Table of contentsNo headers
Natural Heritage site the Waddenzee
The Waddensea is situated in the northern part of The Netherlands and some parts are situated in the north of Germany and the south of Denmark . It is a sea that contains one of the world’s largest uninterrupted systems of barrierislands, tidal channels, tidal flats and salt marshes, where natural processes continue to function largely undisturbed (Verweij and Schokker et al., 2012, p. 289).The difference between the tides is not very big in the Wadden sea (1 or 2 meter), through this a lot of sand and silt that can settle. There are many seabanks that are a rest plate for seals and shorebirds (Ecomare.nl, 2013).It covers a total surface area of 2,550 km². The region has 11 islands. The islands zeroed along the western shore and expand on the eastern shore. Some of the island has inhabitants, to protect them against the water, dykes are build.
Why is it a world heritage site?
In 2009, UNESCO rewarded the Waddensea with the title natural world heritage. According to UNESCO the Wadden sea is an unique wetland with a lot of different species and huge biodiversity that is unique in its kind.The Wadden Sea isthe largest contiguous nature reservein Western Europe. It is the biggest wetland that is almost completely dry during ebb. At the moment, 66% of the total Wadden region falls under World Heritage (Waddensea-worldheritage.org, 2013)
The Wadden archipelago (in the Netherlands) consist out of five islands that consists inhabitants and three uninhabited islands. The biggest island is Texel with over 14.000 inhabitants, during the summer (touristic high season) there are over 800.000 tourists visiting the island(Ecomare.nl, 2013).
Stakeholders and Organization
There are both governmental stakeholders and commercial stakeholders. In the Netherlands there are three governmental levels that are also stakeholders videlicet;Ministryof Economic Affairs, three provinces and the municipalities of the islands. There is one commission called RCW ( Regiecollege Waddeneilanden). They are trying to inform and discuss issues concerning the Waddensea with all stakeholders. The member of the RCW are the governmental organizations, water authorities, businesses and nature conservation organizations(Waddenzee.nl, 2013). There is also one organization that is responsible for a sustainable tourism strategy called PROWAD, this was requested by UNESCO (Prowad.org, 2013).
Tourist facilities and activities
The Wadden Sea is an important touristic destination for the Netherlands. Every year there are more than one million tourists visiting the Wadden Sea. The main reason for tourist to visit the region is because of the rich Flora and Fauna. Walking and cycling are popular activities, as well as kite surfing and horse riding. All islands have good ferry connections with the Dutch mainland (Holland.com, 2013). There is are a lot of cafes and restaurants at the Wadden islands. It has the highest density of hospitality per capita in the Netherlands (NRIT Media, 2013).
The Waddensea is a fragile area. Although it is on the world heritage list of UNESCO, there are some natural extractions such as gas, salt and groundwater on the very border of the protected area, Green Peace is aiming to have a referendum for the whole Dutch society to stop extraction in the Waddensea (Green Peace, 2013).