Organisational Structure

The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation comprises of two levels of decision making: the Trilateral Governmental Council and the Wadden Sea Board (WSB). They are supported by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) as the coordinating body and first contact point, advisors from NGOs, Task Groups as well as Expert Networking Groups. 

Past Trilateral Governmental Conferences

  • Leeuwarden, Netherlands (2018, XIII)
  • Tønder, Denmark (2014, XII)
  • Sylt, Germany (2010, XI)
  • Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands (2005, X)
  • Esbjerg, Denmark (2001, IX)
  • Stade, Germany (1997, VIII)
  • Leeuwarden, Netherlands (1994, VII)
  • Esbjerg, Denmark (1991, VI)
  • Bonn, Germany (1988, V)
  • The Hague, Netherlands (1985, IV)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (1982, III)
  • Bonn, Germany (1980, II)
  • The Hague, Netherlands (1978, I)


Trilateral Governmental Council

The Trilateral Wadden Sea Governmental Council is composed of the Danish, Dutch and German ministers responsible for Wadden Sea affairs meets every three to four years. At the Trilateral Governmental Conference (TGC) they discuss the general direction of the Cooperation in terms of policies, harmonisation and management and chart the overall course of the Cooperation for the period up to the next TGC. The results are documented in a declaration, the Cooperation’s main policy paper until the next meeting.

Each TGC marks the end of a presidency term. At the 13th TGC in Leeuwarden (NL), the Dutch presidency ended. Germany holds the presidency as of now.

The Wadden Sea Conference is an exchange platform for all stakeholders of the Wadden Sea Region held directly prior to the Council meeting.


The Wadden Sea Board

The Wadden Sea Board is the Cooperation’s governing body. It runs and oversees the work of the TWSC between sessions of the Trilateral Governmental Conferences, preparing, adopting and implementing the Wadden Sea Plan as well as policies and strategies.

The Board is chaired by an impartial chairperson, nominated by the presiding country and appointed by the Council. The chair rotates between the countries along with the presidency. There are four members appointed per country and four advisors with expertise and experience relevant to the Cooperation. The Board is further supported by advisors representing the NGO sector (currently Waddenvereniging and WWF) and the Wadden Sea Forum (WSF).

Wadden Sea Board documents are available in Resources.

The current members of the Board are listed here.


Task and Expert Groups

The Wadden Sea Board appoints Task Groups to prepare expert topics for the Board and to undertake specific tasks, plans or projects. The current Task Groups are

  • Task Group Climate (TG-C)
  • Task Group Management and Monitoring (TG-MM)
  • Task Group Sustainable Tourism Strategy (TG-STS)
  • Task Group World Heritage (TG-WH)

In addition, the Cooperation has several Expert Networking Groups to carry out specific monitoring, scientific and educational tasks. These are

  • Alien Species (WG-AS)
  • Breeding birds (JMBB)
  • Data Handling (TDHG)
  • International Wadden Sea School (IWSS+NGE)
  • Flyway (WSFI-SG)
  • Fish
  • Migratory birds (JMMB)
  • Monitoring and Assessment (TMAG)
  • Salt marshes and dunes (SMDEG)
  • Seals (TSEG)