This brochure is a collection of offers to give a glimpse into the world of the nightly Wadden experience.November 28, 2023
The Wadden Sea region is one of the darkest regions in Europe. However, it is experiencing an increase in light pollution. As this issue is more and more recognised, visitor centres, private tour guides, and scientific organisations, and initiatives throughout the Wadden Sea provide an increasing choice of nighttime experiences for all ages.
This brochure is a collection of offers to give a glimpse into the world of the nightly Wadden experience. It is by no means complete and meant only a snapshot. Yet, it shows the broad scope of already existing activities and offers inspiration to exchange ideas, cooperate, and co-create new offers for visitors and locals to respectfully experience nature’s fascinating nightlife and take in the value of darkness.
The International Wadden Sea School and the Trilateral Dark Sky Initiative have compiled this overview of offers, within the framework of the Partnership Hub.
New Interreg Project DARKER SKY focusses on reducing light pollution in Wadden and North Sea regions
Developed within the framework of the Trilateral Dark Sky Initiative, the Interreg North Sea Project DARKER SKY aims to reduce light pollution in the North Sea Region and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and dark ecological corridors.September 19, 2023
After receiving a green light on the Interreg project DARKER SKY in April, 14 Danish, Dutch, French, and German project partners are thrilled to launch a ground-breaking project. The project was officially kicked-off in Brest, France on 5-6 September 2023.
DARKER SKY aims at reducing light pollution and increasing biodiversity and ecological connectivity in the North Sea area in a transnational and cross-sectoral approach. Among others, it will provide municipalities and ports with innovative measuring, monitoring, and co-design methods for the implementation of new light reduction solutions. The project will further foster the interdisciplinary transnational exchange with good practices and lighthouse demonstrators on environmentally-sound lighting techniques and systems on eight sites in the pilot regions of Brest, Groningen, Friesland, Lower Saxony, and Hamburg. Darker Sky will also support dialogue among local, regional, and national public authorities to develop concrete regional action plans and a transnational strategy for a sustainable policy uptake of light reduction solutions across the North Sea Region.
During the kick-off event in Brest participants took a closer look at the interventions planned in each partners region, discussed about the development of a common monitoring framework, and reflected on the project overall objectives. The event was organised and hosted by the Lead Partner Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) and the Municipality of Brest.
Position of Director (= Executive Secretary) of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS)August 22, 2023
In our search for a new director (= Executive Secretary) to lead our Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, we would like to share the job advertisement and kindly ask you to spread it in your network(s).
View job advertisement
The 2023 Wadden Sea Day is titled "Put the Wadden Sea’s Biodiversity on the path to recovery!" and will focus on biodiversity changes and impacts of its loss on the unique ecosystem and its Outstanding Universal Value as World Heritage Site.June 28, 2023
The EU Commission adopted the biodiversity strategy 2030 to tackle the biodiversity crisis. In this context, there are various pathways forward to conserve or improve the current status of biodiversity, but also to restore habitats and populations of threatened or locally extinct species. The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site is one of the global hotspots of biodiversity, with many resident species as well as guests on migration between north and south. This special ecosystem needs tailored solutions to maintain its biodiversity. The strategies include areas of zero-use or active restoration measures for selected species, but also a reduction of pressures by different sectors using the natural resources of the area.
The symposium aims at giving an overview on the present state of biodiversity conservation in the Wadden Sea and bringing together different active players in the Wadden Sea area to discuss their potential role in paving paths towards more sustainability and protecting biodiversity.
Invited are practitioners, scientists, policy-makers, conservation managers and non-governmental organizations working in the field.
For inquiries please contact email@example.com
The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site is a huge wild habitat and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It also has some rules of behaviour, so everyone can enjoy it. With the campaign "You are a guest - this is where I live. The Wadden Sea." PROWAD Link invites all to be a good guest in nature.March 20, 2023
In a short video series, first released from 8 to 17 March 2023, five representatives of the animal and plant world of the Wadden Sea turn the tables and visit our homes.
“With these very short and illustrative clips, we wanted to hold up a mirror”, says Annika Bostelmann, editorial support to the video creators and Communications Officer at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. “I believe, everyone can think of a moment where they misbehaved or witnessed misbehaviour in nature and did not speak up. But we need to keep in mind that this is actually someone’s home, lifeline, sanctuary. And we should act accordingly.”
