IOI Canada held a refresher course on ‘Ocean governance: issues of immediate concern’

The International Ocean Institute (IOI) is a world leading independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization conducting training and capacity building in ocean governance globally. Every year IOI holds a two-month training programme in Canada on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management that emphasises the importance of viewing the ocean as a system with varied users and multiple, often competing and conflicting, uses. The training takes place from May to July since 1981, when it was initiated by Elizabeth Mann Borgese.

The course aims to increase awareness of the fact that ocean management requires broad interdisciplinary skills, new institutional and legal infrastructures, and new forms of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisation and cooperation at the local, national and international levels. Training consists of over 200 hours in the classroom, and includes lectures, interactive discussions, field trips, simulations and exercises, individual participant presentations, and an international round table. The course is organized in way to provide mid-career professionals from developing countries with a breadth of information on current challenges and opportunities related to governance of oceans and coasts worldwide.

Due to the pandemic, the 40th Anniversary of IOI Training Programme, which was to take place in 2020, had to be postponed. Instead, IOI organized a refresher series of nine seminars titled ‘Ocean Governance: Issues of Immediate Concern’ with much success. The series took place over 4 weeks and included 44 alumni from 30 countries from all 4 decades of the training programme. The series explored various topics through nine lectures, one of which was given by TBTI Director Ratana Chuenpagdee titled ‘Why Do Small-scale Fisheries Matterfor Ocean Sustainability?’. Additionally, when IOI-Canada’s traditional, in-person, delivery of the Elisabeth Mann Borgese Ocean Lecture on World Oceans Day could not take place, IOI-Canada — a longstanding TBTI partner organization — provided support to the TBTI led online event ‘Small is Bountiful – 2020 World Oceans Day’.

To read testimonials from the 2020 Refresher Series, click here.

Moving forward, IOI is considering offering an extended, online, Refresher Series of lectures for IOI alumni generally (not just IOI-Canada alumni), to be planned and delivered as a collaborative initiative of IOI-Canada and IOI-South Africa. Exact dates are still being determined. For more details, please see IOI Canada website.