The Dutch Program towards a Rich Wadden Sea organised a webinar on September 24 on how the three Wadden countries have implemented the European directives to protect the subtidal nature of the Wadden Sea.
The legal protection of the underwater nature on the grounds of the European directives appears to be implemented differently per country. Compared to Germany and Denmark, the Netherlands has brought fewer species and habitats under the protection regime. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive does not apply to the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea either, in contrast to the German and Danish parts. An ecosystem-based approach, which is also required under the OSPAR Convention, cannot be enforced in the Netherlands by legislation.
But the question is whether the policy will also work out differently in practice. All speakers have experienced complicated discussions in their own countries about allowing activities with negative impacts on the marine subway.
Chair Bernard Baerends, general secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS), concluded that our rich underwater nature deserves good protection and that there is still a lot to do in that area within the trilateral cooperation.