Accomplished! Danish Nomination delivered in Paris.

Danish representative at the UNESCO Ambassador Poul Erik Dam Kristensen submitts the nomination for the inscription of the Danish Wadden Sea on the World Heritage List to the Director of the World Heritage Centre, Kishore RaoToday the Danish representative at the UNESCO Ambassador Poul Erik Dam Kristensen submitted the nomination for the inscription of the Danish Wadden Sea on the World Heritage List to the Director of the World Heritage Centre, Kishore Rao (photo left). The nomination also includes an extension of the already inscribed part of the German Wadden Sea World Heritage off the Niedersachsen coast.

On the inscription of the Dutch-German Wadden Sea in 2009 on the World Heritage List, the World Heritage Committee encouraged Denmark to submit a nomination for the Danish Wadden Sea to extend and complement the existing property. This has now finally been accomplished, after a long and extensive discussion in the Danish Wadden Sea Region which showed a very broad support among stakeholders and with the full support of Germany and The Netherlands.

Danish Minister of Culture Marianne Jelved signs the NominationThe nomination dossier will now be checked concerning completeness and, if it passes the check, be transferred to the IUCN for a technical evaluation. In June/July 2014 the World Heritage Committee decides whether the Danish part will be inscribed. The chances are high since the Dutch-German part of the Wadden Sea has already paved the way.

The Prime Minister of Niedersachsen David McAllister signs the NominationBefore it was submitted to the World Heritage Center, the nomination document had already travelled far in January. It was signed by the German Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, the Prime Minister of Niedersachsen David McAllister, the Dutch Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma and finally the Danish Minister of Culture Marianne Jelved before the whole delivery arrived in a box in Paris and finally travelled a few kilometers from the Danish UNESCO Representation to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Photo: from above
1.Danish representative at the UNESCO Ambassador Poul Erik Dam Kristensen submits the nomination for the inscription of the Danish Wadden Sea on the World Heritage List to the Director of the World Heritage Centre, Kishore Rao
2. Danish Minister of Culture Marianne Jelved signs the Nomination
3. The Prime Minister of Niedersachsen David McAllister signs the Nomination

Source: CWSS

Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative & Conservation of Migratory Birds Project

Regional training course ‘Monitoring waterbirds and wetlands along the west coast of Africa’
Parc National du Diawling, Mauritania.

From 4th - 6th December 2012, Mauritania’s Diawling National Park hosted the first regional training course of the “West African coastal zone flyways partnership” between BirdLife International, Wetlands International and the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI). The 30 participants were drawn from a range of Mauritanian agencies, plus government and NGO reps from Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde, as well as international resource persons.

The 3-day course was practical in nature and focused on preparing participants for monitoring the coastal wetlands of West Africa. The main elements included the identification and counting of waterbirds, site inventories and site monitoring, including identifying and recording threats. The training culminated in a practical exercise of field monitoring in a specified area of Diawling, with participants forming monitoring teams themselves, delegating team coordinators and sharing tasks. After this exercise a thorough review of results with all participants took place.

A raging fire in the extensive Typha beds of the park added excitement to the course, and underlined the importance of monitoring in changing environments and accounting for threats. The fire, for instance, presented immediate threats to wildlife and villages, whilst the extensive Typha itself presents a more serious long-term threat to the ecological integrity of the Senegal Delta.

In follow-up to the training, grants are being provided to countries to assist in carrying out monitoring in January 2013, whilst a major ‘total waterbird count’ is planned for the coastal zone in January 2014. Meanwhile, national training courses will take place in early 2013 in Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Senegal.

Participants found the course to be very useful, and relevant to their work. Zein el Abidin, Conservator of Diawling, considers waterbirds to be strong bio-indicators of the health of wetlands, which are very important for biodiversity and poverty alleviation.

The training course and other activities are financed primarily by the MAVA Foundation and the governments of Germany and the Netherlands. The organisers wish to thank these supporters, as well as the Mauritanian government for their organisational support, notably the Director of the Diawling National Park.

Islands come and go. The Dynamics of the Wadden Sea World Heritage

Around Christmas the Schleswig-Holstein National Park Authority announced the news that a new island had been formed north of Norderoogsand. An island of some 14 ha with primary dunes, already a high number of plant species and formation of salt marshes on the eastern side. This spectacular news was reported even by the international press.

Island KachelotplateThis phenomenon is nothing uncommon for the Wadden Sea. In the Niedersachsen Wadden Sea a new island, the Kachelotplate was reported some 10 years ago. It is now a dune island of about 170 ha – but the size varies from year to year - with primary dunes and a main haul out site for grey seals.

However, islands are not only formed by natural forces. Some have been created by man. The island of Scharhörn in the Elbe estuary had moved during the last century. In order to restore valuable breeding and resting areas for birds, which had been lost by the moving of the island, a new island, Nigehörn was created in 1989. It has since developed in a perfectly natural way.

In the Netherlands a heated debate evolved in the 1990s when the Dutch State Water Management (“Rijkswaterstaat”) decided to stop maintenance of the island of Rottumeroog which would cause a diminishing and subsequent loss of the island. Emotions went high and the former inhabitant occupied the island. A compromise was found but eventually the maintenance was stopped completely some 10 years ago.

Rather unnoticed went the loss of the only Hallig in the Danish Wadden Sea, Jordsand. Probably due to enhanced erosion, caused by the building of the Rømø and the Hindenburger causeways and the advanced sea wall some 30 years ago, Jordsand decreased in size and the bird observation hut was finally abandoned around 2000. It is now a huge sandbank.

Islands come and go; at least those that are not inhabited. But also parts of the inhabited islands are highly dynamic. This is in the nature of the Wadden Sea and one of the main reasons why it has been inscribed on the World Heritage List. It is the largest tidal barrier island system in the world. The dynamic forces are astonishing. It is exactly these dynamics we have to protect and allow to evolve to maintain its biodiversity and to make it more resilient to enhanced sea level rise. But is also an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and the Wadden Sea World Heritage. It is an invitation to come and see the world take shape.

In the photo: island Kachelotplate

Trilateral Meetings

4-5 February 2013
Trilateral Seal Expert Group (TSEG)

5-6 February 2013
Joint Monitoring Migratory Bird Group/ Joint Monitoring Breeding Bird Group (JMMB/JMBB)

5-6 February 2013
Task Group Climate (TG-C)

13 February 2013
Task Group Strategy (TG-S)

27 February 2013
Task Group World Heritage (TG-WH)

6-7 March 2013
Wadden Sea Board (WSB)

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