Trilateral Programme: Dark Sky Wadden Sea World Heritage Site

Collaboration between the three Wadden Sea countries – Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands – is absolutely invaluable during the transition to a sustainable Wadden economy. Together, under the flag of UNESCO, they have determined a number of core values of the area: space, tranquility, openness, dark nights, unique living nature and the undisturbed dynamic interplay between tidal waters, sand and silt.

 To emphasise the importance of dark nights, the Netherlands has initiated the Dark Sky Programme: the realisation of light-pollution free areas in the Wadden Sea region where people can enjoy true darkness, revealing the majesty of the stars and planets above. This national programme, developed by the commissioning parties via PRW, has promoted awareness and established measures to boost the experience of the night.

The next step is to put this on the trilateral agenda by organising trilateral meetings or workshops with German and Danish parties to enable inspiration and encourage the countries to work together to take physical measures and boost awareness. This issue was also addressed in 2018 during the trilateral conference in Leeuwarden, where it was determined that a variety of initiatives to reduce light pollution would be promoted in collaboration with communities and stakeholders. Examples include measures to combat unnecessary lighting, exchange of best practices, technological innovation and monitoring activities covering the whole Wadden Sea region. Of course, all of the above will be conducted with due observance of safety standards. One way to flesh out this initiative is to set up a Dark Sky community involving all three countries that is responsible for organising meetings. This process will emphatically focus on the successful experiences from the Dutch programme. Furthermore, the positioning of the trilateral Dark Sky Programme will be brought under the UNESCO banner in collaboration with a foundation, Stichting Feel the Night (SFIN), and the International Dark Sky Association.

Role of the PRW:

Results to be delivered:

  • In 2020, a trilateral Dark Sky community will be set up featuring intrinsically motivated participants from all three countries.
  • In 2022, a trilateral Dark Sky World Heritage Programme in the Wadden Sea Region will be established.
  • The Dark Sky World Heritage Programme in the Wadden Sea Region will have been ibrought under the UNESCO banner in 2022.

Commissioning parties:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality

Follow-up action by:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality