On 15 September 2019 Bernard Baerends took up his post as the new Executive Secretary to the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) in Wilhelmshaven. Appointed by the Wadden Sea Board at its 29th meeting on Vlieland, Netherlands, in June, Baerends brings with him more than 20 years of experience as policy maker for the Netherland’s government including some 15 years as the Dutch focal point for the Trilateral Cooperation on the Protection of the Wadden Sea (TWSC) of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.
“I am very happy that we could win Bernard Baerends to take over the office as Executive Secretary, because he has such a vast experience in our Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation,” says Karin Lochte, Chair of the trilateral Wadden Sea Board. Lochte further thanked former Executive Secretary Rüdiger Strempel very much, who had held the office for a five-year term until 31 July 2019, for his dedicated service to the Trilateral Cooperation.
Holding a Master’s degree in geographical hydrology, Baerends worked abroad, mainly in West-Africa and Pakistan, for different organisations such as UNICEF, before moving onto policy-making in the Dutch government and the topic of the Wadden Sea and its protection within the TWSC. “I feel very honoured to take up this position and grateful to the trust given to me”, says Baerends. “Given my connection to the Cooperation I have observed and highly appreciate the central role that the CWSS plays for the Wadden Sea World Heritage site. Taking up this position I would like to further pursue the Wadden Sea issues close to my heart, also set as priorities by the current German presidency over the Cooperation, such as partnership and ownership enhancement, deepening international collaboration and the further adding of value to of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme to name a few. More, I plan to continue positioning CWSS in a strong supporting position to all the partners we are working with in the Wadden Sea states and beyond.”
Founded in 1987, the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat coordinates, promotes and supports the activities of the Trilateral Cooperation. Additionally, CWSS is the secretariat of the Wadden Sea Seals Agreement, the first regional agreement to be concluded under the auspices of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Since the inscription of the Wadden Sea on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Secretariat moreover deals with the implementation of the obligations derived from the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. In 2021/2022 the Secretariat will move into the Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Centre, currently being built by the City of Wilhelmshaven.