The campaign "You are a guest - this is where I live. The Wadden Sea." is a cooperation project of WWF Germany, the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and the Wadden Sea National Park Authorities of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Schleswig-Holstein. It was produced in the framework of Interreg VB project PROWAD Link. 15 project partners in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom working with interested SMEs used the “nature-business-benefit-cycle” concept to develop new, sustainable products and offers in tthe Wadden Sea, Geiranger Fjord, Wash & North Norfolk Coast. The 2018-2022 project is co-funded by and carried out in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme under the Programme Priority 1 “Thinking Growth”. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union.
In the framework of the Partnership Hub project “Sharing and developing knowledge to strengthen the contribution of shipping to a well-protected Wadden Sea World Heritage”, NGOs, ports, ship owners, and the Wadden Sea Forum cooperate on sustainable shipping and ports operations.
January 10, 2023
To summarise the activities and results of the project, an information package was now created. It includes, a link to EcoPorts / green ports best practices compilation, a report about the status of the Wadden Sea as Particularly Sensitive Sea Area and a link to the joint document which was signed during the 14th Trilateral Governmental Conference, which took place in Wilhelmshaven in November 2022.
The information package is available in the different languages of the trilateral cooperation (English, Dutch, German, and Danish). It was created by Stichting De Noordzee (The North Sea Foundation) in cooperation with Bund für Umwelt and Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. Landesverband Niedersachsen and Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, who jointly presented it to the participants of the 14th Trilateral Governmental Conference.
The English version of the information package is available via this link.
PROWAD Link investigated the possibilities offered by protecting and valorising nocturnal darkness and conducted a “Background analysis on local and transnational potentials for SMEs related to nocturnal darkness as nature value – opportunities for sustainable and mindful tourism approaches”.January 10, 2023
While naturally dark sky night skies play a significant role in supporting the ecosystem, latest trends also show that Dark Sky Tourism can offer unique and sustainable tourism experiences, alongside numerous benefits for local communities. Dark Sky can help tourism and hospitality businesses develop sustainable tourism experiences that can increase the attractiveness of the region also during low season. These offers also have the potential to attract new type of tourists. Moreover, this new and immersive approach to experience nature can boost psychological health and well-being. At the same time, dark sky and astro-tourism is an important supportive tool to increase awareness about light pollution, especially in nature protected areas.
The analysis gives an overview on the current situation and potential developments of dark sky tourism in the partner regions, taking into account environmental, economic and social aspects of Dark Sky Tourism. General information on Dark Sky Tourism, references to relevant literature and well as inputs directly collected by interviewing SMEs in the five partner regions are included. The background analysis was realized by a group of students from the NHL Stenden University of Applied Science
To encourage local participation and engagement in sustainable development in the North Sea region, in February 2022 PROWAD Link launched the North Sea Sustainable Innovation Challenge (NSSIC) under the direction of University of Groningen - Campus Fryslân.December 12, 2022
The overall objective of the NSSIC was to offer a chance to anyone who wanted to contribute to a happier and healthier North Sea region to submit his/her/their sustainable and innovative ideas. The local development of sustainable entrepreneurship and tourism were the main objectives of the NSSIC.
A now published white paper outlines all the steps undertaken and the details regarding how the NSSIC was designed, managed, and executed. This includes the timeline, an overview of the internal and external stakeholders involved, and an assessment of the final outcomes.
In November and December 2022 two workshops on nature- and climate-friendly ferries with experts and stakeholders from the national park authority, environmental NGOs, water police, academia, tourism, as well as commercial and recreational shipping took place in Leer and Oldenburg (Lower Saxony).December 12, 2022
Across the board there was concern that ferries and especially water taxis operating trilaterally are far from climate- and nature-friendly. Recommendations for action were developed during the workshops, taking into account a series of expert interviews conducted during the two-year project.
