Since 1978, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have been cooperating to protect the Wadden Sea as an ecological entity. The Guiding Principle of the Trilateral Cooperation on the Protection of the Wadden Sea, in short Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation (TWSC), is
“to achieve, as far as possible, a natural and sustainable ecosystem in which natural processes proceed in an undisturbed way”.
The Cooperation is based on the “Joint Declaration on the Protection of the Wadden Sea”, which was first signed in 1982 and last updated in 2018. The Joint Declaration is a declaration of intent and delineates the objectives and areas of the cooperation as well as its institutional and financial arrangements. For the past four decades, the Cooperation has fostered cooperation and exchange between partners from politics, nature conservation, science and administration, as well as local stakeholders. Together they represent an enormous pool of knowledge and experience.
This transboundary ecosystem-based collaboration was a prerequisite for the designation of the Wadden Sea as World Heritage site.
The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation
- protects and conserves the Wadden Sea as an ecological entity through common policies and management;
- monitors and assesses the quality of the Wadden Sea ecosystem in collaboration with national and regional authorities and scientific institutions as a basis for effective protection and management;
- cooperates internationally with other marine sites on protection, conservation and management;
- engages the public in the protection of the Wadden Sea through awareness-raising activities and environmental education;
- secures the sustainable development of the Wadden Sea Region with regard to its natural and cultural values.