8th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea


(21 October 1997)

The Bureau's Regional Coordinator for Europe, Tim Jones, is this week attending the 8th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea, being held in Stade, Lower Saxony (Germany) from 21 to 23 October. The Wadden Sea is one of Europe's largest and most important wetland areas and is shared by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. The whole area (extensive shallow water, mudflats, beaches, islands, saltmarshes and coastal meadows) is covered by seven Ramsar site designations (5 in Germany, 1 each in Denmark and the Netherlands) totalling 911,098 hectares.

The Trilateral Governmental process set up for the conservation and wise use of the Wadden Sea has long been seen as a model for transboundary cooperation, in the spirit of Article 5 of the Ramsar Convention. The process is facilitated by a Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (established in 1987) and driven by periodic Ministerial Conferences (e.g., Esbjerg, Denmark, 1991; Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, 1994). Scientific Symposia are held in the intervening years.

This year's Ministerial Conference - the last until 2001 - will focus on the 'Stade Declaration', the draft of which envisages, inter alia, adoption of a Wadden Sea Plan (basically a framework integrated management plan); a commitment to reduction of the nutrient and pollution load entering the Wadden Sea; a pledge to ensure designation of a 'more coherent' Wadden Sea area for the EU Natura 2000 network; agreement on steps towards improved monitoring and assessment; and agreement on project cooperation between the Wadden Sea States and both Guinea Bissau and the Russian Federation.

Further information on International Cooperation for the Wadden Sea can be found at http://www.de/cwss/. The Secretariat can be reached at:

Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS), Virchowstr. 1, D - 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)4421 9108 0, Fax: +49 (0)4421 9108 30, e-mail: enemark@cwss.nord.de

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