With the foundation of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) in 1987 by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, 35 years ago, an institutionalised structure began to form. A team of two, who began on 1 November 1987, has since grown to a team of nine. The total size of the team, including three people employed on a project basis and two interns, reflects the sheer growth of topics and intentions in just a few decades.
For the past three and a half decades CWSS has made remarkable achievements thanks to the joint efforts of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation under a common policy and management plan. In 1991, CWSS became its secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of Seals in the Wadden Sea. The agreement was the first international, legally binding agreement under the auspices of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.
Since 1997, the Secretariat has been responsible for the management and coordination of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme. It also contributes to creating a science-policy interface by providing support to scientific symposia, which provides a forum for scientists to introduce their research results and to involve themselves in the Cooperation.
CWSS is continuously working on gaining and subsequently maintaining a global reputation and role for being the central contact for the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage site and youth engagement. To continue to fulfill this pioneering role of trilateral cooperation, CWSS continues to consolidate the foundation of a shared Wadden Sea through environmental education, awareness building, and communications. CWSS will persist to fulfill its mission to further support Trilateral Cooperation because only together we can shape our future and unite our vision for One Wadden Sea, One Global Heritage.