge communications in Turku.

In addition to the joint activities between Helsinki and Turku, both cities have an internal working group where city personnel discuss current topics and report on the implementation of the actions. Esa Nikunen and Olli-Pekka Mäki serve as chairpersons for these groups