Reminder: Wadden Sea Day Registration is Open!

Energy Transition in the Wadden Sea

Challenges towards a climate-friendly and
sustainable Wadden Sea region
UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Visitor Centre
Wilhelmshaven, Südstrand 110b
30 August 2012
10:30 – 16:30 h

Click to see the full programme and the first announcement. Updates and more information are available here.

It’s All about Cooperation – Wadden Sea Visits Jurassic Coast

On 24-27 July 2012, representatives of major Wadden Sea World Heritage stakeholders visited a “sister” coastal World Heritage Site – the English Jurassic Coast, or, as its official title reads  - the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site. The Jurassic Coast, England’s first natural World Heritage Site, was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001. 150 kilometers of coastal area were awarded for its extraordinary geological value - unique insight into the Earth Sciences as it clearly depicts a geological ‘walk-through-time’ of 185 million years spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Representatives of Dutch and German ministries and provinces, national park administrations, tourism organisations, the WWF, the Wadden Sea Forum and the CWSS had an opportunity to attend meetings on site management, participatory approach and partnership, scientific cooperation and interpretation, visitors’ management and education activities. The main purpose of the visit was to examine the significance of the World Heritage Site status for the planning and management of tourism, based on a review of best practice and current experience along the Jurassic Coast. The management team presented Jurassic Coast’s approach to protection, responsible tourism, marketing, education activities in the area and shared their experience in how the World Heritage status benefited nature protection and regional development.

The Jurassic Coast team, amongst others, provided insights into the main management achievements based on over a decade of a successful World Heritage Site management. These principles are perfectly transferable onto the Wadden Sea World Heritage situation: protection of the integrity of an ecosystem in spite of the national borders, execution of a consequent approach in site conservation by all stakeholders and work in close partnership with local inhabitants. Community engagement is seen to be crucial for the future conservation of the site. The World Heritage designation has strengthened the protection of the area and the cooperation between stakeholders, and has established a “Jurassic Coast identity” amongst local communities, which clearly depicts the added value of being a World Heritage. These are only a few relevant conclusions that the study visit participants brought back to Germany and the Netherlands to provide an input in protection of the World Heritage and sustainable development for the Wadden Sea region.

The study visit was organized by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and EUROPARC Consulting in the framework of the project “PROWAD – Protect and Prosper - Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea”.

PROWAD is the first initiative for a 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 thus contributes to the preservation of the Wadden Sea.
The project is co-financed by the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme of the European Regional Development Fund.
More information at www.prowad.org

The Wadden Sea to Learn from the Great Barrier Reef

On 27 June 2012 Josh Gibson from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) visited the CWSS and the Lower Saxony National Park Administration (NPV) together with Ingo Narberhaus from the Federal Nature Conservation Agency (BfN), Vilm. The visit was made possible in the framework of the BfN – GBRMPA exchange programme.

The Great Barrier Reef is an icon, world famous for its coral reefs, the largest contiguous living structure on earth, stunningly beautiful and recognized as one of the best managed marine areas in the world. The Reef is huge, some 350,000 km2 big, about 25 times bigger than the entire Wadden Sea which is 11,000 km². The Great Barrier Reef was placed under legal conservation about the same time as the Wadden Sea but was already inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981.

Josh Gibson is currently responsible for the strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef. The strategic assessment aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the management of the Reef and make recommendations for improvements. Josh Gibson presented the process to the staff of the CWSS and NPV in the context of an overall presentation of the Great Barrier Reef, its management and how the GBRMPA aims to meet future challenges. The GBR has recently been through a large process of rezoning establishing about 30% of the Marine Park as a no take zone. A couple of years ago the GBRMPA has elaborated the Outlook Report for the Reef, a quality status report together with a future prognosis of developments.

Though the Great Barrier Reef and the Wadden Sea are very different, also with regard to their use, they are very similar in management approaches. There is a lot to learn from the experiences gained in the Great Barrier Reef for the Wadden Sea being the world´s largest tidal barrier island system.

Photo: Josh Gibson (GBRMPA) has a lively conversation with Gregor Scheiffahrt (Wadden Sea National Park Lower Saxony) and Jens Enemark (CWSS).

Marine Conservation in Europe is Being Evaluated

The 3rd international conference on “Progress in Marine Conservation in Europe 2012” was held from the 18-22 June 2012 in Stralsund, Germany. More than 200 participants from over 20 countries represented a wide range of professional backgrounds and organizations such as international conventions and agreements, policy makers, conservation managers, scientists and inter- and non-governmental organizations. The event has been established as a regular international forum for discussions on currently important or emerging marine conservation issues in Europe and beyond. The main focus was on the current status of the implementation of European Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks with regard to the 2012 marine conservation aims.
Speakers presented the development of MPAs in high seas, off-shore and in coastal regions and the corresponding development under the requirements of the current EU directives dealing with the marine environment (e.g. Marine Strategy Framework Directive MSFD).

Newly investigated pressures to the marine environment were discussed, for example, the massively expanding amount of litter in the oceans or the impact of changing energy production approaches towards extensive offshore wind farms. Problems related to underwater noise or impacts on migrating birds due to obstacles and light emissions were reviewed.
To fulfill the needs of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), a vast amount of preparatory work is in progress to evaluate the status of monitoring programs and available data. Representatives from different countries and organizations presented national implementation strategies regarding the MSFD in the context of marine protection activities and pressures like extensive use (e.g. fishing).

Also the recent progress with regard to the protection of the Wadden Sea was presented. Since the last Marine Conference held in 2009, the Wadden Sea has been inscribed on the World Heritage List and substantial progress has been made in ensuring the support for the protection and management of the world´s largest tidal barrier island system and the largest coherent coastal marine conservation area in Europe and developing new approaches to a. o. aliens species management and developing a sustainable tourism strategy for the area.
The conference clearly demonstrated the marine conservation has made substantial progress in recent years in spite of growing pressures to the marine environment.

For detailed information and upcoming proceedings, please visit the website.

Quality Assurance Meeting (QAM) 2012 on Hallig Hooge, Schleswig-Holstein

(c) Bernd HälterleinSince 1992 the Joint Monitoring Breeding Bird group (JMBB) has organized meetings of breeding bird counters and experts to harmonize and improve the quality of bird counts in the trilateral Wadden Sea. This time the meeting was focused on the exchange of information and experience derived from the first three years of the trilateral breeding success monitoring, which is part of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP). The 18 participants of QAM 2012 discussed and improved field and assessment methods which will contribute to more meaningful and harmonized results in future. Breeding success monitoring is carried out to better understand the decline of threatened bird species in the Wadden Sea and forecast the future development of breeding birds.
The participants were allowed to visit the Hallig Norderoog to observe the breeding sandwich and arctic terns, both part of the breeding success monitoring scheme. The QAM 2012 was organized by the National Park Administration Schleswig-Holstein.

Photo: Bernd Hälterlein

Trilateral Meetings

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

10-11 July 2012
Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Group (TMAG)

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

13-14 September 2012
Task Group Management (TG-M)

09-10 October 2012
Task Group Climate (TG-C)

22 November 2012
Trilateral Data Handling Group (TDG)

26-27 November 2012
Joint Monitoring Breeding/Migratory Birds group (JMBB/JMMB)

A complete overview is at: http://www.waddensea-secretariat.org/trilat/meetings/meetings.html