International Wadden Sea Workshop: What can be “exported” to other parts of the world ?

Back to back with the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the “Ringelganstage” (April 22) LT&C conducted a workshop with international participants on what we can learn from the Wadden Sea or what could be “exported” from there to other parts of the world. The event took place April 21, 2017, on the small island Hallig Langeneß in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea national park. Host was the Schutzstation Wattenmeer, a founding member of LT&C, which historically plaid a major role in educating tourists about the values of this internationally important tidal area (see German Press Release:Langeness Workshop PM). Today the Dutch-German-Wadden Sea is protected in form of several national parks and other types of (marine) protected areas and has been given the status of a World Heritage Site.

Much of the historical development, which let to the establishment of Europes largest marine protected area complex, has to do with the millions of tourists visiting the area and how they got linked to conservation. We therefore have profiled the Wadden Sea as one of the first LT&C-Examples. At the workshop we were discussing how experiences in the Wadden Sea could help to protect other important tidal areas in the world. The Wadden Sea has a central position in the East Atlantic Flyway of coastal migratory (mostly Arctic) birds. The status and perspectives of a “Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative”, aiming to cooperate and partner with wintering areas in West-Africa and breeding areas of coastal birds in the Arctic, was therefore one of the workshop topics.

Tidal flats near Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Wadden Sea experts are also engaged in the Yellow Sea of Korea and China, where large tidal mudflats are important for the “East-Asian-Pacific Flyway” of coastal birds, but threatened by reclamation activities- and plans. They support e.g. South Korea to apply for World Heritage status for their remaining tidal areas.

30 experts from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, England and Norway have been actively engaged in the workshop, which was facilitated by LT&C Board member Anja Szczesinski. The programme can still be downloaded as pdf: Wadden Sea Workshop 2017. A whole documentation of the workshop will soon be published.

If you are interested in the outcome of the workshop or future events planned by LT&C:

Walking on the seabed from Hallig Hooge to Japsand. Photo: Peter Prokosch

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