Protection of the Wadden Sea is a Conservation Success Story
Enlarge image The Wadden Sea is a protected ecosystem. (© dpa - Report) Since 1978, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark coordinate their activities and measures for a comprehensive protection of the Wadden Sea. The expansive tidal mud flats of the Wadden Sea (Wattenmeer in German) line the North Sea coasts of the three countries.
"The trilateral cooperation on protecting the Wadden Sea is a success story and a model example of transboundary conservation of biological diversity", noted Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel.
For decades, the Wadden Sea cooperation has been successfully achieving precisely what the international community is working for in the Convention on Biological Diversity, which met in Bonn in 2008. "By working together it is possible to halt the loss of biological diversity and to preserve the balance of an ecosystem while allowing sustainable use and involving the local population in the conservation of their environment", Gabriel said.
The trilateral Wadden Sea cooperation has existed for 30 years. Many framework conditions have changed, for example EU legislation, and new challenges have emerged, such as climate change and the global loss of biological diversity. This is why the Federal States involved - Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg - the German Federation, Denmark and the Netherlands are currently putting the cooperation through a comprehensive modernization process.
Together these partners are working on revising the founding document - the Joint Declaration - streamlining organizational structures and supporting the Wadden Sea forum, an association of local stakeholders. "We are making the Wadden Sea cooperation fit for the future! This includes even greater consultation with local actors and involving them in the protection of the Wadden Sea", Minister Gabriel stressed. Other elements are greater emphasis on landscape conservation and preservation of cultural heritage - these aspects will also flow into the trilateral management of the Wadden Sea.
Germany also teamed up with the Netherlands to nominate the Wadden Sea as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, a designation that was bestowed upon it by UNESCO in 2009.
Source: Federal Environment Ministry