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12th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection
of the Wadden Sea
Tønder, 5 February 2014
Trilateral Wadden Sea
Governmental Council Meeting
Ministerial Council Declaration
Tønder Declaration, 5 February 2014 page 2
TRILATERAL WADDENSEA GOVERNMENTAL COUNCIL
5 February 2014
We, the Ministers responsible for the protection of the Wadden Sea of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark representing their respective Governments in the Trilateral Wadden Sea Governmental Council on the Protection of the WaddenSea Reaffirm the objective of the Joint Declaration 2010 to protect and manage the Wadden Sea as a single ecological entity shared by the three countries in accordance with the Guiding Principle, which is “to achieve, as far as possible, a natural and sustainable ecosystem in which natural processes proceed in an undisturbed way”;
Welcome with appreciation the extension of the Wadden Sea World Heritage with the Hamburg National Park and the nomination of the Danish Wadden Sea in conjunction with an extension of the German (Niedersachsen) property;
Acknowledge the potentials of having the entire Wadden Sea included on the World Heritage List for reinforcing the existing conservation and management and contributing to regional sustainable development;
Acknowledge also that the key requirement ensuing from the inscription on the List is to jointly maintain the integrity of the Wadden Sea World Heritage;
Reaffirm the importance of international cooperation, e.g. along the African-Eurasian Flyway, and with the Republic of Korea and the Wash/North Norfolk Coast;
Acknowledge the contribution of science to the further development of the protection and management of the Wadden Sea as an ecological entity;
Acknowledge the shared landscape and cultural heritage of the Wadden Sea region;
Recognise the overall progress made in the implementation of the Ministerial Council Declaration of the 11th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea (Sylt Declaration), and the need to continue to act on specific areas, as indicated in the present Declaration;
Acknowledge that conditions for safety of people must be safeguarded, as well as development in the area, taking into account climate change effects and sustainable development enhanced at national, regional and local levels;
Tønder Declaration, 5 February 2014 page 3 We are determined to meet these challenges and to continue to protect and manage the Wadden Sea for present and future generations in close cooperation with those who live, work and recreate in the area, and in this respect appreciate the work of the Wadden Sea Forum, regional advisory bodies and stakeholders, including partners engaged in the conservation of the Wadden Sea;
and therefore have signed this Ministerial Council Declaration.
We, the responsible Ministers
WADDEN SEA WORLD HERITAGEStrategy 2014-20
1. Welcome the boundary modification in 2011 to include the Hamburg National Park and the nomination of the Danish Wadden Sea in 2013 including the extension of the Lower-Saxony National Park for inscription in the World Heritage List, in response to the decision of the World Heritage Committee on the inscription of the Dutch-German Wadden Sea in 2009, reinforcing its Outstanding Universal Value and integrity.
2. Acknowledge that the possible inscription of the entire Wadden Sea as world heritage, ensuring the representation of the entire Wadden Sea on the list, is a recognition of the trilateral cooperation, and that the joint status of the Wadden Sea World Heritage will be one of the core elements of the future cooperation.
3. Appreciate the pride and great and increasing support which the Wadden Sea World Heritage has engendered and received in the Region since the inscription in 2009, underlining the shared responsibility for the protection of this transboundary ecosystem and acknowledge its branding quality and catalyst potential for sustainable development and international benchmarking.
4. Appreciate the work towards a common Wadden Sea World Heritage Strategy reinforcing and uniting the wide ranging skills and competences in the three countries.
5. Instruct the Wadden Sea Board (WSB) with the further consultation of a strategy with the aim of having it signed by the strategic partners on the occasion of the foreseen inscription of the Danish World Heritage site.
6. Aim at efficient implementation, by pooling efforts and creating synergies, also at the local and regional level, in close cooperation with the secretariat and relevant institutions and organizations in the three states.
7. Agree to investigate the feasibility of a Wadden Sea World Heritage Competence Centre or network, including work contents, cooperation partners, organization, structure and budget.
8. Continue to contribute to the work of the World Heritage Convention, in particular the World Heritage Marine and the Sustainable Tourism Programmes.
9. Thank the Foundation Review Committee for exploring values and functions of a joint foundation for the Wadden Sea World Heritage.
10. Agree to consider to establish a Wadden Sea World Heritage Foundation, aiming at taking a decision before 2015.
Sustainable Tourism Strategy
11. Appreciate the engagement of stakeholders, including local and regional governments, in the development of an overall sustainable tourisms strategy in a participatory approach, supported by the Interreg-North Sea Region Programme PROWAD project, in order also to meet the request of the World Heritage Committee.
12. Welcome the joint strategy “Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea World Heritage”, as in Annex 1, as a shared responsibility of governments and stakeholders and their willingness to jointly implement it, and instruct the WSB to oversee the implementation of the strategy and action plan.
13. Regard the Strategy as a contribution to the aims and objectives of the World Heritage Convention and the implementation of its sustainable tourism programme.
14. Acknowledge the global importance of the Wadden Sea for migratory bird populations being a key feature of the Wadden Sea World Heritage, noting with concern that many are in decline.
15. Appreciate the progress made within the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative, e.g.
consolidating a network of migratory bird conservation, including capacity building, monitoring and developing status assessments at the flyway level, initiated in response to the decision of the World Heritage Committee to strengthen cooperation on management and research on the African Eurasian Flyways with relevant state parties.
