Training Course on Ocean Governance: Legal Framework, Policies, Technologies and Practices, 11 - 22 September 2023

Co-organised by the National Marine Data and Information Service (NMDIS) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the IOI China Regional Center for the West Pacific Region at Aster Plaza, Tianjin, China

Report by Prof Mao Bin (Course Director)


Over the last decades, the attention of global stakeholders has focused more and more on the importance of the Ocean and its governance – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the dedicated SDG 14 calling to Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; the very recent Agreement under the UNCLOS on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) being two foremost examples. In growing recognition of the critical importance of the Ocean in making life on this planet possible, national marine capacity building is becoming more and more important and training for ocean management professionals is one of the most practical measures contributing to the ocean governance. For these reasons, the IOI, through the IOI China Regional Center for the Western Pacific Region has prepared and successfully delivered the training course on ocean governance. 


The training programme was designed with 4 modules (Module I Governance of the Ocean in the Areas beyond National Jurisdiction - International Legal Framework and New Development; Module II Integrated Coastal Management (ICM); Module III Ocean Governance and Sustainable Development - Policies, Technologies and Practices; Module IV Course Presentations by Participants, Evaluation and Reporting), and was offered to participants from a diversity of practical and academic backgrounds. The programme was offered in hybrid format for two weeks, focusing on intensive class training through presentations and discussions, and one study tour to the National Ocean Museum.


The training course was launched on the 11th September under the aegis of high level guests - Ms Liu Xiaoyan, Counsellor from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms Yu Xinwei, Deputy Director of the Department of the Ministry of the Natural Resources, and Dr Shi Suixiang, Director-General of the National Marine Data and Information Service, and Governor of the IOI Governing Board.


36 participants from 12 countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand) participated in the training course, of whom 22 participants participated in the training course in-person in Tianjin, the rest online. The training course was conducted through intensive presentation classes and discussions in or after classes. Training combined theory with practice, so that, as an example, after presentations on ICM, a presentation on case studies for the implementation of ICM in Dongying City was made to help the participants to have a better understanding of ICM. The training course also provided participants with a platform for learning from each other with class discussions and interaction and the sharing of good practices and experiences; and some excellent participant presentations. The course director thanks and appreciates Ms Naina Islam, Dr Wu Jinchao and Dr Hariz for their leadership as class leaders, without which the training course would not have been so successful.


Course Director, Prof Mao Bin, also expressed sincere thanks to Dr Shi Suixiang, Dr Awni Behnam, Honorary Chair of IOI, and Ms Antonella, Managing Director of IOI for their leadership and guidance; to Cosmin Chivu, IOI’s Programme Officer, for the coordination between IOI Headquarters and IOI China Regional Center, and for his excellent interaction and discussion with the participants online. On behalf of the whole class, he also thanked Professor Qin Li, Ms Wan Fangfang, Ms Shi Xiaoxiao and Ms Qi Dongmei for their excellent organization, thoughtful arrangement and hard work. 


Finally, Prof Mao pointed out that while the training course was completed after the graduation ceremony, the friendships established during the training course will be forever. He augured that the freshly graduated IOI Alumni would “go hand in hand for a healthy ocean and for a better future”.