Hybrid, Aula Magna, University of Malta, Valletta Campus, 30th November 2022
As part of the annual IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas, organised by IOI Malta, the IOI together with the University of Malta organised this year's high-profile hybrid seminar in the context of three interlinked anniversaries: fifty-five years since Malta through its Ambassador Arvid Pardo, called upon the Membership of the UN to undertake a reform of the Law of the Sea; fifty years since Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese founded the International Ocean Institute as a knowledge-based institution and as a thinktank in support of the negotiations of UNCLOS; and forty years since the adoption of UNCLOS by the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. These developments had far-reaching consequences towards the implementation of sound Ocean stewardship principles and the peaceful use of the Ocean, underlined by the Principle of the Common Heritage of Humankind.
The premise to the seminar, in fact, highlighted the global concerns regarding the current impasse in the sustainable management of the Ocean and how the future of Ocean governance depends on the effectiveness of holistic, cooperative management, and most importantly, urgent and sustained action to address complex marine issues. Expert speakers brought attention to the latest developments in these areas while focusing on interlinkages of climate change, biodiversity, the wellbeing of the Ocean and the subsequent interdependent impacts on humankind.
The seminar was chaired by IOI Honorary President Awni Behnam (Affiliate Professor within the Department of Geosciences). Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director of the IOI, moderated the seminar and expanded on the IOI's 50-year legacy in favour of the Ocean and Ocean Governance. David Vivas Eugui, Legal Officer UNCTAD, offered a presentation on Blue BioTrade, and how value stock assessments, regional approaches, benefit sharing and raising awareness across all stakeholder groups can usher in a new approach for sustainable use of marine biodiversity. Alan Deidun, Malta’s Ocean Ambassador and Director of the IOI Malta Training Centre, delivered a briefing highlighting how supply problems with rare earth minerals may hasten the onset of industrial-scale seabed mining to the detriment of yet undisturbed deep sea ecosystems. Stefano Moncada, Director of the Islands and Small States Institute at the University of Malta, touched upon the special socio-economic characteristics of SIDS and how the Blue Economy may be an excellent opportunity to foster local development when policies are informed by scientific research. Simone Borg, Malta’s Ambassador for Climate Action, delved into the implications of regulating climate change impacts on the Ocean, and expanded on the imperative need for scientific recommendations to be translated into legal measures that bridge the gap between research and action. Alan Deidun, Malta’s Ocean Ambassador and Director of the IOI Malta Training Centre, delivered a briefing highlighting how supply problems with rare earth minerals may hasten the onset of industrial-scale seabed mining to the detriment of yet undisturbed deep sea ecosystems.
This seminar was attended by the invited public, and faculty and participants of the Malta Training Programme class of 2022. The participants of the training programme are early career ocean professionals from the coastal states of the regional seas. The class - encouraged by the recent statements of UN Secretary General António Guterres, highlighting the challenges to humanity for a sustainable Ocean - prepared a message which highlighted the critical nature of the nexus of Ocean and climate change and examined the legacy of 40 years since the adoption of UNCLOS. The message was presented on behalf of the class of 2022 by Ms Chiara Mondaini (pictured below).
Watch the full recording below: