The eighth course focussing on Caspian Sea issues came to a fruitful completion last month. This course is part of the IOI’s capacity building programmes on ocean governance and is offered with co-founding partner the Caspian Sea Institute of Turkmenistan.
The course was formally launched by, IOI HQ Managing Director, Antonella Vassallo and by Chairman Myrat Atajanov on the 16th of May alongside Iouri Oliounine, Director of the Training Programme, who further introduced the participants to the concepts and structure of the course.
This year, 9 participants from the countries surrounding the Caspian Sea (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and IR Iran) attended the course. The diverse experience in issues of Caspian Sea management, research and policy of the participants further enriched the project work undertaken during the course.
The course addressed a number of overarching subjects, such as Ocean Governance Frameworks; Management Tools and Financial Mechanisms for Sustainable Transboundary Water Governance, and were principally theoretical lectures delivered by international experts via online lectures.
In addition to the in-person lecturers, I Oliounine and Parvin Farschi, expert faculty also delivered lectures in hybrid mode this year, addressing topics such as Introduction to the imperatives of Ocean Governance; Concepts of Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (A Vassallo), Marine Spatial Planning (A Abramic), Maritime Zones and their Legal Regimes (N Martinez), Joint Development Agreements (E Kazara-Belja), Framework and Current Challenges to Ocean Governance today (A Jimenez Garcia Carriazo), Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (G Wright), IMO Conventions and their application (M Sumer), Caspian Sea Level Fluctuations (B Abtahi) and Financial Mechanisms and Their Application Within the Caspian Region (V Mamaev). The course participants were also honoured to receive an address from Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
In the second part of the course the participants were expected to apply their knowledge to specific scenarios that demonstrated how their newly attained knowledge can be applied to real-life scenarios during an interactive project. The participants presented their findings under the direction of exercise mentor, Parvin Farshchi, with the assistance of I Oliounine. The trainees delivered excellent work widely using knowledge gained during the course.
The successful presentations of the group projects marked the end of the course, with the participants receiving their certificates during the closing ceremony. Their professionalism, willingness to learn from others in the field and overall high interest in the issues currently facing the Caspian Sea were indicators that the overarching goal of the course to prepare future ocean leaders with the capacity to manage human relations with and from the ocean was ultimately met.