PROWAD Workshops on Sustainable Tourism Strategy in Germany

In the framework of the Dutch-German-Danish project PROWAD “Protect and Prosper – Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea” two regional workshops were held in Germany after the first regional workshop on in Leeuwarden. Over 140 stakeholders from tourism organization, national park administrations, NGOs, transport and economic sectors attended the workshops in Wilhelmshaven (21.03) and Husum (22.03) and delivered a valuable input into the common Wadden Sea-wide strategy for sustainable tourism.

At the beginning of both workshops Europarc Consulting, the agency entrusted to develop the strategy, presented the best examples of how the UNESCO World Heritage status served as a place-making catalyst for the positive socio-economic development in many areas worldwide. In Husum Europarc Consulting presented selected results from the online-survey, conducted among local tourism and nature protection organizations. The survey reveals, for example, that about 80% of respondents are confident or rather confident that the World Heritage status has potential to attract investment in the regional sustainable transport.

The workshops were jointly organized by “Die Nordsee” and “Nordsee Tourismus Service” and the national park administrations in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein respectively. The audiences were informed about the current activities within the Wadden Sea World Heritage framework, transnational joint projects as well as the regional ones.

After the presentation, the participants discussed in workgroups what has been reached so far and what should be further addressed in joint strategy. This concerned market research, marketing, communication, qualification of staff, public transport, accommodation and gastronomy, environmental education and nature protection. The results of the productive group discussions were presented in the plenary and provided a basis for the development of the sustainable tourism strategy.

The development of such strategy was a requirement resulting from the inscription of the Dutch-German Wadden Sea into the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2009. The next workshop will take place in Denmark on 16 May.

More information about PROWAD at www.prowad.org

PROWAD – is the first initiative for the sustainable tourism development for the entire Wadden Sea area, covering the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The project is aimed to foster sustainable socio-economic development in the Wadden Sea region resulting from the designation of the Wadden Sea as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. A consistent sustainable tourism strategy is being elaborated in a participatory approach with relevant local and regional stakeholders. The project promotes high quality sustainable tourism products and activities and, therefore, contributes to the preservation of the Wadden Sea.
The project is co-financed by the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme (The European Regional Development fund).

Wadden Sea Board: Postponement of the Ministerial Conference and Extension of the Cooperation Area

The Wadden Sea Board, the governing body of the Cooperation, chaired by Peter Ilsøe, Deputy-General Director of the Danish Nature Agency, met on 14-15 March 2012, in Leeuwarden in the new building of the Frysian provincial government.

One of the main issues discussed was the next Wadden Sea Ministerial Conference. The Board looked in detail into the potential issues for the conference and decided that more time was needed to bring them to a level at which they are ready to be discussed by the ministers. Therefore, it was agreed to postpone the Conference, which in principle should have been held in 2013, to the beginning of 2014. The Conference will be held in Tønder, Denmark, from 4 to 6 February 2014.

The Board also decided to extend the Wadden Sea Cooperation Area and the Conservation Area off the coast of Lower Saxony (on the image in green). In March 2010, the Act on the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park was revised and the boundaries of the National Park extended offshore and in the Jade. It now covers some 345,000 ha, making it the second largest national park in Germany after the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park. The extension of the Cooperation and Conservation Area was necessary to align the boundaries and to make an extension possible of the Lower Saxony part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage site. This will be undertaken this year and a proposal will be submitted to the UNESCO, if possible, together with Denmark concerning the Danish part of the Wadden Sea to be nominated.

Work in Progress: Task Groups Shipping and Climate

The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat coordinates activities of five task groups. This newsletter issue introduces the Task Group Shipping and the Task Group Climate.© Herman Verheij

Task Group Shipping
The Task Group Shipping (TG-S) consists of representatives from the shipping authorities and nature conservation authorities from the three countries and an advisor of the Wadden Sea Forum. The Task Group is chaired by Sjon Huisman from the Rijkswaterstaat Noordzee.

The main task of the TG-S is to develop a vision for the Wadden Sea Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), as agreed at the 2010 Sylt Wadden Sea Conference. The TG-S has so far held three meetings and organized a workshop for stakeholders in May 2011 to discuss the evaluation report of the PSSA which had been elaborated by the Southampton Solent University prior to the Sylt Conference 2010. A further issue discussed was how to enhance the awareness around the PSSA, which had been identified in the evaluation report as being poor.

