Launch of the IOI OCEAN ACADEMY with three pilot online courses successfully delivered for Sri Lanka, Egypt and the Maldives

During 2021, the IOI Governors supported the proposal to launch the IOI Virtual Academy on Ocean Governance as part of the celebrations surrounding the IOI’s 50th anniversary in 2022. The purpose of the IOI Ocean Academy is to increase IOI´s outreach through the implementation of regular Courses, to expand the traditional IOI training portfolio and teach out to new audiences by offering ocean literacy programmes online. The target audience for these IOI Ocean Academy Courses may be defined as interested laypersons.  


The IOI Ocean Academy builds and expands on earlier IOI ocean literacy programmes and partnerships such as the Women, Youth and the Sea Programme, the World Ocean Review Series and the Massive Open Online Course – One Planet: One Ocean. An IOI Ocean Academy Course is designed to upgrade the ocean literacy of the target lay audience by providing an understanding of regionally and locally relevant ocean information at an appropriate level.  IOI Ocean Academy Courses shall address specific regional needs and have a clear link to Ocean Governance and the IOI mission.  


The online IOI Ocean Academy Courses are offered under the oversight of the IOI and implemented by local partners who may be either IOI Alumni or other competent and knowledgeable individuals or persons within an institutional setting, having a proven relation to IOI. The online IOI Ocean Academy Courses shall be offered at no financial cost to registered participants and in local languages. 

Why is the Ocean so important to life on earth? And how and why must we protect it from the consequences of human behaviors? How can the sustainable use of these Ocean ecosystems, which are so important for humans and the

conservation of their livelihoods, be ensured in the long term?


The IOI Ocean Academy courses will seek to answer all these questions and more

during the 20-hour online courses proposed.


Visit the IOI Ocean Academy dedicated webpage for more information or to register for any upcoming courses. 

IOI OCEAN ACADEMY EGYPT: The Marine Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Future; Online, 1 November – 13 December 2021, Arabic Language.


As part of the online IOI Ocean Academy programme, the first course was offered in Egypt, with 3-hour sessions for a total of 20 hours. From the large number of applications received, the first cohort of 47 participants were selected and registered for the course conducted in the local language, Arabic. The director of the first course was Dr Lamiaa Mohamedein (IOI Egypt Director) and faculty members contributed local knowledge and topic expertise, as well as their experience as IOI alumni in some cases. Course welcome and introductory lectures and were provided and supported by IOI HQ. 

IOI OCEAN ACADEMY SRI LANKA Ocean Governance Framework for Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Ocean, and Marine Resources; Online, 2 - 30 November 2021, English Language

The first IOI Ocean Academy Course for the SE Asian region was organised and directed by Dr Aruna Maheepala (IOI Focal Point in Sri Lanka) in partnership with the Sri Lanka Association for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (SLAFAR). This online course was designed to provide an understanding of regionally and locally relevant Ocean information while addressing specific local needs. Another aim was to support the outcomes of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  A total of 46 participants followed this online course; eligible applicants were graduates, final year university students, mid-level officers and policy makers within ministries and departments. Introductory lectures and welcome speeches were supported by IOI. 

IOI OCEAN ACADEMY MALDIVES: Coral Reefs: Importance and Measures for Sustenance; Online, 14 - 25 November 2021, Dhivehi Language.

The IOI Ocean Academy course in the Maldives, organised by Dr Azmath Jaleel, Director Ocean Academy Maldives, was delivered online, free of charge in the native language, Dhivehi. The course was held in 2 hourly sessions every consecutive evening.  The course was conducted primarily by Dr Abdulla Naseer and focussed on coral reefs and reef habitats; the importance of the reef system in protecting islands and also in supporting the marine ecosystem. It also addressed the social and economic significance of the reefs. For the first-ever IOI Ocean Academy course in the Maldives, Minister at the President’s Office, HE Zaha Waheed addressed the students and a video message from Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director, IOI, was also shown to the participants. 


The course was very well received and below are some of the participants’ feedback on completion of the course.


“This course has made such a huge difference on how I see our precious, geographically, unique and rich country. It is global knowledge that our country is suffering from the rapid changes of the world, but with the things I learnt, it gives me hope that there are things we can do within our control to take care and protect our natural habitats because our lives depend on it entirely”


“This is a very important course which I think every Maldivian should participate in. The content and language have been well tailored for a wide range of demographics and delivered masterfully.”­