© Martin Stock/HOCHZWEI


 International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium 

It is our pleasure to host the 15th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium (ISWSS) in Büsum, Schleswig-Holstein. 

Unfortunately current developments in the corona pandemic have forced us to change our plans for organizing the symposium. After consultation with the event locations in Büsum, the ISWSS will be postponed to 30. November - 03. December 2021.

On four days from 30.11. – 03.12.2021 we invite you to present and receive new information and knowledge, to inspire and to be inspired, to discuss, to network and to be innovative - as a community for our common Wadden Sea World Heritage.

The International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium traditionally provides a forum for scientists who are active in and around the Wadden Sea to contribute their research results and to involve themselves in the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation (TWSC). The purpose of the symposium is to report on the state of the Wadden Sea from a scientific point of view and to give prospects for the future. The outcomes of the ISWSS will be transferred to the Trilateral Governmental Conference, which will be held in 2022, as an important input for the discussion on the future work of the TWSC, including the Ministerial Declaration.

One of the current key challenges of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation is to identify how the effects of climate change, including sea level rise, will affect the Wadden Sea. How will it affect its dynamics and biodiversity as well as the neighbouring Wadden Sea region, while considering which steps should be taken to safeguard the World Heritage. 

At the same time, the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (UN Decade of the Ocean), which will be running from 2021 to 2030, represents a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for nations to work together to generate the global ocean science needed to support the sustainable development of our shared ocean. Across the science-policy interface, the ISWSS will deliver the input to better define, what we desire of future oceans.  With the well-established reputation and status of protection of the Wadden Sea World Heritage, how can we contribute to strengthening the management and protection of our oceans and coastal regions for the benefit of humanity?


There will be thematic sessions, which are grouped into six broad themes with various topics. In a call for abstracts there was the opportunity to actively participate in the ISWSS program. We are pleased about the interest of numerous scientists and the many stimulating abstracts, which have already been submitted for the symposium – thank you for that! 

 Breakout Session 

There will be one breakout session with six groups working in parallel. Every breakout group will mainly deal with one of the issues of the thematic sessions and will be accompanied by a moderator and a rapporteur. The summary of the questions and discussions from the thematic sessions will be available to all six breakout groups. 

The objective of this session is to bring together scientists from different disciplines, managers and politicians to discuss and come up with recommendations to improve research, monitoring and assessment (TMAP) as well as management for the preservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). It is desirable that these recommendations also link to how the Wadden Sea community will contribute to achieve some of the expected outcomes of the UN Decade of the Ocean. A maximun of five priority recommendations resulting from each breakout group will then be presented and discussed in the final plenary session, wrapped up in a final document and handed over to the Wadden Sea Board to be considered in the preparation of the Ministerial Declaration in 2022.

 Science Slam 

The last session on Thursday 02.12.2021 offers the opportunity to engage politicians, authorities, older and young scientists in a meaningful exchange about the future of the Wadden Sea - Where do we stand in 2050? This will be done by using the communication format of a science slam!

In a science slam, presenters explain their research in a popular way: understandable, entertaining and concise. Presenters are asked to address these questions: Which changes are expected in the Wadden Sea ecosystem under the influence of climate change? How will the local community and visitors experience the OUV of the Wadden Sea World Heritage? Will human activities and the infrastructure change? Is there a need to develop adaptive management and conservation measures? How can scientists, managers, politicians and the society use the UN Ocean Decade (“A transparent and accessible Wadden Sea”) as a benefit for the Wadden Sea and contribute to the conservation of world’s oceans? How can scientists, managers, politicians and the community work collaboratively to protect the future of the Wadden Sea?.

Looking forward to seeing you in Büsum in November 2021!

 Preliminary Programme (October 2020)  

*West Coast Research and Technology Center (FTZ), cooperation partner of the National Park Authority

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