Order of Merit to Mr Holger Wesemüller
Yesterday evening, on 12 September 2022, in a formal ceremony, one of our founding members, Mr Holger Wesemüller, was awarded with the "Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany" due to his passionate, successful and ongoing commitment for the environment and nature of the Wadden Sea. Surrounded by lots of friends and longtime companions, the medal was handed over by the minister of environment of Lower Saxony Mr Olaf Lies at Wattenmeer Besucherzentrum in Wilhelmshaven.
"Sustainable shipping and ports initiative" - Consultation phase with feedback until 9 September
Shipping and ports activities are of major importance in the Wadden Sea Region. As this activities can have an impact on the environment, cooperation between the stakeholders of the shipping and port sectors and nature organisations is essential to reflect on specific issues and common challenges and develop best practices.
In the Wadden Sea, two shipping and ports projects aiming at common goals, i.e. to establish and to ensure a long-term dialogue between the above-mentioned stakeholders; supported by the development of common initiatives or projects.
These two projects “Sustainable shipping and ports at the Wadden Sea” funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and the “Partnership Hub Shipping Project” funded by the Wadden Sea Board of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation, gather over 15 partners including ports and nature conservation organisations. Together they are working at signing a Sustainable shipping and ports initiative for a well-protected Wadden Sea at the Trilateral Governmental Conference, which will take place in Wilhelmshaven from the 28th of November to the 1st of December 2022. The signature shall be open to a variety of stakeholders. In order to be well prepared, a consultation phase on the draft document (please contact the WSF secretariat) is necessary and we kindly invite you to participate to this process as you have been identified by the project partners as a potential signatory and/or as an organization, which could have an interest in being involved in this consultation.
We invite you to give us your feedback/comments on the document until the 9th of September and to inform us whether your organization would be, a priori, willing to join the initiative and sign the document at the Trilateral Governmental Conference. Past that date, the final version of the document will be shared with you and you will be invited to confirm your intention to sign the document.
In the name of all project partners, we thank you in advance for your participation and look forward to receive your feedback.
WSF welcomes SDN as new member
The Wadden Sea Forum is happy to announce a new member, the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutsche Nordseeküste e.V. (SDN). The SDN was founded in 1973 and since then deals with various topics with regard to the Waddensea and shows interest to working with us in our DBU shipping project "Entwicklung sektoren- und akteursübergreifender Konzepte für eine zukunftsfähige Schifffahrt im trilateralen Wattenmeer".
WSF-41 plenary meeting on 16 and 17 May 2022
On 16 and 17 May the WSF-41 plenary meeting took place in Breklum, county of Nordfriesland, by invitation of the head of the county, Mr. Florian Lorenzen. Main topics of the meeting were presentations with overview of the current WSF projects, such as "TrilaWatt", "MediaWatt", "Sustainable Shipping and Ports at the WSR" and "WATTfossilfrei" as well as contributions to the next Trilateral Governmental Conference, to the trilateral SIMP (Single Integrated Management Plan) and the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the WSF on 28-29 September 2022 in Wilhelmshaven.
Workshop with Danish Delegation on WaterManagement
On 3-4 May 2022, the WSF planed and organised the next excursion on water management along the West Coast of Schleswig-Holstein. This excursion focussed on the relationship between water management and agricultural use of low-lying coastal areas. Questions related to water management infrastructure and the ideas and concept how to adapt to climate change played an important role. Additionally, existing retention ponds and projects on waterlogging in peaty areas in the hinterland were visited. (More Information here: WSF/core-issues/coastal-management)
Involvement in WATTfossilfrei!
On 25 April 2022, the WSF was invited to be part of a workshop of the project Wattfossilfrei!, which is executed by the Mellumrat e.V. The main project aim is to support the use of alternative propulsion systems for engines in small-scale shipping as well as for motor and sailing yachts. This will reduce not only CO2 emissions but also other air pollutants, underwater noise and potential oil spills in the Wadden Sea. Our goal is for recreational and small-scale shipping in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site to take on a pioneering role in climate and environmental protection on a supra-regional scale in conjunction with the local port and tourism industry.
