At its meeting on 28 September 2016, the INTERREG Steering Committee gave approval for the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation’s Expression of Interest (EoI) for funding of the project “PROWAD LINK”. Submitted in March 2016, the project was developed in cooperation with partners from across the Wadden Sea region as well as the United Kingdom and Norway. The Steering Committee’s decision paves the way to submitting a full application to the INTERREG V B North Sea Region Programme (NSRP) by 1 February 2017. If approved, the PROWAD LINK project is expected to be launched in July 2017 and will receive up to 1.55 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as co-financing (total budget 3.1 million euros) for a period of 3 years.
PROWAD LINK aims to incite small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the North Sea Region to contribute to nature protection areas such as World Heritage sites and thus unlock economic benefits. The project will build on the results of the highly successful 2010-2014 PROWAD project, which developed a sustainable tourism strategy for the Wadden Sea World Heritage Destination.
The project will focus on developing a transnational World Heritage partnership scheme to build capacity, pool resources and knowledge, and share innovation and resources in a Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Centre. In the context of PROWAD Link, the Trilateral Cooperation also plans to activate the World Heritage for SMEs and to further develop products that reflect and support the Wadden Sea’s Outstanding Universal Value.
“PROWAD LINK will invite entrepreneurs to engage with the brand and to help protect the Wadden Sea as a natural intertidal ecosystem of global importance and unique on earth”, says Harald Marencic, project leader and Deputy Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS): “In turn, entrepreneurs can distinguish themselves nationally and globally with this engagement, giving them additional benefits on the market. The project will create a mutual benefit for nature and sustainable development.”
Photo: (c) Martin Stock