For each month in 2022, we will post a wallpaper calendar for you to download to give your desktop a Wadden Sea look. With each month’s picture, we want to give some information to help improve the understanding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the Wadden Sea World Heritage. The Outstanding Universal Value describes why a property is among the most remarkable places on Earth. The World Heritage Committee considers a property as having Outstanding Universal Value if the property meets at least one out of ten selection criteria and whether it meets the requirements of integrity, and protection and management.
|This calendar is meant for private use only. The images displayed here may not be repurposed.|
October we dedicate to the dark sky. The Wadden Sea is a special area with a relatively low level of artificial light at night (ALAN). This makes it a perfect watching spot for starry nights and a dark sky tourism destination. Nevertheless, studies show that the levels of light pollution are increasing globally and therefore the Trilateral Dark Sky Initiative is working on raising awareness for reducing ALAN. ALAN is a disturbance not just for enjoying the stars, but also for animals, plants and residents in the Wadden Sea area. This year's World Migratory Bird Day is dedicated to raise awareness on this and as a call out to everyone to dim our lights at night. Read more on ALAN and the Wadden Sea here.
Also in October... the Zugvogeltage event series in Lower Saxony and good chances to see the sort sol, especially in the Danish Wadden Sea region.
September we dedicate to beach breeding birds. Beach breeders, as the name says, nest on the sandy beaches in the Wadden Sea which they share with beach goers, bikers, joggers, and dogs. The resulting disturbance can pose a risk to their breeding success. Measures to reduce disturbance are difficult to implement as beach breeders are opportunists regularly switching their nesting locations. This makes it difficult to determine, where their nests are. Each season the beaches are searched to determine where interventions are needed. Other risk factors with increasing relevance are sea level rise and extreme weather events due to the climate crisis. Read more on its effects on the Wadden Sea here.
Also in September... the West Coast Vogelkiek event series in Schleswig-Holstein and good chances to see the sort sol, especially in the Danish Wadden Sea region.
July & August 2022
July and August we dedicate to the food web. Through photosynthesis plants and microorganisms and other primary producers turn energy into organic matter. Species on higher trophic levels like lug worms, snails or this common shore crab feed on this organic matter and they themselves are food for small predators like carnivorous fish, which in turn are consumed by birds, seals or harbour porpoises. Thus, all species within the Wadden Sea ecosystem are linked to each other by their need to obtain sufficient food resources to sustain themselves. Read more
Also in July & August... On 1 July the Wadden Sea-wide grey seal numbers will be published here (link becomes active on 1 July). On 25 August we hold our annual Wadden Sea Day in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. This year’s topic: “Who eats whom? Trophic relationships and their implications for monitoring and management”. Registration is open until 5 August.
June we dedicate to monitoring. In order to successfully manage and conserve the Wadden Sea Outstanding Universal Value (see Feb-May 2022 wallpaper calendars below), it is imperative to conduct harmonised and effective long-term monitoring throughout its area. The Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme, or TMAP, is the joint monitoring programme of the Wadden Sea states. Launched 25 years ago, the programme spans a broad range of topics, such as morphology, ecological processes, wildlife and human activities. TMAP covers the entire Wadden Sea Area including islands and offshore areas. At regular intervals, the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation issues assessment reports entitled Wadden Sea Quality Status Report (QSR), which include findings collected through TMAP. Read more
Also in June... On 8 June we celebrate World Oceans Day. The day is there to remind every one of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet and a major source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere.
May we dedicate to the importance of the Wadden Sea for in situ biodiversity conservation. Despite its tranquil, even desolate appearance, the Wadden Sea World Heritage has a high typical biodiversity being home to over 10,000 species of plants and animals. More, global biodiversity is reliant on the Wadden Sea. The richness of local species is crucial for up to 12 million of migratory birds that every year make a stopover in the area on their journey along the East Atlantic Flyway. The criterion “(x) Vital habitats for in-situ biodiversity conservation” is one of four criteria for natural sites to qualify as World Heritage. The Wadden Sea checks off that box. The other two criteria the Wadden Sea has been designated as World Heritage site for, are “(viii) Outstanding Geological Processes”, featured in our March calendar, and “(ix) Ongoing ecological and biological processes”. The fourth criterion “(vii) Exceptional natural phenomena and beauty” was not applied for. Read more
Also in May... On 14 May is World Migratory Bird Day, an awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. This year’s theme is light pollution. Read more about Artificial Light at Night and its effect on Wadden Sea life here.
April we dedicate to the ecological and biological processes of the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea has one of the highest biomass productivities in the world, offering a wide food selection availability for fish, shellfish and birds. It is therefore a key site to sustain abundant wildlife beyond its borders. The interaction of wind and water as well as biological processes are the creators of a complex system of habitats, such as salt marshes, dunes and tidal flats. The criterion “(ix) Ongoing Ecological and Biological Processes” is one of four criteria for natural sites to qualify as World Heritage. The Wadden Sea checks off that box. The other two criteria the Wadden Sea has been designated as World Heritage site for, are “(viii) Outstanding Geological Processes”, featured in our March calendar, and “(x) Vital habitats for in-situ biodiversity conservation”. The fourth criterion “(vii) Exceptional natural phenomena and beauty” was not applied for. Read more
Also in April... Harbour Porpoise Days in Wilhelmshaven.
March we dedicate to the geological processes of the Wadden Sea. There are four criteria for natural sites to qualify as World Heritage. The criterion “(viii) Outstanding Geological Processes” is one of them and applies to the Wadden Sea: Over the past 8,000 years, the dynamic coastline of the Wadden Sea has been shaped by the elements and strongly influenced by rising sea level. The continuous interplay between wind, currents and tides creates an ever-changing tapestry of islands, sandbanks, channels, sand and mud flats, saltmarshes, beaches and dunes. The other two criteria the Wadden Sea has checked off on, when designated as World Heritage site, are “(ix) Ongoing ecological and biological processes” and “(x) Vital habitats for in-situ biodiversity conservation”. The fourth criterion “(vii) Exceptional natural phenomena and beauty” was not applied for. Read more
Also in March... ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) celebrates its 30th anniversary.
February we dedicate to the requirement of integrity. Integrity is a measure of the wholeness and intactness of the natural heritage and its attributes. In that respect, the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, from Denmark through Germany to the Netherlands, consists of all the facets (species, habitats, processes) that constitute a natural and dynamic Wadden Sea. The area is large enough to ensure that these exceptional aspects of one of the world’s first-class ecosystems of this kind are included and maintained. Read more
Also in February... On 2 February every year the World Wetlands Day is celebrated to raise awareness about wetlands and marks the anniversary of the Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance).
|* This calendar is meant for private use only. The images displayed here may not be repurposed.|