11-13 May 2022 Workshop Umweltinformationssysteme 2022: Vielfalt-Offenheit-Komplexität
The German working group Environmental Information Systems (UIS) invites you to a hybrid workshop (presence and online) at the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven from 11-13 May 2022. The working group deals with methods and techniques for the development, construction and use of databases, which contribute to the solution of problems concerning large data sets in environmental information systems. As our TrilaWatt projekt is dealing with the collection of sediment, geomorphology and hydrodynamics datasets for the trilateral Waddensea Region, we were given the opportunity to present our project here. The workshop will be held in German language. Link zur UIS Seite für weitere Infos und Programm
Water sport clubs on the Weser sound the alarm about the siltation of their harbours
With the joint event of the Wadden Sea Forum and the water sports clubs along the Weser on Monday evening, 21 March 2022, Dr Frank Ahlhorn kept his promise. The meeting in the premises of the Braker Ruder- und Segelverein (BRSV) was about the problem of siltation in small harbours along the North German tidal rivers. The fact that this topic met with a great response was evident from the fact that representatives of the local water sports clubs from Lower Saxony and Bremen came to the lecture by the Managing Director of the Wadden Sea Forum. The clubs along the Weser complain about increasing siltation of their harbours, a consequence of the deepening of the river Weser. It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise the money for the necessary dredging. The recreational captains incur high costs for the disposal of the silt and the time windows for the use of the Weser side arms and sluices are becoming shorter and shorter. The water sports enthusiasts want to organise themselves and demand on finding solutions together. (summary of meeting-in German)
Please read the following newspaper articles in German language:
Working on a Trilateral Approach for “Water as leverage” (2022)
Climate change is a fast growing threat affecting the Wadden Sea Region with the World Heritage site Wadden Sea and its hinterland, where people live, work and recreate. The WSF took a closer look on the impacts of climate change to the hinterland, emphasizing that climate change is an inclusive challenge for the entire WSR affecting both the areas in front of and the cultivated landscape behind dikes. As the society in general is used to keep their traditions, changes in behaviour and perceptions need to be initiated and supported in a slow but long lasting process. Herein, the “Water as Leverage” methodology introduced by the Program towards a rich Wadden Sea (PRW) offers a promising approach. The WSF was asked to support the percolation of this approach into the Wadden Sea Region. Consequently, this report has been prepared under the auspice of the PRW in The Netherlands. This report reflects on the outcomes of the development process (Nov 2021 to March 2022) for implementing a “trilateral community (of understanding) on water management”. Download the full report
Visit of Tiemo Wölken (MdEP) at WSF in Wilhelmshaven
Today (Feb22, 2022), MdEP Tiemo Wölken visited the Wadden Sea Forum in Wilhelmshaven. We were glad to show a vivid Forum dealing and discussing with several stakeholders and actors (all members of the WSF Steering Committee) relevant topics in the Wadden Sea Region. We touched the topics of energy transition and shipping at the Wadden Sea, but also exchanged our views on Goose Management. We agreed to start cooperating closer on the realisation of the Green Coastal Deal in the Wadden Sea Rgion.
Series of lectures in Varel and Jever: "Climate pulpit" to stimulate discussions
Climate change, its effects and how to stop it or at least slow it down - this is something that more and more people in the region are dealing with. Church congregations also want to make the topic more present and provide space to talk about it. That is why the ecumenical "climate pulpit" series of services is now starting in Friesland. Nine events will be held here in the coming weeks until the beginning of April, dealing with the topic of "climate". The series of services was initiated by the democracy project "Friesland Visionen: How shall we live tomorrow?" of Rogate Cloister. Among the speakers are scientists from "Scientists For Future", as well as Lower Saxony's Minister of the Environment Olaf Lies (SPD) and our Managing Director Dr Frank Ahlhorn on 31 March in Jever. Please find more information about the speakers by clicking the poster to see as pdf.
