The Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world. The site covers the Dutch Wadden Sea Conservation Area, the German Wadden Sea National Parks of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, and most of the Danish Wadden Sea maritime conservation area. It is a large, temperate, relatively flat coastal wetland environment, formed by the intricate interactions between physical and biological factors that have given rise to a multitude of transitional habitats with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-grass meadows, mussel beds, sandbars, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, beaches and dunes. The area is home to numerous plant and animal species, including marine mammals such as the harbour seal, grey seal and harbour porpoise. Wadden Sea is one of the last remaining large-scale, intertidal ecosystems where natural processes continue to function largely undisturbed. © UNESCO
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Depositional coastline of unparalleled scale and diversity
One of the last remaining natural large-scale intertidal ecosystems with natural processes continuing to function largely undisturbed
Key site for migratory birds
Exceptional species richness in a salt marsh
To summarize, tourism in the Wadden Sea today has quite a big impact, but this has developed over many decades and was not caused by the inscription of the property. Overall (with some local exceptions) the impact is acceptable as of today, but there are risks if the number of tourists would considerably increase.
Recommendations in the Committee Decision 38COM 8B.13 (Request No. 5) to prepare an implementation plan to enhance the conservation and management in the Danish part has been undertaken. The Danish National Park is being evaluated in 2016-2017 and a new updated plan will be accepted by the end of 2018 (CWSS, 2014).
Recommendations in the Committee Decision 38COM 8B.13 (Request No. 6) to implement a single integrated management plan (SIMP) and to strengthen the implementation of coordinated management have been undertaken. The current timeline will result in a formal decision on the development of the SIMP in spring 2018 (Trilateral Governmental Conference), which will provide the necessary institutional support and funding to start developing the SIMP in mid-2018 (CWSS, 2016).
Recommendations in the Committee Decision 38COM 8B.13 (Request No. 7) to extend the monitoring of impacts of fisheries and to ensure protection from detrimental impacts have been started in the form of a trilateral Framework of Sustainable Fisheries (adopted in 2014) listing several important principles. There is also a basic fisheries monitoring in place (using VMS, logbooks and a black box approach). However, the actual implementation on the Committee Decision still lacks a clear timetable and /or a roadmap for implementation, as well as more clearly defined targets, methods and dependencies between detrimental effects, species, biotopes and fishing methods.
Recommendations in the Committee Decision 38COM 8B.13 (Request No. 8) to submit a joint report on the State of Conservation of the property has been fulfilled in November 2016.
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Common Wadden Sea Secretariat||Wadden Sea flyway initiative|
|2||Common Wadden Sea Secretariat||Protect and Prosper - Sustainable tourism in the Wadden Sea|
|3||.||Numerous research and conservation projects are undertaken in the property by the three State Parties, too numerous to list here.|
|1||BirdLIfe (2009). The Wadden Sea: A vision for the conservation of a Natural Heritage. http://www.birdlife.org/europe/pdfs/Waddenvision.pdf|
Blew, J., Günther, K., Hälterlein, B., Kleefstra, R., Laursen, K. and Scheiffarth, G. (2016). Trends of Migratory and Wintering Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987/1988 - 2013/2014. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No. 37. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Joint Monitoring Group of Migratory Birds in the Wadden Sea, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
|3||Burbridge, P.R. (2000). The Nomination of the Wadden Sea Conservation Area as a World Heritage Site: A Feasibility Study For the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation/ Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. 29 pp.|
|4||CWSS (2012). The Wadden Sea, Germany and Netherlands (N1314) - Extension Denmark and Germany. Nomination file for Danish extension to the WHC.|
|5||CWSS (2014): Ministerial Council Declaration. 12th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea, Trilateral Wadden Sea Governmental Council Meeting, Tønder, 5 February 2014. http://www.waddensea-secretariat.org/trilateral-governmenta…|
|6||Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (2010). Wadden Sea Plan 2010. Eleventh Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.|
|7||Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (2013) Aerial surveys of Harbour Seals in the Wadden Sea in 2013; available online at: http://www.waddensea-secretariat.org/sites/default/files/do…|
|8||Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (2016). Report on the State of Conservation of the World Heritage property “The Wadden Sea (N1314)”. Wilhelmshaven, Germany.|
|9||Ens, B.J., Blew, J., van Roomen, M.W.J., & van Turnhout, C A.M. (2009). Exploring contrasting trends of migratory waterbirds in the Wadden Sea. Wadden Sea Ecosystem no. 27. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat.|
|10||Europarc Consulting (2012). Facts and Figures of the Wadden Sea Region. Part I of the Baseline Study for the Strategy for Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea. Prowad Protect and Prosper: Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea, co-financed by Interreg IVE North Sea Region Programme and EU European Regional Development Fund.|
|11||Hötker, H., Schrader, S., Schwemmer, P., Oberdiek, N., and Blew, J. (2010). Status, threats and conservation of birds in the German Wadden Sea. Technical Report NABU (available online at: http://www.unep-aewa.org/news/news_elements/2010/NABU_Statu…).|
|12||IUCN (2009). IUCN Technical Evaluation. The Wadden Sea (Germany/The Netherlands).12 pp.|
Jager, Zwanette (2015). Conservation Management of Fish Populations in the Wadden Sea. Hamburg, 8-9 January 2015 - Workshop Report. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. 26 pp.