Outdated diesel ferries run on about 60% of the more than 80 ferry connections in the trilateral Wadden Sea, including Helgoland. Five ferries run on gas and there is only one E-ferry currently in operation (Fanø) and another one planned for Norderney. Large catamarans with speeds of up to 35 knots operate on about 20% of routes. Two catamarans out of a total of 19 run on gas. There are no electrified catamarans in operation. The workshop participants were particularly concerned about the emerging trend of water taxis, which run on about 10% of routes. The carbon emissions per passenger are about 12 times higher for water taxis compared with a conventional ferry. In addition, the disturbance and underwater noise caused by these very fast small boats is considerable.
The project on sustainable ferries was coordinated by NABU and is part of the Partnership Hub’s project “Sharing and developing knowledge to strengthen the contribution of shipping to a well-protected Wadden Sea World Heritage”.
The Trilateral Dark Sky Initiative is an example of the intensive involvement of partners and the enlargement of the existing Wadden Sea network. At the 14th Trilateral Governmental Conference on 30 November 2022, over 40 representatives from the three countries signed the “Trilateral Dark Sky Vision over the Wadden Sea” – A sign that the importance of natural darkness as one of the processes that proceed undisturbed in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site is more and more acknowledged.December 8, 2022
As light pollution can have a wide reach and the issue remains partially under-acknowledged, the Trilateral Dark Sky Initiative was established to connect and further support the many local initiatives across countries and sectors. The Initiative brings together municipalities, universities, research institutes, nature management organizations, NGOs, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as ports, and the tourism sector on their shared interest in reducing light pollution. The advantages of which include a reduced impact of Artificial Light at Night on the environment, increased possibility to observe the starry sky, improving human well-being, and saving energy.
The now-signed Vision is intended to guide and further strengthen our combined efforts to preserve nocturnal darkness and enjoy starry skies in the Wadden Sea Region through awareness raising, stakeholder engagement, sharing of best practices, supporting the development of policies, knowledge, and monitoring activities.
PROWAD Link presented the results of the project at the 14th Trilateral Governmental Conference in Wilhelmshaven where World Heritage was one of the top themes. At the conference, the project partners of PROWAD Link organised its final event within the project period, which ends on 31 December 2022.December 7, 2022
Within PROWAD Link, 15 organisations from the Wadden Sea World Heritage area, the Wash/ North Norfolk Coast, and Geiranger Fjord World Heritage partnered up within the Interreg VB project “PROWAD Link” to work towards engaging local stakeholders in nature protection. The goal: creating a nature-business-benefit-cycle, in which stakeholders gains advantages through the nature area brand and give back to nature protection through their sustainable entrepreneurship.
During a side event on 28 November 2022, the results were showcased in a side event and at a buffet dinner in the evening.
PROWAD Link was also involved in initiatives presented in the framework of the Partnership Hub, such as the signing of national park partnership and ambassadors programmes in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands to the Hub and the presentation and signing of the Trilateral Dark Sky Vision. Furthermore, a Joint Statement for “Sustainable Shipping and Ports Initiative for a well-protected Wadden” was signed by ports, NGOs, and ship owners.
“The Partnership Hub is one of the main results which will be continued after the end of PROWAD Link. It is safe to say that PROWAD Link will not be out of everyone’s minds come 31 December”, says Harald Marencic, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and lead project manager.
Small and medium-sized enterprises often lack access to business tools that could help them enhance their sustainability. This is especially true in business ecosystems where interactions, access to knowledge and exchange, happen on a (s)lower scale, such as in the Wadden Sea protected areas region.November 9, 2022
Tailored for SMEs located in protected areas, researchers and students from the University of Groningen – Campus Fryslân have now developed a Nature Business and Community Development Toolkit in the framework of the Interreg project PROWAD Link. The aim of the toolkit is to help SMEs and entrepreneurs map the existing benefits delivered by their business, identify new or additional benefit streams, and identify stakeholders needed to implement sustainable benefits in the business.
New guideline helps destinations to recognize boundaries of tourism and preserve values of the World Heritage Site
In the framework of Interreg project PROWAD Link and together with the NIT, WWF has developed the "Wadden Sea Tourism Radar" – a method to help destinations identify in time when and in which areas this limit is being reached.August 22, 2022
The radar is a tool that can be used to inquire, along defined criteria, whether current tourism activities at the study site are negatively impacting habitat quality for people, animals and plants and endangering those values for which the Wadden Sea has been recognized as a World Heritage Site.