Mellumrat e.V. informs about our project "MediaWatt"
Our project "MediaWatt" has attracted a lot of interest in the Mellumrat e.V. and was explained in more detail in Volume 20 - Issue 2 - 2021 of the Mellumrat brochure for their wider audience and invited to participate. (read the full article -in German-)
"Leave more room for the water" Newspaper Article
We were very happy to accept the Landfrauen's invitation on 15 November 2021 and gave a lecture about changing coastlines and water dynamics with regard to the Weser inlet between Butjadingen and Bremerhaven. Please read the full article (full article in German)
Project "TrilaWatt" (01/2022 - 12/2024)
The WSF is happy to announce that "A digital hydro-morphological twin for the trilateral Wadden Sea (short: TrilaWatt)" has been finally approved in November 2021. According to the Open-data initiative of the German Federal Ministries, the main aim of this project proposal is to compile available datasets on sediment, geomorphology and hydrodynamic with respect to the trilateral Wadden Sea area. In this project, the WSF is cooperating with the German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW, Lead partner) and two SMEʼs (smile Consult GmbH and planGIS GmbH) in order to compile these datasets and develop case studies. The project offer is to identify and take up selected cases based on stakeholder involvement on a trilateral level organised by the WSF. For example, these cases could comprise investigations on topics such as accessibility of small Wadden Sea harbours, the development of the geomorphology in the Wadden Sea, which is linked to the OUVʼs, or the minimisation of disturbances of the World Heritage area potentially caused by maintenance work in fairways. Institutions and organisations throughout the WSR announced their support to the consortium such as Kystdirektoratet (DK), LLUR (SH), NLWKN (Nds), Rijkswaterstaat (NL) and on the trilateral level the CWSS (with respect to TMAP), which guarantee data availability and the demand on cooperation for jointly working on these topics in the entire Wadden Sea area. More Information will follow soon!
Project on "Sustainable shipping in the trilateral Wadden Sea" approved
As lead partner, the WSF submitted the joint project proposal to the DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, German Federal Environmental Foundation) and it was finally approved in November 2021. The long project title is “Development of cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder concepts for sustainable shipping in the trilateral Wadden Sea”. The main aim of this project is to work jointly on a dialogue platform in order to set-up a multi-stakeholder network dealing with shipping and harbours in the World Heritage site Wadden Sea. The consortium consists of representatives from the WSF member WHV e.V., the Wadden Sea Team and further green NGOʼS working ion the WSR, the Wadden Sea Ports and the Water Police Inspection Oldenburg. Duration of the project: November 2021 - March 2023 (18month). More Information will follow soon!
MediaWatt has now its own Youtube Channel
Our project "MediaWatt" deals with youth media work and the topics around climate change and its consequences for the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site. The first films have already been completed and can be seen not only here on our website "MediaWatt", but also on our own YouTube channel "MEDIA WATT"!
WSF-40 plenary meeting on 29 and 30 September 2021
After a long time with no physical contact the municipality of Skaerbaek welcomed all participants to the 40th plenary meeting of the Wadden Sea Forum (WSF 40) on 29 - 30 September 2021. Topics of the meeting were the implementation of "regional round tables" regarding shipping, development of Goose management under AEWA, future projects of the WSF as well as contribution to the next Trilateral Governmental Conference and the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the WSF.
Pellworm and Spiekeroog "Star-Islands" and "Intern. Dark Sky Communities"
The islands of Pellworm and Spiekeroog in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea are now recognized as Star Islands (Sterneninsel in German) and International Dark Sky Communities by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The two islands, Pellworm in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea and Spiekeroog in the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea, still offer a natural night landscape with a dark, starry night sky. In order to preserve the quality of night skies in this region, the two islands set out to be model examples for the protection of the night through appropriate lighting. (https://www.darksky.org/idsc-german-star-islands/)
Project "MediaWatt" (05/2021 - 5/2022)
The WSF has recently started the project "MediaWatt" and wants to increase its focus on youth media work and bring issues related to climate change and its consequences for the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, as it is already visible and discussed in the region, to the public. Furthermore, it is important to raise the awareness of the population, especially of younger people, about changes and impacts on the region. At the same time, various topics are to be presented in a way that appeals to young people and opportunities for exerting influence will be presented in the media. By permanently anchoring the media workplace (television and radio) at the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Centre in Wilhelmshaven, an adequate solution has been thought through for the period of the one-year voluntary service. (read more)
WE ARE OCEAN_WADDEN SEA
On 8 June, at the World Oceans Day the project idea WE ARE OCEAN_WADDEN SEA is going to present its 45 min introduction event. Information will be given about art at the Wadden Sea, followed by "The Wadden Sea – Experienced, explored and narrated", statements from artists working with the Wadden Sea, an artistic film, interviews and a video about the World Heritage Visitor Center as venue. If you would like to participate, please register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Initiative for more safety in the Wadden Sea" Newspaper Article
Recently the "HANSA - International Maritime Journal" placed an article about a new initiative on shipping safety in the Wadden Sea Region by Dr. Frank Ahlhorn.
