Programme Coordinator Wadden Sea World Heritage

Common Wadden Sea Secretariat

Programme Coordinator Wadden Sea World Heritage

Start: 1st of June 2023

The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, is the Secretariat of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation (the Danish, Dutch, German cooperation at government level for the protection of the Wadden Sea, TWSC) and the coordinating hub for the Wadden Sea World Heritage. The working language is English. The secretariat with its international staff is located in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, with the office charmingly located nearby the sea.

With the retirement of the actual staff member, the Wadden Sea World Heritage coordinator position becomes available. The full-time post offers an appealing and attractive broad range of tasks, responsibilities and representations at all different levels within the Wadden Sea Region and beyond, to support and further the status of the Wadden Sea as one unified UNESCO world heritage site.

For decades the CWSS has played an important role in supporting and servicing the TWSC on all aspects of ecosystem conservation, including the important process of the inscription of the Wadden Sea on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The TWSC is unified in its responsibility they share for the preservation of this One Wadden Sea World Heritage and has a high ambitious level to achieve their common goals and to be internationally respected, facing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Against this background the CWSS has a recognized and central position to serve the trilateral Wadden Sea Board in its political-management performance, and to support and contribute to all trilateral working-groups. In addition, the CWSS acts within several externally funded projects with an even more international character.

The CWSS solves its tasks based on priorities set by the Wadden Sea Board, so tasks may evolve accordingly. The focus of the tasks assigned will be on the overall coordination of World Heritage activities in the three states (Denmark, Germany, Netherlands), the implementation and updating of relevant trilateral strategies, the coordination and reporting within the framework of the UN World Heritage Convention, the international cooperation with other marine World Heritage sites and similar areas and the support of sustainable development for the protection of the World Heritage.

Key Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the overall coordination of the Wadden Sea World Heritage including (inter)national cooperation with other World Heritage sites.
  • Development of strategies and policies for the World Heritage Site, as well as their implementation.
  • Lead and/or develop, prepare and implement specific international/trilateral projects.
  • Responsible for all financial aspects involved, including externally funded projects as appropriate.
  • Secretary of the Task Group World Heritage.
  • Contacts with UNESCO, EU and other international conventions and programs including several existing MOU’s.
  • Preparation of (technical) statements and participation in relevant meetings of UNESCO, EU and other international conventions and programs.
  • Co-operation and co-ordination with national and regional programs and activities related to World Heritage and National Parks.
  • Preparation of policy documents for the meetings of the Wadden Sea Board and Ministerial Council in the context of the above tasks.
  • Initiation, coordination, preparation and implementation of trilateral working group meetings and expert workshops on relevant issues.
  • Representation of the Secretariat at national and international events, through presentations at requests of relevant events.

Qualifications required

  • Masters-level university degree in biology, marine science, environmental or a related discipline. A degree in another field with relevant work experience may also be relevant in lieu of the above requirements.
  • Experience in environmental policy and nature protection, preferably at the international level.
  • Experience of or proven interest in international cooperation, knowledge of and experience with the UNESCO World Heritage Convention is an asset.
  • Proven track record in project management, including international/multinational projects.
  • Experience in report writing.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English. Knowledge of another Wadden Sea language (German, Danish, Dutch) is an asset.
  • The incumbent should be able to work autonomously and should be a team player.
  • Interpersonal skills will include the ability to inspire and cooperate with a broad range of partners across the Trilateral Cooperation on the protection of the Wadden Sea and beyond, having intercultural experience.
  • Hold the capacity to stimulate and motivate teams in projects.
  • The incumbent will possess confidence in representing the TWSC vis-à-vis external partners and stakeholders, including public speaking.
  • Candidates must be prepared to travel.

Salary and allowances

Based on the German Collective agreement for Civil Service Employees (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst, TVöD), depending on qualification and experience comparable up to level 14.

The position is based in Wilhelmshaven. We are putting our employee health and safety first with socially distanced office spaces, flexible working patterns and remote work possibilities.

Duration of appointment

A long-term contract can be offered, after a probation period of 6 months.

The selection and recruitment process will be conducted in accordance with relevant German and European law.

For further information on the job description, you may contact Bettina Oleksik via email or by phone +49 (0)4421-910817.

Please submit your email application in English to the Executive Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Bernard Baerends (

Interviews are foreseen to take place in April 2023. In the interview committee the three Wadden Sea states will be represented.

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2023

Common Wadden Sea Secretariat
Virchowstr. 1
26382 Wilhelmshaven
+49 (0) 4421 9108 0
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