Transboundary protected areas are a particularly important form of shared governance, involving two or more governments and other actors (Borrini-Feyerabend, 2013). These sites also face unique governance challenges.
Location and World Heritage designation
The Wadden Sea stretches for 500 km along the North Sea coast of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, and was inscribed on World Heritage List for its outstanding universal geological, ecological and biodiversity values. This large World Heritage site encompasses a multitude of transitional zones between land, the sea and freshwater environment, and is rich in species specially adapted to the demanding environmental conditions (UNESCO, 2014l).
Main ecosystem service provided by the site
The Wadden Sea plays an important role as a tourist destination and thus has a significant impact for the regional economy. Many regions are entirely dependent on tourism. Every year millions of tourists are drawn to the Wadden Sea coast. 50 million overnight guests and 30 – 40 million day visitors per year are attracted to experience this natural wonder. Tourism is one of the major sources of income in the region with a turnover over 5 billion € per year.