The TG-S has, on the basis of amongst others the outcome of the workshop, started discussing the development of a vision. There is general agreement that the vision should focus on the already mentioned awareness issue and further on prevention, emergency and operational impacts. A further workshop will be held on 19 September this year to discuss the vision development with the stakeholders.

The vision development is a difficult task. International shipping in and adjacent to the Wadden Sea is primarily governed by international legislation ensuing from the UN organization International Maritime Organization (IMO) and by EU regulations. It will be a challenge to find a good balance between what has already been done and is anticipated internationally and what can be done on the more regional Wadden Sea level.

Task Group Climate
The Task Group Climate (TG-C) consists of representatives from coastal protection, nature protection and spatial planning authorities from the Netherlands, Lower-Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark. The TG-C is chaired by Thorsten Piontkowitz from the Danish coastal authority.

The group has so far held five meetings and is currently working on a trilateral strategy on increasing the adaptability of the Wadden Sea area to impacts of climate change, in particular sea level rise, storminess and fresh water discharges. The strategy focuses on the added value of a trilateral approach with regard to five strategic principles which are considered elementary for climate change adaptation, i.e. flexibility, trans-nationality, long-term approach, uncertainty (including research and monitoring) and communication.

With regard to the principles flexibility and long-term approach, spatial planning is crucial for the coastal protection, in particular the establishment of flood risk zones or reservation areas. The added value of a trilateral approach is very visible in the recently started project on investigating how different tidal basins in the Wadden Sea react to different sea level rise scenarios.

Photo: © Herman Verheij

New Data on Greenland Ice Cap Melting

A press release of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research (PIK) gives new modeling results of how the Greenland ice cap may melt and contribute to global sea level rise (SLR) under different temperature scenarios, which has important implications for the Wadden Sea coastal management. The press release states: “if present release of greenhouse gasses would continue, temperature may increase by about 8°C, leading to a melting of one fifth of the ice cap in 500 years, and a total melting in 2,000 years. If temperature increase can be limited to 2°C, melting of the ice cap would take about 50,000 years.”© Herman Verheij

Hence, even in the worst case scenario of 8°C temperature increase, the contribution to SLR due to melting of the Greenland ice cap would be in the order of about 0.2 m per century. Earlier projections for total SLR between 1990 and 2100 by PIK-scientists gave maximum values of 1.90 m. It is expected that a substantial part of it will come from accelerated melting of the Greenland ice cap. In this light, the new projection on the Greenland contribution to SLR seems rather low.

The press release is available here.

Photo: © Herman Verheij

New Staff at CWSS

Tourism Manager
The CWSS team acquires competence in sustainable tourism as a new colleague joins its staff.

On 1 April 2012, Anja Domnick started her job as a tourism and marketing manager within the trilateral PROWAD project. She has several years of marketing experience in leading positions at various companies in Germany and beyond. In her most recent position, Anja Domnick managed sales and marketing for Latitud90/Condor Travel Chile, a destination management company. She has a Bachelor’s degree in geography of tourism with a major in marketing.

As tourism and marketing manager Anja Domnick is responsible for supporting and coordinating the development of a sustainable tourism strategy and the implementation of the action plan within the PROWAD project. In particular, she is in charge of developing concrete marketable offers and products, analyzing opportunities for the development of new sustainable tourism products, and the demand of customer needs, as well as enhancing branded marketing communications.

Project Administrator
On 15 April 2012, Simone Goth started work at the CWSS. She is responsible for project administration. She has a broad working background in event management and administration. After studying and working in France and Ireland she is keen to work in and for her home area. Simone Goth grew-up and went to school in Wilhelmshaven.


Trilateral Meetings

2-3 May 2012
Task Group Management (TG-M)

23-24 May 2012
Task Group Climate (TG-C)

9-10 July 2012
Task Group Sustainable Tourism Strategy (TG-STS)

11 July 2012
Task Group World Heritage (TG-WH)

19 September 2012
Workshop Wadden Sea PSSA

5 October 2012
Wadden Sea Board 6