After the conclusion of the Trilateral Youth Conference in September 2022, young adults from Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands continued with their exchange to increase youth’s influence on the conservation of the Wadden Sea. In the past three months, they participated in activities to deepen their knowledge about the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation, refined their ideas and visions, communicated achievements, and prepared contributions to the 14th Trilateral Governmental Conference (TGC14), held 28-30 November 2022.
The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) coordinated the follow-up process and organised a series of webinars about the Cooperation's history and work, the sustainable tourism network in the region, and examples of youth involvement at the international level: the Flyway Youth Forum and Youth Engaged in Wetlands. The teams from the UNESCO Chair on Futures Literacy at Hanze University and One Resilient Earth developed mentoring sessions to support the draft of messages, explore presentation formats, and advise on public speaking. The young adults organised working groups for specific tasks, like finalising the youth messages, elaborating the speech, and preparing outreach materials. They are also presently structuring a trilateral youth network to involve, connect, and represent young adults in the region.
The Trilateral Youth Conference and its outcomes, were communicated in different formats to various audiences. The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation Annual Report 2022 contains an overview of the event and the existing types of youth involvement. The project was presented at the conference “World.Heritage.Climate - World Heritage Sites and their contribution to climate-conscious sustainable development” at the denkmal 2022 in Leipzig. “This was a valuable opportunity to exchange with other professionals and youth representatives on how designated sites offer diverse possibilities for climate action and Education for Sustainable Development”, concludes Simone Prestes Dürrnagel, the Project Coordinator at CWSS.
The preparations surmounted in the Trilateral Wadden Youth contributions at the Trilateral Governmental Conference, where the youth's messages were shared on many occasions. A group of 16 young adults took turns at the information stand to give more information on the exhibition they prepared. They could interact with different partners and deliver deepened ideas about youth involvement. Additionally, Pascal Ertzinger from Germany attended two discussions: with partners after the film screening “Silence of the tides” and with pupils at the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Centre. He also wrote the speech, together with Wannes Lely from the Netherlands and its speaker Isabel Hunter from Denmark. Their speech, delivered on stage during a podium discussions with representatives of various authorities and partner organisation, received a standing ovation by the over 250 conference participants.
The youth representatives expressed their visons to further youth involvement and discussed possibilities with the Wadden Sea Board members. As mentioned in their speech, “The Trilateral Wadden Youth can offer new perspectives, diversity, and creative solutions. By investing in driven young people, you will get the full support of us and our network. We are here to use the momentum of the Youth Conference to form a community and unite our dreams”.
Impressions of the youth's participation at the TGC14 (Photos by Simone Prestes Dürrnagel/ CWSS)