Abstract: "The incident of the MSC Zoe has has thrown a spotlight on a familiar debate: Shipping and safety in the Wadden Sea. A new round table is to push the issue forward. Interested parties are invited to join the debate. The focus is on ship safety but also on land-based consideration."
Please read the full article in the latest HANSA publication, May 2021 (Article in German - link to HANSA online)
WSF 39 plenary meeting on 17 and 18 March 2021
The WSF held two online conferences on March 17 and 18, 2021, as the WSF-39 Plenary Session.
"Green Coastal Deal" (17 March): On the first day, 30 participants discussed the implementation of a "Green Coastal Deal" in the Wadden Sea Region through the WSF. The most important pillar within the WSF should be the establishment of Regional Round Tables in the respective regions. In the Netherlands, in Schleswig-Holstein and in Denmark already existing organizations have been identified to act as 'Regional Round Tables'. On March 17, the first topics were identified that could be discussed within the round tables.
"Energy Transition" (18 March): The second day of the WSF online conference focused on the topic of Energy Transition and its implications for the Wadden Sea. Various presenters, both WSF members as well as external parties, presented current projects or plans related to the Wadden Sea Region. Among others, the topics were the integration of ports into the hydrogen strategy or the landing of cable corridors of offshore wind farms as well as about the energy transition on Wadden Sea islands in the Netherlands and Denmark. This intensive exchange was accompanied by up to 35 participants. More than 25% of the participants were non WSF members, who showed a great interest in this technical and trilateral exchange.
"Rethink coastal protection and drainage" Newspaper Article
Recently the "Anzeiger fürs Harlingerland" placed an article about coastal management on new challenges due to climate change and human activities in the coastal area by Dr. Frank Ahlhorn. "...The challenges do not only consist of the effects of climate change. Even human activities in the coastal area require constant adaptation in the existing infrastructures." (read the full article in German)
2nd Climate Vulnerability Index workshop
On 16 – 17 February 2021 the WSF participated in the second phase of the workshop "Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) at UNESCO Worldheritage Wadden Sea". The workshop on Community Vulnerability was facilitated by the CVI developers Scott Heron and Jon Day (Townsville, Australia). The 2 phase included material of a World Heritage Marine Programme site managers e-meeting, where the chairpersons of the Task Group World Heritage (TG-WH), Barbara Engels, and EG-C, Robert Zijlstra, and the CVI developers, presented the results of the CVI process in the Wadden Sea. Preparatory to the workshop, the CVI developers provided video information on the CVI method and on outcomes of the Phase 1 Workshop on Outstanding Universal Value Vulnerability, where workshop participants prioritised three key climate stressors impacting the OUV of the Wadden Sea: sea level rise, temperature increase and extreme heat events.
GET INVOLVED in the Green Coastal Deal SURVEY
This survey splits into two parts:
1) write a short text on what you think a “Green Coastal Deal” should consist of (max. 500 words).
2) you receive an excel-sheet with the kindest request to fill-in the boxes.
Please, understand this survey as first step in compiling issues, which are linked to a “Green Coastal Deal” in your point of view. GreenCoastalDeal_WSF-Survey-FINALISED
more information on page : GreenCoastalDeal
Round Table "Shipping Safety" - Trilateral Stakeholder Analysis
Shipping and harbour developments are important businesses along the Wadden Sea coast and contribute to socio-economic welfare in the Wadden Sea Region. For a healthy future, these sectors should face necessary sustainable improvements, also to reach wide acceptance as growing economic branch. The Forum for the trilateral Wadden Sea Region was assigned by the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park Authority to conduct a trilateral stakeholder analysis with regard to the topic “shipping and ports”. This report is a concise description of the relevant identified stakeholders and their expectations and interests.
Download the full report from our reports.
With Hydrogen to Mittelplate
The feasibility of equipping the supply vessels for the Mittelplate drilling and production island in the German North Sea with hydrogen hybrid propulsion system was mentioned yesterday (Tuesday 20 October 2020) by Wintershall Dea, Europe’s leading independent gas and oil company. The announcement coincided with the visit of Lower Saxony’s Minister President Stephan Weil to EnTec Industrial Services in Cuxhaven. It is planned that the ships will be propelled emission free by electric engines that are powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Please read more under https://wintershalldea.com/en/newsroom/hydrogen-mittelplate
WSF 38 plenary meeting on 29 October
Holger Ansmann (MdL) visited the WSF
Cooperation talks - Dr. Frank Ahlhorn together with WHV e.V.
