Enhancing Transnational Cooperation for Marine Protection: Insights from a Delegation Trip to Northern Germany

01 October 2023
Meeting between the Bangladesh delegation and the BMZ in Berlin, Germany
Meeting between the Bangladesh delegation and the BMZ in Berlin, Germany

In early October 2023, a 19-member delegation comprising representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry for Fisheries and Livestock, Economic Relation Division (ERD), Department of Forestry, Department of Fisheries, and two universities from Bangladesh, embarked on a study trip to Northern Germany. The purpose was to learn about regional nature conservation and cross-departmental coordination in marine and coastal area protection, using the Wadden Sea National Park as a concrete example. One objective was to see firsthand the way the National Park, fish resources, and remaining forests in the coastal area are managed and monitored. Another focus was to gain a sense of the coordination and interactions between different authorities, NGOs, and various user groups in these areas. The delegation gained insights into the organisational structures of the Wadden Sea National Park, the trilateral ‘Common Wadden Sea Secretariat’, forest and fish resources.

During the 12-day trip, the delegation visited several key institutions, including the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Arctic and Marine Research (AWI), the Thünen Institutes for Sea Fisheries and Forestry, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), the Helmholtz Center Hereon – Institute of Coastal Systems and various field sites. The visit wrapped up with an exchange and discussion with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Through a combination of lectures, workshops, discussions, and Q&A sessions, various topics were addressed during the visits in Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven, and Berlin. Issues discussed included: marine protected area management, operational monitor systems, the role of research and science in policy advice, different forest uses and long-term restoration, wildlife conflicts, as well as data needs and upcoming challenges. Additionally, the use of remote sensing and earth observation systems to support decision-making policy processes for forest landscapes and payments for ecosystems services was explored. Furthermore, during a day trip to the island of Norderney, the delegation visited the visitor center of the UNESCO World Heritage site Wadden Sea, engaged in discussions on matters such as sustainable tourism, conflicts of interest between stakeholders, environmental education, and the impact of climate change on the marine environment.

The project “Integrated Management of the Sundarbans and the Marine Protected Area Swatch of No Ground, Bangladesh (SoNG)”, aims to improve the coordination mechanisms among stakeholders for the protection and sustainable use of natural resources.

Part of the delegation with Lower Saxony State Forest Department at Neuenburg
Part of the delegation with Lower Saxony State Forest Department at Neuenburg

October 1-12, 2023

WHS Wadden Sea, Germany

Contact Person
Stefan Alfred Groenewold