16 October 2001: Workshop 5 ”Managing wetlands for sustainable use”
Biodiversity of wetlands in focus on sustainable tourism
Per Magnus Åhrén, Halland County Administration Board, Sweden
Twenty-seven organisations, charities, trusts and authorities on local, regional and national level in the
United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden representing 12 wetland
areas in the North Sea region have during two years, 1999-2001, been part of a common project – WISP.
The WISP project – Wetlands in Spatial Planning - has focused on three items: wetland management,
sustainable tourism and spatial planning. Within the project particularly the potential of wetlands for
recreation, tourism and rural development has been emphasized. Most of the wetland areas in the project
are internationally recognised Ramsar Sites. The WISP project has been financed for 50 per cent by the
participating partners, the other 50 per cent by the EU North Sea Programme Interreg IIC.
Within the project, four international booklets have been produced; a basic report including a SWOT-
analysis of the 12 wetland areas (“Aspects of management and sustainable tourism”), a guideline on
wetlands quality, a guideline on sustainable wetlands tourism and a more popular booklet presenting the
wetland areas. The publications, all in English, will be available during the Meeting. Nationally/
regionally/locally, a number of further publications with a stronger focus on promotion has been
produced. Our homepage www.eurowetlands.com, from where the publications may be downloaded,
gives information about the project. Investments in public facilities and information to visitors has also
been made. Our participants have had the opportunity to visit the different sites which has given
important inspiration for their own sites. The project has contributed to building up an important network
for future exchange of practical knowledge and experience of wetlands around the North Sea region.
Ideas and plans for the future include a wider “NorWet” network.
The lecture during the conference will give examples from the twelve wetland sites in the way how to use
the wetland areas taking the biodiversity in consideration while using them for recreation, promoting
sustainable tourism and local participation. Worthwhile extracts and examples from the guidelines will also