16. Agree to continue and where necessary expand the cooperation on management and research along the entire East Atlantic Flyway, as outlined in the vision in Annex 2, shared by relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations.
NATURE CONSERVATION AND INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT
17. Reconfirm that the Wadden Sea Plan is the coordinated management plan for the Wadden Sea World Heritage property, which also applies to the nominated property.
18. Therefore also strive for intensifying the cooperation at the operational management level.
19. Ensure that there is adequate wardening over the whole Wadden Sea.
21. Continue the trans-boundary harmonisation efforts of the implementation of existing EU Directives, and harmonise where relevant the trans-boundary implementation of forthcoming Directives at the earliest possible stage.
22. Acknowledge the activities of the member states in designating and enhancing coherence, as well as the efficiency of the Natura 2000 Network within the Wadden Sea Area.
23. Agree therefore to cooperate in evaluating the assessments under the Habitats Directive, also with the aim to prepare a common Natura 2000 roof report for the Wadden Sea.
24. Concerned about the persistent decrease of breeding bird populations in the Wadden Sea, driven by inter alia low breeding success.
25. Instruct the WSB to develop and implement a trilateral Action Plan on improving conditions for breeding birds.
26. Appreciate the positive effects of long-term trilateral seal policy and management, as reflected by the highest population level ever counted.
27. Therefore continue the cooperation in the context of the Seal Agreement, including the Seal Management Plan, which will be updated in 2016, reconfirming the guidelines on taking and releasing of seals.
28. Acknowledge the importance of fish for the Wadden Sea ecosystem and therefore instruct the WSB to work on the further implementation of the trilateral fish targets of the Wadden Sea Plan.
29. Acknowledge the essential functions of estuaries in the total Wadden Sea ecosystem and note the current N2000 assessments on the unfavourable – bad conservation status of the habitat type “estuaries”.
30. Contribute to the recovery of this habitat type by taking measures on appropriate temporal and spatial scales, e.g. through integrated management plans for N2000, while safeguarding accessibility and raising safety standards against flooding.
31. Pursuant to §25 of the Sylt Declaration, welcome the ratification of the International Convention for Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) by all three states.
32. Acknowledge the regulations and measures for dealing with alien species already in place at the national and international level.
33. Appreciate in accordance with §26 of the Sylt Declaration the work done on the development of a trilateral strategic framework for dealing with alien species in the Wadden Sea, in response to the decision of the World Heritage Committee on the inscription on the World Heritage List of the Dutch-German Wadden Sea in 2009.
Tønder Declaration, 5 February 2014 page 6
34. Welcome the joint application for a trilateral EU LIFE+ project on alien species in the Wadden Sea, expected to be an important input to the development of a trilateral policy on dealing with alien species in the Wadden Sea.
35. Instruct the WSB to further develop the trilateral strategic framework for dealing with alien species in the Wadden Sea and to coordinate the further development of an alien species management and action plan, taking into account existing and upcoming legislation and projects.
36. Stress the importance of the implementation of their ambitions1 to develop Wadden Sea wide trilateral policy principles for a further development of sustainable fisheries and support the Framework for Sustainable Fisheries, as in Annex 3.
37. Strive to incorporate and implement the Framework for Sustainable Fisheries in national fisheries policies by taking into account the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and relevant EU legislation, in order to improve the sustainability of fisheries in the Wadden Sea as well as aiming for a level playing field for the fishery sector in the Wadden Sea.
Unreasonable impairments of the interests of the local population and its traditional uses in the Wadden Sea have to be avoided. Any user interests have to be weighted on a fair and equitable basis in the light of the purpose of protection in general, and the particular case concerned.
38. Strive to minimise the possible negative impacts of the diverse fisheries on the natural features of the Wadden Sea. A reduction of possible impacts of the diverse fisheries on the natural features of the Wadden Sea can be achieved in different ways, such as a combination of areas with sustainable fisheries and areas where all fisheries are excluded, innovative environmentally sound fisheries techniques, areas without bottom-contact-fisheries, bycatch reduction programs and reduced fishing pressure. In line with CFP, sustainable fisheries are characterized by the use of best available fishing techniques and practices.
39. Confirm their wish, in line with the CFP and other relevant EU legislation, to improve the sustainability of fisheries by negotiations and stakeholder participation. The aim is to realize an economically sound fisheries sector, meeting consumer expectations and respecting the sustainability-limits of the trilaterally protected Wadden Sea.
40. Therefore instruct the Wadden Sea Board to arrange an operating schedule including the negotiation phase and the implementation process, in close cooperation with responsible authorities and relevant stakeholders and initiatives, which are required within the framework of the EU legislation and the CFP.
41. Recognize that the construction of offshore windparks and increasing offshore energy production contributing to the more sustainable energy supply, has
impacts, on parts of the Wadden Sea, such as electric transport cables and servicing traffic.
42. Are aware of the regional concerns regarding the potential storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) and the exploitation of hydrocarbons from non-conventional deposits using the fracking technology within the Wadden Sea Area and bordering coastal and sea areas including connected exploration activities because of the potential damage to the ecosystem, and intend to avoid possible negative impacts on the Wadden Sea in line with the Guiding Principle.
43. Recognize also that recently a substantial number of electric power stations has been built or planned directly adjacent to the Wadden Sea and that the intake of cooling water accumulatively may have a significant impact on fish and that enhanced emissions of CO2 are in discrepancy to limiting global warming and enhancing sea level rise cf §24 of the Sylt Declaration.