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Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development
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TriWadWalk 2022 - Crossing borders, blending perspectives

Exploring routes to a more integrative science for the international Wadden Sea Region
Wandelaar op de Waddendijk. Foto: Marco in 't Veldt
Wandelaar op de Waddendijk. Foto: Marco in 't Veldt

Exploring Green Transformation in the Wadden Sea Region

The project TriWadWalk 2022 brings together a core group of ten academics from Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark with an aim to explore routes to a more integrative and problem-oriented science for the international Wadden Sea Region. The group will move through the Wadden area by walking, biking, and sailing along and across national borders. The aim of the walk-bike-sail is to blend perspectives from different scientific fields and from a range of different stakeholders and co-develop potential future MIT research topics.

Watch the TriWadWalk Online Lecture Series


It is widely recognised that large-scale protected areas have the potential to act as model regions for transformation to a more sustainable society. The Wadden Sea Region (WSR) can thus become a living laboratory for experimentation and testing in green innovation across a range of sectors including agriculture, coastal protection, transport and tourism.

Yet the WSR also remains a region of contradictions and conflicting trends. Large-scale industrial agriculture is a prominent feature of the lowland landscapes in the WSR. The Wadden continue to raise concerns in relation to water, noise and air pollution. The economy of the WSR is highly dependent on hosing large numbers of tourists yet these large numbers of visitors may also present a risk to the fragile Wadden Sea ecosystem. Along the coastline itself, a fine balance must be sought between coastal defence, and nature conservation .

Walks in May and September

In May and September 2022 a group of 10 scholars and 10 students will make two Wadden Walks in the border regions of Germany-Netherlands and Denmark-Germany respectively. The social science researchers, educators and students involved in the ‘Wadden Walks’ will engage, while walking, biking and sailing, with the many faces of the WaddenSeaRegion (WSR), exploring and making sense of contradictions in the areas, listening to and learning from diverse stakeholders and actors. They aim to arrive at a fuller, cross-disciplinary, understanding of the potentials and challenges of the WSR and its relationship with the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.

The group of scholars will also develop place-based educational materials to support and complement future university courses and field excursions. TriWadWalk will also productively inform ongoing policy agendas concerning the green transformation of the WSR, the role of the WSR in supporting the conservation objectives of the Wadden Sea WHS.

The TriWadWalk receives financial support from the Common Waddensea Secretariat, from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, from the Wadden Academy and from the University of Southern Denmark, while it also supported by the European Union Erasmus Program.

Kijkje over de Wadden richting Schiermonnikoog. Foto: Marco in 't Veldt
Kijkje over de Wadden richting Schiermonnikoog. Foto: Marco in 't Veldt

The TriWad Partnership

  • University of Bremen (Institute for Geography): Prof. Dr. Marie Fujitani, Michael Thiele
  • University of Groningen (Faculty of Spatial Sciences): Assoc Prof. Dr. Frans J. Sijtsma, Dr. Elen-Maarja Trell, Dr. Ir. Annet Kempenaar
  • University of Hamburg (Institute for Geography): Dr. Dr. Michael Fink, Prof. Dr. Beate M. W. Ratter
  • University of Lüneburg (Institute for Ecology): Dr. Cormac Walsh
  • University of Oldenburg (Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences) Prof. Dr. Ingo Mose, Dr. Peter Schaal, Dr. Tanja Behrendt
  • University of Southern Denmark (Department for Design and Communication, Centre for Tourism, Innovation and Culture): Prof. Dr. Janne Liburd, Assoc. Prof Dr. Bodil Blichfeldt

History of the TriWad Partnership

The inter-university cooperation at the core of TriWad dates back to 2007 when the first teaching and research workshop was held at the University of Groningen, Faculty of Spatial Sciences. Since then, the partnership has grown to include six partners in all three Wadden Sea countries. Workshops have taken place on an annual basis, rotating among partner institutions.

At the basis of the cooperation is the felt need among the scientist for better understanding and valuation of the broader Wadden Sea region from a diversity of perspectives. The explicit focus on the Wadden Sea Region is always a focus of the workshop, and the interest in and attachment to the area is something that is connecting the partner-universities.

Laatst gewijzigd:02 juni 2023 14:33
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