For the local maritime industry (consisting out of the Lower Saxony Port Representation (NHV), the working group of Lower Saxonian Sea Ports and the WHV e.V.), Hans-Joachim Uhlendorf has already been involved in the WSF for years, which lays the foundation for authorized representation between the maritime industry and the WSF. "Our main topics for the WSF are e.g. a CO2-neutral Wadden Sea Region. This coincides with projects that we are planning together with investors for the port of Wilhelmshaven" says the WHV e.V. board. "We see this as a basis for concrete cooperation with the WSF."
The interviewees see further possibilities for cooperation in the following:
- Participation in the planned "Round Table Ship Safety in the German Bight"
- Initiative for the natural preservation of shipping lanes through so-called ecological sediment management
- Risk Management, e.g. for flood and disaster control
- Demographic change in the Wadden Sea Region and its consequences
- Routing and shore connection for the submarine cables of offshore wind farms
The participants in the conversation agreed that this first contact laid the foundation for further trusting discussions.
Radio OLDENBURG1-Bücherwelten Interview
In a very lively discussion, moderator Thomas Kleinspehn interviewed our managing director Dr. Frank Ahlhorn on the Wadden Sea Forum and its content.
Friday, 02 October 2020 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Rebroadcast: 11. October 2020 from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm
Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen exchanged ideas with WSF
During a visit to the WSF office on August 25th a broad discussion about relevant topics from medical supplies, offshore energy to climate change and its consequences for the coastal region were covered by the state parliament member Meta Janssen-Kucz (Leer / Borkum) as well as the port and shipping politicians of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Bärbel Kraus and Ulf Berner together with the new managing director of the WSF, Dr. Frank Ahlhorn. Ms. Janssen-Kucz highlighted the successful efforts of the WSF to work on nature and climate protection in the Wadden Sea Region across national borders together with a sustainable economy and to think of this region as an attractive living space for people and to promote it in projects. Dr. Ahlhorn presented current projects and future plans, such as the initiative for "ecological sediment management" in the Wadden Sea or the intended exchange on the routes planned through the Wadden Sea for the submarine cables connecting off-shore wind farms with the mainland. Dr. Ahlhorn made clear that the WSF understands and offers itself as a neutral discussion/exchange platform for various topics for the Wadden Sea Region. Ulf Berner: "Climate protection and making business are not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary, we need an innovative, sustainable economy to protect this living space and to further develop it at the same time."
New Managing Director WSF is Dr. Frank Ahlhorn
The long-time managing director of the Forum, Manfred Vollmer, retired in July 2020. On August 1, Dr. Frank Ahlhorn has been taken over. Dr. Ahlhorn has been dealing with topics on the coast of the southern North Sea for over 20 years. He studied mathematics and marine environmental sciences in Oldenburg and received his doctorate in the field of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (IKZM) at the University of Kiel. As part of his professional positions at the Coast Research Center, as a research assistant at the University of Oldenburg and nine years of self-employment, Dr. Ahlhorn worked on various research projects related to the coast at regional, national and European level. Topics such as flood and coastal protection as well as civil protection and water management, but also demographic change played a role. Dr. Ahlhorn grew up in Butjadingen, Wesermarsch district, directly behind the dike. In the WSF, Dr. Ahlhorn wants to further expand and strengthen the successful cooperation between the various players from the local region, but also from the Netherlands and Denmark.
WSF Goose Management Newspaper Article
Recently the "Ostfriesische Nachrichten" placed an article about our position regarding Goosemanagement. "Farmers are annoyed about damages caused by barnacle geese. Wadden Sea Forum calls for a quick solution for agriculture in Leer and complains about the inactivity of the regions." (read the full article in German) and (see more information on Goosemanagement)
WSF Resolution Goose Management
The WSF plenary discussed in its meeting on 18-19 November the process of implementing the AEWA management plans for Greylag and Barnacle geese on flyway level. These management plans were adopted by the range states in December 2018. For the implementation in the different countries Favorable Reference Values (FRVs) have to be defined. As this process is lacking, the WSF elaborated a resolution, which requests the responsible ministries to speed up the process and support the AEWA concept. The Meeting adopted the resolution without any vote of dissent. (see more information and document)
WSF presents Policy Paper "Watermanagement"
Inventory Report for a climate friendly Waddensea Region