About IOI

The International Ocean Institute (IOI) is a world leading independent, non-governmental non-profit organisation conducting training and capacity building in Ocean Governance globally. It aims to train young and mid-career practitioners in contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on the moral, ethical and legal values in Ocean Governance (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean).


In 1972, the IOI was founded by Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese. Its establishment was a milestone in the struggle to promote the concept of Pacem in Maribus (peace in the oceans) and conservation of the ocean and its resources so that future generations can share in their benefits. The IOI enjoys special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status at some of UN’s Specialized Agencies, the IOI works to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage as defined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.


Today, IOI operates through a network of Operational Centres and Focal Points globally, with its Headquarters hosted by the Government of Malta at the premises of the University of Malta.


The major financial support to the IOI and its global programmes comes from the Ocean Science and Research Foundation (OSRF) and in addition to financial contributions from OSRF and other partners, IOI receives in-kind support from other partners. These contributions are substantial in terms of quality and quantity and complement the financial resources for IOI to deliver its programmes and fulfill its mission.


The three pillars supporting the IOI mission are Training and Capacity Building, International Relations, and Publications.


Training and Capacity Building: Since 1980, IOI has trained more than 1,500 people - particularly from developing countries and countries in transition and contributed to a growing global network of trained and empowered leaders fully conversant with the latest developments in ocean governance, with the knowledge, skills and essential attitude required for effective ocean governance of the planet´s precious resources. 


Publications and International Relations: The IOI promotes its training and capacity building activities by accessing and producing publications which contribute intellectual inputs, and by partnering with international, regional, national and local institutions and governments, and public and private institutions working in the field of Ocean Governance.


The respect for common goods, the peaceful and sustainable use of ocean services and resources, the common heritage of the high seas and the need to support and empower people and countries in managing their relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner remains the ethical and moral foundation of the IOI. 


A summary of the core activities of IOI is presented in the diagram below*:

*OG: Ocean Governance; WOR: World Ocean Review publications; OYB: Ocean Yearbook Publication
*OG: Ocean Governance; WOR: World Ocean Review publications; OYB: Ocean Yearbook Publication