Koffijberg, K., Laursen, K., Hälterlein, B., Reichert, G., Frikke, J. and Soldaat, L. (2015). Trends of Breeding Birds in the Wadden Sea 1991 - 2013. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No. 35. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Joint Monitoring Group of Breeding Birds in the Wadden Sea, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
|15||Laursen, K., Blew, J., Eskildsen, K., Günther, K., Hälterlein, B., Kleefstra, R., Lüerssen, G., Potel, P., and Schrader, S. (2010). Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987- 2008. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No.30. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Joint Monitoring Group of Migratory Birds in the Wadden Sea, Wilhelmshaven, Germany (available online at: http://www.waddensea-secretariat.org/sites/default/files/do…).|
|16||Madsen, J. (1998). Experimental Refuges for Migratory Waterfowl in Danish Wetlands: II. Tests of Hunting Disturbance Effects. Journal of Applied Ecology, 35, 398-417.|
|17||Madsen, J. and Fox, A.D. (1995). Impacts of Hunting Disturbance on Waterbirds - a Review. Wildlife Biology, vol 1, no. 4, pp. 193-206.|
|18||Marencic, H. (Ed.), 2009. The Wadden Sea - Introduction. Thematic Report No. 1. In: Marencic, H. & Vlas, J. de (Eds), 2009. Quality Status Report 2009. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No. 25. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Group, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.|
|19||Miljøstyrelsen (2017). Fiskeriterritoriet og reservater. Vadehavet. [online, map]. Available at: mst.dk/media/129515/vadehavet-kortbilag-1.pdf|
|20||Nolte, S. (2013). Grazing as a nature-management tool on mainland salt marshes - Results of the Noord-Friesland grazing experiment. Univ Groningen. (paper given on Wadden Sea Day 29 August, 2013).|
|21||Nomination (2008). The Wadden Sea German/The Netherlands). Volume 1 (164 pp.) Volume 2 (24 annexes).|
|22||PROWAD (2014). Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination. PROWAD – Protect and Prosper: Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea’, co-financed by the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme (www.prowad.org).|
|23||Rösner, H-U. (2010): The Guiding Principle for the Wadden Sea: Advantages of a dynamic approach in a changing world. Wadden Sea Ecosystem 26: 23-28.|
|24||SoOUV (2009). Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. Committee Decision 33COM 8B.4.|
Thorup, O. and Koffijberg, K. (2016). Breeding success in the Wadden Sea 2009-2012 A review. Ecosystem No. 36. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
|26||WWF (2012): Energy Production and Nature Conservation in the Wadden Sea Region and the Wadden Sea: Future Perspectives. Presentation at Wadden Sea Day, 30 August 2012. http://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/120830…|
|27||WWF (2013): A Bright Outlook - Feasibility Study on Climate-friendly Tourism in the Wadden Sea Region. WWF Germany, Husum. http://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/Feasib…|
|28||WWF (2014): http://www.wwf.de/watt/klima|
|29||Wanner, A. (2013). Grazing effects on vegetation, breeding birds, silica and sediments in salt marshes: Results of the BASSIA-project. Univ. Hamburg. (paper given on Wadden Sea Day 29 August, 2013).|
|30||Wolff, W.J., Bakker, J.P., Laursen, K. and Reise, K. (2010). The Wadden Sea Quality Status Report—Synthesis Report 2010. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No. 29. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Pp. 25-74.|
|31||van Roomen, M., Laursen, K., van Turnhout, C., van Winden, E., Blewc, J., Eskildsen, K., Günther, K., Hälterlein, B., Kleefstra, R., Potel, P., Schrader, S., Luerssen, G., and Ens, B. J. (2012). Signals from the Wadden sea: Population declines dominate among waterbirds depending on intertidal mudflats. Ocean & Coastal Management 68: 79-88.|