The Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme, or TMAP, is the joint monitoring programme of the Wadden Sea states. Launched in 1997 (Stade Declaration), the programme spans a broad range of topics, such as morphology, ecological processes, wildlife and human activities. TMAP covers the entire Wadden Sea Area including islands and offshore areas.
The vision of TMAP is a harmonised and effective monitoring and assessment programme, based on sound scientific evidence, that serves the needs of policy making at all levels, the commitments ensuing from relevant EU legislation and instruments of international law, as well as the World Heritage status and that supports the management of the Wadden Sea as an ecological entity.
Strategy and objectives
TMAP provides significant added value for the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation as it
- Provides an important and scientifically sound evidence base for decision making and policy development at all levels;
- Provides essential contextual information to support the management of the Wadden Sea as a single ecological entity;
- Supports reporting against directives and the World Heritage status;
- Enables integrated assessment to be undertaken, which is an essential prerequisite for the application of the ecosystem approach;
- Provides information about progress towards Trilateral Targets and facilitates the discussion about the priorities for the period ahead.
In 2014 the Trilateral Governmental Council adopted a long-term strategy in Tønder (DK).
The programme combines various approaches and instruments for management, monitoring and assessment, and complies with the requirements of relevant European and international law, such as the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Habitats and Birds Directives, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the World Heritage Convention. TMAP’s parameter composition is constantly being reviewed to take account of new challenges such the introduction of alien species as well as new European law or the adjustments of existing directives.
TMAP is carried out by national and regional authorities in charge of monitoring. The main partners are the Danish Environment Protection Agency, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (in cooperation with Rijkswaterstaat) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, as well as the State Ministries or Authorities for the Environment of Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, and the National Park Administrations.
Within the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation, TMAP is a responsibility of the Task Group Monitoring & Assessment (TG-MA). The group is supported by technical expert groups on the topics birds, data handling, dunes, salt marshes and seals. The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day management of TMAP and the coordination of the trilateral groups.
At regular intervals, the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation issues assessment reports entitled Wadden Sea Quality Status Report (QSR), which contain findings collected through TMAP. The QSR describes and evaluates the ecological status of the Wadden Sea at the time of its publication. It identifies changes in this status and their possible causes, classifies issues of concern and indicates possible measures of redress, including evaluation of the likely effectiveness of these measures, and it identifies knowledge gaps. As of 2017, the QSR is presented on the online platform qsr.waddensea-worldheritage.org, which is updated regularly. Earlier reports can be downloaded in “Resources”.