Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden made her first official appearance of 2017 yesterday when she gave the opening remarks at the conference regarding the future of the Baltic Sea. The conference, entitled “Baltic Sea the Future,” was held at the Stockholm International Fairs.
According to the Swedish Royal Court, “Baltic Sea Future is a multidisciplinary congress, initiated by Stockholm University, the city of Stockholm, and the Foundation Sustainable Havlänk. The Congress aims to support municipalities in their decisive role in the Baltic Sea environmental program. The 350 participants are mayors from municipalities around the Baltic Sea, officials, scholars and business representatives.”
The Crown Princess, who is a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, addressed those in attendance in English and explained, “The Baltic has a special place in my heart. It is an integral part of my heritage.”
She also read a poem by her great-great-great grandfather, King Oscar II, called “Östersjön – the Baltic.” She read the Swedish first verse before translating it for those in the audience into English. She later said, “One underlying theme in Prince Oscar’s poem is the dangers of the sea – the threat it poses to man. He writes of a sailor fighting for his life against the raging dark waters. Today, the tables have turned. Now, man is a danger to the sea. Filling it with plastic, poisoning the fish and suffocating the sea beds.”
“So let us take our responsibility – and grasp these opportunities for blue growth – by taking action.”
Crown Princess Victoria
Her Royal Highness added, “Throughout history, the Baltic Sea has often been a battleground. Nations have gone to war against each other. Today, we are fighting a different kind of battle. Countries along the Baltic shores are joining forces, working together across the sea that unites us.
“This congress is an excellent example of this, with decision-makers, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors coming together to find new ways forward for a sustainable development in the Baltic region.”
The Crown Princess said that no time should be wasted regarding the future of the Baltic Sea and that the “survival of the sea depends on us.”
She concluded by saying, “So let us take our responsibility – and grasp these opportunities for blue growth – by taking action.”
In January, Ulrika Näsholm, the Swedish Royal Court’s Director of Information and Press Department, explained to Expressen, “By participating, the Crown Princess will highlight the importance that we must work to ensure that the Baltic Sea is a healthy sea.”
Crown Princess Victoria said in a speech last year, “A third of the Baltic Sea now has so little oxygen that it is hard, even impossible, for fish to live and breathe.”
You can read the full speech here.