Group picture of the project personnel of ECOnnect at Ulvön, Sweden.

The significance of cross-boundary cooperation

ECOnnect is EU funded Interreg Botnia-Atlantica project, which is based on cross-boundary cooperation. Our project consists of Finnish and Swedish partners standing together against climate change. In order to have an impact on the future, the cross-boundary cooperation is not only important but essential.  

Last week we worked together literally in the same boat as we met in Ulvön Island, which is an old fishing village in Sweden. Ulvön lies in the High Coast area, which is a World Heritage Site in Örnsköldsvik municipality. As the name suggests, the High Coast is a steep profiled terrain, where the land still rises. 

We worked two days at sea testing different underwater research methods such as ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle), side scan sonar, bottom fauna sampling and snorkelling surveys of shallow coastal lagoons. In addition, a couple of days were spent in meetings where we discussed ecological connectivity, future scenarios and ecosystem services. 

Neither climate change nor sea recognizes the borders between our countries and the future of the Baltic Sea is our joint matter. Exchange of knowledge and experiences is something one cannot measure in money. Project partners from both countries gained plenty from our intensive collaboration days.