Delegation from Yancheng at Yellow Sea visits Wadden Sea World Heritage Site

The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation received a delegation of seven people of the Yancheng regional government on 11-12 June. Headed by Yancheng’s Vice-Mayor, the delegation was welcomed by Bernard Baerends, Executive Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS), as well as Sjon de Haan, representing the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), who organised the delegation’s intensive programme.

During their visit, the delegation stopped at the visitor centre of Groninger Landschap in Termunterzijl and met Marco Glastra, Vice-Mayor of the Eemsdelta Municipality and Director of the Groninger Landschap, who organised an excursion to the re-opened Breebaart polder and the seal spotting platform at the Ems-Dollard.

The agenda also included an introduction by the CWSS to the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation and the main challenges the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site faces. Further presentations were given by LNV, the Wadden Sea Management Authority, and the Province of Groningen. They gave a broad overview and Dutch perspective on the intricate way the TWSC is organised and managed. The examples of sustainable tourism for the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site and nature restoration measures at the land-sea interface at the Ems-Dollard in the framework of the bilateral Ems-Dollard 2050 programme were given.

The delegation concluded their visit with a meeting at the Rudolf Agricola School of the State University of Groningen (RUG) to explore the possibilities of cooperation, enhancing already existing cooperations on individual experts’ levels. Among others, Chinese PhD students presented several general economic, agricultural, and wetland management topics, e.g., migratory birds.

Visitors and hosts jointly concluded that the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of the Yellow Sea/Bohai Gulf of China (Phase i), which was designated as World Heritage Site in July 2019, and the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site face many similar challenges and carry similar features. The Yancheng government invited the representatives LNV, CWSS, and RUG to the World Coastal Forum in September 2023, hosted on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China. The invitation was well received with a direct positive response by the RUG. In his final remarks Baerends invited the Yancheng government to return for a longer stay to really explore the full Wadden Sea World Heritage in all three countries.