13th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium

The 13th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium will be held 21-23 November 2012 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

The Symposium will bring together scientists from various disciplines, managers and policy makers interested in the Wadden area in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Symposium will focus on four themes:
-    Climate and Water;
-    Biodiversity;
-    Sustainability and Ecosystem Services;
-    Science for Management and Policy.

Each theme will consist of invited keynote speakers, case studies and poster presentations.
All information about the program and registration is available at

Upcoming IWSS Workshop in Skallingen

The 12th annual workshop of the International Wadden Sea School (IWSS) will take place in Skallingen (Denmark) from 26-28 November 2012. Invited are all the organisations dealing with the Wadden Sea education and info centers along the Dutch-German-Danish coast.  The workshop is aimed to provide ideas for new IWSS products and to serve as a platform for information exchange among different Wadden Sea regions. The official invitation, draft program and accommodation information will be distributed to the IWSS network soon.  

Workshop document are available here:

Please send the filled out registration form to drozdovych@waddensea-worldheritage.org


Wadden Sea Cooperation with South Korea

In the context of the “Wadden Sea – Korean Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 2009”, a Korean delegation toured the Wadden Sea in mid-July to gain knowledge about the process of how the Wadden Sea was inscribed on the World Heritage List. Korea intends to nominate a part of its tidal area in the most southern part of the Yellow Sea, characterized by the many islands, for the Worlds Heritage List. Following the visit, the secretary and Hubert Farke, until recently employed at the National Park Authority in Lower Saxony, were invited to a workshop for local and regional decision makers to explain the Wadden Sea World Heritage nomination process. The workshop took place in Mokpo, Korea on 12-13 September 2012, as part of a series of workshops which were held in the summer to explain the process, the potentials and the challenges of being nominated as a World Heritage site.

On the occasion of the workshop, the secretary also attended the IUCN Congress on Jeju Island for a couple of days. The Congress put particular focus on marine World Heritage sites and flyway issues on the East Asiatic Pacific Flyway, on which a central motion (motion 32) was adopted concerning the conservation of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and its threatened waterbirds with particular reference to the Yellow Sea Basin. Basis for the motion was a report, published by the IUCN, in preparation of the Congress(IUCN situation analysis on East and Southeast Asian intertidal habitats, with particular reference to the Yellow Sea). The motion is also relevant in the context of the MoU with Korea. At the margin of the Congress, a meeting was organized with the representatives of MLTM/KOEM to discuss progress with regard to the MoU activities

Representatives of MLTM/KOEM will attend the 13th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium in Leeuwarden on 21 -23 November 2012, which will be another opportunity to strengthen the scientific cooperation with Korea. A keynote lecture will be dedicated to the Korean tidal flat protection, local communities and economic benefits.

Since the start of the MOU in 2009, several activities have been carried out focusing on three topics: 1) information and education (cooperation info centers), 2) policy and management (integrated ecosystem approach), and 3) monitoring and research (migratory birds, benthos, monitoring strategies). In November 2012, a 3-day workshop is planned with the Korean tidal flat visitor centers on information and environmental education, focusing on the development of educational programs, exhibitions and partnerships with research institutes.

Photo: South Korean wetlands (CWSS)

On-line: New Trends of Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea

Click on the image to see a high-resolution versionThe Joint Monitoring of Migratory Birds (JMMB) Group has updated the annual trend analyses of migratory birds based on trilateral count data from 1987/88 until 2009/2010. For each of 34 typical Wadden Sea waterbirds, 10 and 23-year trends have been calculated for the entire Wadden Sea and the four sub-regions Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and the Netherlands.

The overall trend of the last 10 years shows in one species (spoonbill) a strong increasing and in 5 species an increasing trend. 11 species have a stable trend, but 14 species have an alarming decline in trend and 2 species even a strong declining trend. More detailed information can be found here.

Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI): Meeting of the Advisory Board

The WSFI has been launched as a consequence of requirements of the UNESCO when the Dutch-German Wadden Sea was listed as World Heritage.

Now two flyway projects under the WSFI are aiming to increase capacity for migratory bird conservation and monitoring along the western seaboard of Africa. The projects, which run from 2012 to 2014, are funded by the BMU and the EL&I. The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative works in close collaboration with other migratory bird conservation projects and initiatives in West Africa, most notably AEWA and the Conservation of Migratory Birds (CMB), the project of Birdlife International and Wetlands International.

The first Advisory Board meeting of the Initiative with 10 international migratory bird experts from AEWA, Banc d'Arguin (FIBA), the Institute of Avian Research, the National Park Lower Saxony, the Danish Nature Agency, Wetlands International, BirdLife International, Schutzstation Wattenmeer Schleswig-Holstein and the project managers was held at the CWSS in Wilhelmshaven on 5 September 2012.

The meeting appreciated the close cooperation of the WSFI with other projects and partners in West Africa and gave input for the development of a trilateral flyway vision, which shall support and interpret the requirement of the UNESCO, to strengthen the cooperation with countries along the African Eurasian flyway and the Wadden Sea World Heritage. The Board invited Denmark to participate in the WSFI from now on and not only after the planned World Heritage inscription. The Board was chaired by Gerard Boere. The next meeting is planned in September 2013.

