About TMAP

The Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme (TMAP) is the common monitoring programme for the Wadden Sea carried out by The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The programme covers the entire Wadden Sea area including islands and offshore areas and spans a broad range, from physiological processes over population development to changes in landscape and morphology. The TMAP common package was implemented based on a decision at the Ministerial Conference in Stade, 1997.


  • To facilitate adequate, cost-effective monitoring and integrated scientifically-based assessments of the Wadden Sea ecosystem, taking into account Member States’ monitoring and reporting requirements under the relevant EC Directives and international conventions.
  • To better monitor new challenges, i.e. pressures on the Wadden Sea ecosystem, e.g. climate change and their impacts.
  • To increase the value of the TMAP to users and to a wider range of stakeholders including the handling of data and presentation of information resulting from that data.

In 2012, a long term TMAP strategy and a TMAP vision was issued. In summary, the TMAP provides significant added value for the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation (TWSC) as it:

  1. Provides an important and scientifically sound evidence base for decision making and policy development at all levels.
  2. Provides essential contextual information to support the management of the Wadden Sea as a single ecological entity.
  3. Supports reporting against directives and the World Heritage status.
  4. Enables integrated assessment to be undertaken, which is an essential prerequisite for the application of the ecosystem approach.
  5. Provides information about progress towards Trilateral Targets and facilitates the discussion about the priorities for the period ahead.

TMAP vision: A harmonised and effective monitoring and assessment programme, based on sound scientific evidence, that serves the needs of policy making at all levels, the commitments ensuing from relevant Directives and conventions, as well as the World Heritage status and that supports the management of the Wadden Sea as an ecological entity.

The programme furthermore matches the various approaches and instruments for management, monitoring and assessment, and combines the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), Habitats and Birds Directives and other relevant agreements. Most recent developments like the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), will have an influence on parameters which are predominantly foreseen to be integrated and adjusted to the TMAP programme. Recent challenges like climate change and the appearance of invasive species, as well as new directives, will affect the parameter composition and, therefore, all indicators are constantly reviewed.

Go to TMAP results.

Table: Overview of the TMAP Common Package parameters (revised in 2007). The data are exchanged via TMAP Data Units in each country for trilateral assessment such as the Quality Status Report.

Common Package of  Parameters of the TMAP
Chemical Parameters
  • Nutrients
  • Contaminants in sediment
  • Contaminants in blue mussel, flounder and bird eggs

Habitat Parameters

  • Blue Mussel beds
  • Salt marshes
  • Beaches and Dunes
Biological Parameters
  • Phytoplankton
  • Macroalgae
  • Eelgrass
  • Macrozoobenthos
  • Fish
  • Breeding birds
  • Breeding success (in prep.)
  • Migratory birds
  • Beached Birds Survey
  • Marine Mammals
Human Use Parameters
  • Fishery
  • Recreational activities
  • Agriculture


General Parameters

  • Geomorphology
  • Flooding/hydrology
  • Land use
  • Weather conditions
  • Coastal protection
Data Handling
Data Unit The Netherlands Data Units Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein/
Data Unit Denmark
Thematic Reports, Quality Status Reports (QSR)

The TMAP is carried out by national and regional authorities in charge of monitoring. The main partners are

  • Danish Ministry for the Environment, Nature Agency
  • German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety,
  • State Ministries for the Environment in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony, and the National Park Administrations,
  • Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs, and of Infrastructure and the Environment

Technical groups, like the Trilateral Data Handling Group (TDG), the Coordinator Group on the Joint Monitoring Programme for Breeding Birds (JMBB) and the Coordinator Group on the Joint Monitoring Programme for Migratory Birds (JMMB) have been installed under the responsibility of the TMAG.

In the framework of the TMAP, the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat is responsible for the day to day management of the programme and the preparation of the meetings of the TMAG and of the technical monitoring groups.