More than 30 representatives from the whole Wadden Sea met on 8-10 November 2021 in Denmark at the annual International Wadden Sea School (IWSS) workshop. After a digital workshop last year, the network was able to meet once again face to face and exchange their experiences during the covid lockdowns.
The representatives of national parks, visitor centres and other educational institutions along the Wadden Sea coast also discussed how to successfully address the various facets of the Wadden Sea World Heritage in teaching children and youths. The participants presented education materials and projects of their institutions to each other. A focus of the discussions laid on how to convey topics of transboundary interest.
The Danish organisers made sure to present their Wadden Sea throughout the programme. Thus, each agenda block was held in a different place. Thereby, one could see the new, finished visitor center Vester Vedsted as well as explore the island of Fanø. The participants also visited an old iron age village and cooked at the Viking center. “The excursions were an excellent opportunity for all of us to exchange ideas and experiences”, says Amelie Blanke, volunteer at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) and first-time participant. “I especially enjoyed the energy of the group. We developed so many new ideas in just a few days. This meeting showed how important in-person meetings are, particularly to a cross-border cooperation”.
The IWSS was founded in 2003 by the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation on the initiative of WWF and is now an integral part of World Heritage education. The aim and tasks of the IWSS are to raise awareness among children and youths of the Wadden Sea as a shared natural and cultural heritage and to create an understanding for the need to jointly protect the Wadden Sea as a whole. Besides the annual experts’ meeting, the school offers a range of educational material that can be downloaded and ordered at www.iwss.org.