At the end of January 2017, the municipalities of Varde, Esbjerg, Fanø and Tønder welcomed Co Verdaas, Chairman of the Wadden Sea Board, Rüdiger Strempel, Executive Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) and CWSS Communications Officer Annika Bostelmann to the Danish Wadden Sea. Organised by Esbjerg Municipality and The Danish Wadden Sea Secretariat, the visitors met with representatives of each Danish Wadden Sea municipality, the Danish Wadden Sea National Park and of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. The delegation visited the three Danish Wadden Sea islands of Fanø, Mandø, and Rømø as well as the Varde River Valley.
With the site managers they evaluated the state of the cooperation, exchanged information on current tasks and new plans and explored ongoing projects at the Danish Wadden Sea. One of the projects is the National Park’s plan to create information gateways for the visitors at different entry points to the Danish Wadden Sea, such as the ferry to Fanø, where a permanent exhibition on the passenger lounge, informing tourists about the Wadden Sea World Heritage, was recently launched. The delegation also received a sneak-peak to another gateway, the Wadden Sea Center at Vester Vested, which opened with a state-of-the-art exhibition focusing on migratory birds on 3 February. The three-day visit ended with a bilateral meeting with the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg, an important science and education partner of the Trilateral Cooperation.
“I have face-to-face meetings with my Danish colleagues quite often at the trilateral meetings,” says Co Verdaas. “But visiting them at home in the Danish Wadden Sea is something entirely different. I could clearly see the enthusiasm and pride with which our Danish partners ensure the protection and conservation of the Wadden Sea World Heritage.”
“We were very impressed by all the activities being undertaken in Denmark for the benefit of the Wadden Sea World Heritage”, adds Rüdiger Strempel. “It is difficult to grasp the many accomplishments and concerns in all the regions of the Wadden Sea area from our office. That is why visiting the various parts of the World Heritage site and understanding the situation in each partner country is vital to successful cooperation. On our visit we gained valuable insights into various aspects the Danish Wadden Sea region and we are very grateful to our Danish partners for the warm welcome and fruitful discussions.”