The Wadden Sea is the world´s largest coherent tidal barrier island system
with little riverine influence shared by the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.
The governments of the three countries have cooperated to protect and manage
the Wadden Sea as one ecological entity for almost 40 years and has established
a joint secretariat, the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, to coordinate and
facilitate the cooperation.
The Dutch-German part of the Wadden Sea was inscribed on the World
Heritage List in 2009 for its Outstanding Universal Value. In 2014 the property
was extended to include the Danish part so that the entire Wadden Sea is now
inscribed on the World Heritage List. Inscription of the World Heritage List is
the highest recognition a cultural or natural monument can attain on this
planet. There are many obligations related to being inscribed on the World
Heritage List but it also opens up for many opportunities for the people who
live in or nearby such an area and for authorities and organisations to promote
local and regional development.
The inscription of a natural area on the World Heritage is also
extremely important for science. It requires the member states to continue to
expand the knowledge base on the Outstanding Universal Value of property both
for managing the area but also to deliver information to international science
cooperation. The presentation will outline the obligations together with the
opportunities and perspectives of being a World Heritage property with emphasis
on science and research based on the experiences gained in the context of the Wadden
Sea World Heritage. The presentation will further explore the perspectives for
having (parts of) the Korean tidal flats inscribed on the World Heritage List
in terms of research and science.