09.07.2015 |

World Heritage cooperation programme with business partners

The study compiled the existing business cooperation programmes in the Wadden Sea and analysed the feasibility of establishing a transnational World Heritage business cooperation programme. Such a programme would be an opportunity to develop a collaborative network across the entire property, connecting existing programmes and developing a coherent set of standards and engage different business sectors in World Heritage.

In the three countries the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, there are different approaches of cooperation programmes between nature conservation organisations and businesses, e.g. the National Park Partnership Programmes in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

With World Heritage assignment as a new dimension in the Wadden Sea region, it will be necessary to find a consistent approach for the entire property for a World Heritage cooperation programme, considering regional, national and international stakeholder, private local, visiting and interested persons as well as associations, schools and further pressure groups. The cooperation should provide opportunities to existing programmes to participate and ensure quality and credibility fully aligned with the philosophy of the World Heritage brand.

Further, members of the cooperation should be able to benefit from the distinction ‘Wadden Sea World Heritage’ and at the same time support and contribute to the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value.

The feasibility study prepared an inventory of existing partnership programmes in the three countries, illustrating the various objectives, target groups and organizational frameworks. Furthermore, also other transnational World Heritage Sites were analysed which showed that each site has its own and unique setting of collaboration among partners.

The study also concludes that there is no blueprint or any scheme for development of a business cooperation for the Wadden Sea World Heritage which covers three countries.Therefore, the development of a transnational approach for business partners in the Wadden Sea is a new and innovative approach, and would by a very good opportunity to develop a transnational collaborative network.

A number of challenges were addressed such as to connect a transnatinal programme with the existing ones, to enhance communication of the World Heritage including its opportunities, to develop a coherent set of standards for all three countries, to engage different business sectors and to establish an organisational framework.

The study estimated that it may take up to 10 years for the establishment of transnational cooperation programme. Therefore, it suggested to set up a pilot project for a period of three years, to get a common understanding among all partners and countries of teh starting points (objectives, standards, organization), including benefits for World Heritage and its partners in a participatory approach.

Download the study