Empowering Local Actors

Environmental communication

When cities and municipalities implement water protection measures, support of the general public as well as support within their own organization is very important. In order to communicate the need of water protection effectively, the attitudes, expectations, opinions and suggestions of the public need to be mapped and listened to.

Environmental communication surveys and strategy

CITYWATER partner Tallinn University conducted two surveys among both citizens and municipalities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in order to explore the dominant attitudes and knowledge about about water protection, especially on the local level.

The result of the surveys indicate that for the protection of the Baltic Sea, the role of communication is to subvert the prevailing beliefs that individual action have little impact or that initiatives mostly abate in the conflict with economic interests or bureaucratic indifference. We find that citizens and municipalities share the same values and care for the Baltic Sea. The two groups, however, diverge in the sense of responsibility and preference of measures. Municipalities perceive this gap and feel the need to put awareness and education high on their agenda.

In order to empower local governments, NGOs and other organisations dealing with environmental issues and to develop their activities for healthier environment  around the Baltic Sea, the project formulated a communication strategy to help these actors design their activities and reach planned goals.

The citizens’ survey was conducted among the adult population of the three Baltic countries. A representative sample of a total of 1,500 people was interviewed with 40 questions, covering topics such as the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of citizens regarding water protection issues, both concerning the Baltic and Sea and inland water bodies. Download the report here.

The municipalities’ survey was conducted among the coastal municipalities of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. A total of 72 municipalities responded to the web-based questionnaire, covering topics such as the water protection activities of the municipality, co-operation with other actors, including citizens, and perception of water related risks, both concerning the Baltic and Sea and inland water bodies. Download the report here.

The Communication strategy was compiled based on the citizens’ and municipalities’ survey. The strategy contributes in improving the public communication of different stakeholders about their water protection activities and also highlight ways in which it is possible to encourage individuals to act for the water bodies. Download the strategy here.


Read more:

The citizens’ survey report: Local actors and the Baltic Sea 1: attitudes towards water protection among the population of the Baltic countries, download

The municipalities’ survey report: Local actors and the Baltic Sea 2: Water protection attitudes and activities in coastal municipalities, download

The communication survey: Empowering local actors: ´Communication strategy for local-level water protection activities, download

• Environmental communication workshop, read more

Other CITYWATER actions:
Promoting the Baltic Sea Challenge,
read more

Storm water handling, read more
Cost-benefit analysis, read more
Tools for water protection, read more
Disseminating results, read moreCitywater_logo_smallLogo Life