Organisational Structure

TWSC Organogram. CWSS. Organisational structure of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation. CWSS.


The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation comprises of two levels of decision making: the Trilateral Governmental Council and the Wadden Sea Board (WSB). They are supported by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) as the coordinating body and first contact point, advisors from NGOs, Task Groups as well as Expert Networking Groups. 

Past Trilateral Governmental Conferences

  • Leeuwarden, Netherlands (2018, XIII)
  • Tønder, Denmark (2014, XII)
  • Sylt, Germany (2010, XI)
  • Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands (2005, X)
  • Esbjerg, Denmark (2001, IX)
  • Stade, Germany (1997, VIII)
  • Leeuwarden, Netherlands (1994, VII)
  • Esbjerg, Denmark (1991, VI)
  • Bonn, Germany (1988, V)
  • The Hague, Netherlands (1985, IV)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (1982, III)
  • Bonn, Germany (1980, II)
  • The Hague, Netherlands (1978, I)


Trilateral Governmental Council

The Trilateral Wadden Sea Governmental Council is composed of the Danish, Dutch and German ministers responsible for Wadden Sea affairs meets every three to four years. At the Trilateral Governmental Conference (TGC) they discuss the general direction of the Cooperation in terms of policies, harmonisation and management and chart the overall course of the Cooperation for the period up to the next TGC. The results are documented in a declaration, the Cooperation’s main policy paper until the next meeting.

Each TGC marks the end of a presidency term. At the 13th TGC in Leeuwarden (NL), the Dutch presidency ended. Germany holds the presidency as of now.

The Wadden Sea Conference is an exchange platform for all stakeholders of the Wadden Sea Region held directly prior to the Council meeting.


The Wadden Sea Board

The Wadden Sea Board is the Cooperation’s governing body. It runs and oversees the work of the TWSC between sessions of the Trilateral Governmental Conferences, preparing, adopting and implementing the Wadden Sea Plan as well as policies and strategies.

The Board is chaired by an impartial chairperson, nominated by the presiding country and appointed by the Council. The chair rotates between the countries along with the presidency. There are four members appointed per country and four advisors with expertise and experience relevant to the Cooperation. The Board is further supported by advisors representing the NGO sector (currently Danish Ornithological Society, It Fryske Gea and WWF) and the Wadden Sea Forum (WSF).

Wadden Sea Board documents are available in Resources.

The current members of the Board are listed here.


Task Groups and other groups

The Wadden Sea Board appoints Task Groups to prepare expert topics for the Board and to undertake specific tasks, plans or projects. The current Task Groups are

  • Task Group Management (TG-M)
  • Task Group Monitoring and Assessment (TG-MA)
  • Task Group World Heritage (TG-WH)

In addition, the Cooperation has several Expert, Networking and (ad hoc) Working Groups to carry out specific monitoring, scientific and educational tasks. These are

  • Alien Species (EG-AS)
  • Climate (EG-C)
  • Data Handling (EG-Data)
  • Education (IWSS+NGE)
  • Flyway (WSFI-SG)
  • Fish (WG-Swimway)
  • Migratory and Breeding birds (EG-MB/BB)
  • Partnership Hub (OPteamPH)
  • Salt marshes and dunes (EG-SMD)
  • Seals (EG-Seals)
  • Sustainable Tourism (NG-ST)

Wadden Sea Board


Karin Lochte

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c., former Director Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marien Research


Anne-Marie Vægter Rasmussen

National Representative to the Board, Deputy Director General, Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of the Environment and Food, Denmark

Donne Slangen

National Representative to the Board, Director Nature, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands

Ilka Wagner

National Representative to the Board, Head of Division Marine Nature Conservation, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany

Joost de Ruig

General Director Rijkswaterstaat North-Netherlands, Netherlands

Christina Egsvang Føns

Representative of the Danish Wadden Sea municipalities, Environmental Manager at Esbjerg Municipality, Denmark

Hans Gabanyi

Director, Office for Nature Conservation, Green Planning and Energy, Hamburg Agency for Environment and Energy, Germany

Ingelore Hering

Director, Nature Conservation, Water Management, Soil Protection, Lower Saxon Ministry of Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection, Germany

Vera Knoke

Deputy for Marine Protection and National Park, Schleswig-Holstein Ministry for Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment, Nature and Digitalisation, Germany

Janne J. Liburd

Professor, D. Phil. Ph. D., Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark, Chair National Park Wadden Sea, Denmark

Martin Petersen

Head of Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of the Environment and Food, Denmark

Theo Meskers

Alderman for Economic Affairs, Municipality of Hollands Kroon, Netherlands

Henk Staghower

Deputy Agriculture and Fishery, Landscape and Nature, Province of Groningen, Netherlands


Marco Rohde Brodde

Danish Ornithological Society, Denmark

Henk de Vries

Wadden Sea Team, Director It Fryske Gea

Preben Friis-Hauge

Chair WSF, Chair The Danish Wadden Sea Secretariat, Varde Municipality, Denmark

Hans-Ulrich Rösner

Wadden Sea Team, Director at Wadden Sea Office, WWF, Germany

Executive Secretary

Bernard Baerends

Executive Secretary, Common Wadden Sea Secretariat
+49 4421 9108 0