On 15 March 2017 the Minister of Environmental Affairs of Lower Saxony, Stefan Wenzel, and the Mayor of the City of Wilhelmshaven, Andreas Wagner, signed a cooperation agreement on the new Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center to be built in Wilhelmshaven. “Together with our neighbors in Denmark and the Netherlands, we will give a further boost and new impetus to the Wadden Sea World Heritage in the North Sea”, said Minister of Environmental Affairs Stefan Wenzel. “The three-country cooperation on the protection of the Wadden Sea, which is already successful, will be further enhanced by the Center. The aim is to attract more partners from all sectors of society to conserve the Wadden Sea and to highlight its global significance.”
In the framework of the Trilateral Cooperation, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have agreed on Wilhelmshaven as the location for the future partnership center, since the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat is already based there. The work of the future partnership center will be aimed at raising awareness of the need to protect the Wadden Sea World Heritage beyond the purely intergovernmental work and at promoting further international networking between strategic partners from civil society, science, and the private sector. This will lead to a unique pooling of resources and know-how in Wilhelmshaven.
The idea to set up the World Heritage partnership center on an old military facility with a bunker had successfully won funding of EUR 4 million from the programme “National Projects for Urban Development” of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety. The total cost of the construction project is estimated at EUR 7.6 million.
The architectural competition, which was launched today, is intended to contribute to the sustainable development of the Wadden Sea region. “The Wadden Sea partnership center on the grounds of a World War II military installation should also be understood as a statement in favour of international understanding and peaceful coexistence in Europe," said Mayor Andreas Wagner.