Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands stand together to support successful protection of the Wadden Sea
During the 13th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands agreed on numerous Wadden Sea protection measures. These include more intensive cooperation on bird protection between stakeholders of the Wadden Sea region and West African and Arctic states. All three regions are located along the East Atlantic Flyway. During the meeting, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, who headed the German delegation in Leeuwarden, took over the Presidency of the Wadden Sea Cooperation for the next four years.
Federal Environment Minister Schulze: "The Wadden Sea is a globally unique natural area and quite rightly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We therefore carry a global responsibility, not least for the millions of migratory birds that use the Wadden Sea every year as a resting site and key hub for their onward flight to either the Arctic region or Africa. This is why we want to expand our cooperation with these regions in the coming years. We can only protect this unique ecosystem by working together."
With regard to cooperation with West Africa, the focus is on support for conservation measures, training courses on bird protection and protected area management, coordinated bird counts and exchanges between Wadden Sea experts and the national park administrations of Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau. Cooperation with the Arctic states will also be expanded over the next few years under the German Presidency A new Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Centre will be built in Wilhelmshaven to strengthen cooperation between the Wadden Sea riparian countries. In addition, there will be a partnership hub that will bring stakeholders of the region together and support them, for instance, in the areas of sustainable tourism, environmental education and research.
The German Presidency will also focus on drafting a common integrated management plan for the entire Wadden Sea world natural heritage site, promoting educational and public relations work and securing and further developing the long-standing trilateral environmental monitoring programme as a central pillar of the cooperation.
Every four years, the ministers responsible for nature conservation in the three countries come together for the Wadden Sea Conference. Here, the focal points of the cooperation’s work for the next four years are decided. The Presidency of the Wadden Sea Cooperation was passed from the Netherlands on to Germany with the conclusion of the conference in Leeuwarden.
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have been working together successfully for 40 years to protect the Wadden Sea. The entire German-Dutch-Danish Wadden Sea was inscribed on the UNESCO list of marine World Heritage Sites, one of 49 in total - the Wadden Sea is among the marine crown jewels of the ocean.