On 15 September 2020, the “Trilateral Programming Committee – Wadden Sea Research”, or TPC-WSR, met for the first time in a hybrid meeting in Hamburg (physical & online). The TPC was formed by the Wadden Sea Board, who approved the group’s Terms of Reference and members in June, upon request of the 2018 Leeuwarden Declaration. The Declaration states that the new committee’ aim is to strengthen the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation’s ties with the scientific community. The committee’s functions are to establish a joint programme on research issues relevant to the Wadden Sea World Heritage, taking into account the Trilateral Research Agenda, and to encourage the scientific community to develop a trilateral research platform and to promote pilot studies on nature restoration.
Each Wadden Sea state has delegated four members to the committee, two from the scientific community and two from the policy/management level. The new group’s Chairperson is Dr Bernd Scherer, former Director of the National Park Administration „Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer“ in Tönning (D) and, until his retirement in 2014, Deputy Head of Department „Water Management, Marine Conservation and Coastal Protection“ and Head of Unit „Marine Conservation and National Park“ in the Ministry for Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of Schleswig-Holstein (D).
The TPC-WSR aims to foster cross-border science cooperation, to support the implementation of a prioritised joint research programme on issues relevant to the Wadden Sea World Heritage and to look for funding opportunities. The TPC-WSR is embedded in the trilateral work but operates independently.