See also: www.unep-aewa.org/news/news_elements/2012/waddensea_meeting.htm

World Heritage Information Modules installed on Dutch Islands

Nature information centers on the islands are actively promoting the Wadden Sea World Heritage. Ecomare on Texel, De Noordwester on Vlieland, Center for Nature and landscape on Terschelling and the Nature Center on Ameland have recently placed the infocolumns with information about the Wadden Sea World Heritage in Dutch, English and German.

The design and texts for the column were developed in close cooperation with the partners of the German part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage. The four Dutch columns were installed thanks to the financial suppot from the project Netzwerk Toekomst (www.netzwerktoekomst.org), a German-Dutch cooperation for Ems Dollart Region (EDR), which aims to create a more dynamic tourist area. Currently it is being investigated if some further infocolumns can be place along the Dutch coast of the Wadden Sea.

Text and photo: Infocenter Ameland, Ecomare

Towards a Vision for the PSSA Wadden Sea and BeAware! Workshop

Based on the decisions of the Ministerial Council Meeting of the 11th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea in 2010, the need for developing a vision for the Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) has been promoted by the Trilateral Cooperation. As a follow-up event to the first workshop in May 2011 a second workshop was held on 19 September 2012 at the Federal Agency for Maritime Shipping and Hydrography (BSH) in Hamburg.

A PSSA is an area that needs special protection through action by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), because of its significance for recognized ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons, and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. The Wadden Sea was designated a PSSA in 2002.
The workshop was attended by 27 participants from all sectors, competent authorities, the shipping sector, recreational boating, port authorities, and NGOs. It was chaired by Bernd Scherer, Deputy-Director General at the Ministry of Energy Turnaround, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of the State of Schleswig-Holstein and member of the Wadden Sea Board.

After four inspiring introductory presentations from representatives of different sectors, the delegates discussed intensively a vision attempt, in which all parties would find their philosophies and that would also guarantee a fruitful cooperation of all sectors concerning a PSSA Wadden Sea in the future. At the end a draft vision was created, agreed by all participants. A report from the workshop is under preparation and will be available together with further information and the introductory presentations.

Closely related to the developments around the PSSA Wadden Sea, a risk assessment workshop of the BE-AWARE project under the Bonn Agreement was held in Tønsberg, Norway, 24-26 September 2012. The aim of the project is to develop a risk assessment for the area of the Bonn Agreement, the Greater North Sea, considering extensively growing shipping traffic and off-shore business in the area. New challenges in marine traffic regulation, technologies and overall risks of accidents and oil spills will be discovered and assessed. After a variety of introductory presentations by speakers from different sectors, delegates from all participating parties discussed the current state of the project and first outcomes like preliminary results on traffic density on major shipping routes. A final project report is scheduled for March 2014. The workshop was organized by the secretariat of the Bonn Agreement and chaired by Ole Kristian Bjerkemo from the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

For further information, please visit the web site:

Workshop Indicative Mapping of the Maritime Heritage of the Wadden Sea

The workshop was held in Husum from 24 to 26 September on the invitation of the Archaeological State Service of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. About 25 experts addressed the values of the cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea and discussed methods to map the evidence of cultural history.

Keynotes on the development of the Holocene period, the cultural use of the maritime space and the habitation and use of the Wadden Sea from an archaeological perspective enlarged upon the theme.
Following, the meeting discussed in breakout and plenary sessions the needs, rationale and perspectives of the indicative mapping approach as well as possible outputs of a proposed common project.

Often the archaeological evidence is poorly recognizable because it is under water or covered by thick sediments. The method of indicative mapping could be a tool to also predict the unknown values and potential locations of archaeological remains for use in spatial planning and conservation. Overall the workshop agreed that the indicative mapping would be a very useful tool for policy and management of the maritime cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea also in terms of integration with the overall nature protection and management of the Wadden Sea.

It was envisaged to elaborate a project plan with different work packages like methodology, data quality, geology of Holocene deposits, assessment of erosion and sedimentation in different tidal basins till summer 2013 for adoption by the Wadden Sea Board.

Further information will be soon available on the CWSS website.

Platform for Marine Protection: Nature Conservation Day of Schleswig-Holstein

This year’s Nature Conservation Day of Schleswig-Holstein was held under the leading theme of marine conservation on 5 September 2012 at the town hall in Eckernförde in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas (MELUR), the State Agency for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas (LLUR) and the international Nature Film Festival “Green Screen”. The introductory speech was delivered by the Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas, Dr. Robert Habeck, who underlined the uniqueness of the Wadden Sea World Heritage and its ecological and socio-economic value and therefore the need of its protection. During the day, several experts in marine conservation and science gave inspiring presentations covering topics from eutrophication trends, consequences of climate change to the coastal areas, invasive species in the Wadden Sea, stress to marine mammals due to human activities and risks through extensive fisheries. The event was accompanied by an exhibition of various organizations with involvement in nature conservation, the majority focusing on the marine and coastal environment like the National Park Wadden Sea of Schleswig-Holstein or several NGOs.

In the framework of the “Eckerförder Gespräche” and based on the film “Der letzte Fisch – unsere Meere am Scheideweg” by Dr. Ismeni Walter, produced for the WDR, a panel discussion was initiated with the maker of the film, the minister Dr. Robert Habeck, representatives from the fishing industry and fisheries science. A lively debate displayed various aspects and scenarios concerning the state of world’s oceans in terms of fish stocks, fishery technology and possible future developments.