Under the able guidance of Directors Lynn Jackson and Judy Beaumont, and the assistance of Kirshia Govender, the International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa (IOI SA), organised and successfully delivered the 11th Ocean Governance Training Progamme, welcoming 23 local and international participants: 15 from South Africa, and 8 from Algeria, Cameroon, Kenya (2), Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania.
During the course, participants had the opportunity to engage with regional experts in a range of ocean governance thematic areas. Course content was complemented with interactive sessions and group discussions. Field trips provided an opportunity to apply the learnings in a practical setting. The 4 weeks were characterized by thoughtful and enthusiastic input from the participants, encouraging peer-to-peer learning and group exercises throughout the training. Practical sessions included a risk assessment exercise, group work on multilateral environmental agreements and a simulated marine spatial planning process, using the interactive board game donated by IOC-UNESCO.
One group exercise ran throughout the four week period and involved the development of a policy brief on one of four broad topics listed below:
• Opportunities from green shipping and green ports for reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
• Small scale fisheries: policy implementation challenges;
• Oil and gas production: impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems;
• Marine pollution: policy approaches for reducing marine plastic pollution from land-based sources.
Group presentations and the final policy briefs were assessed by a panel of ocean governance practitioners, who provided recommendations on content, presentation skills and group process.
The field trips formed an integral part of the technical course schedule, anchoring the course content with practical examples, and providing the participants with an opportunity to explore areas around Cape Town through the lens of ocean governance. For many of the participants, this was their first time to visit some of the world-famous sites of the Western Cape. Highlights included visits to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Two Oceans Aquarium, Kraaifontein recycling plant, Zandvlei Nature Reserve and Shark Spotters.