IOI Vision, Mission and Goals

The ethical and moral underpinnings of the IOI in managing relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner are: 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, particularly developing countries.




To continue into the future to play a vital role in Ocean Governance by maintaining the legacy of the founder Elisabeth Mann Borgese for humankind to live with the Ocean and from the Ocean in sustainable relationship, protecting both and respecting the Ocean’s majesty.



  1. To ensure the sustainability of the Ocean as “a source of life”, and to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea signed at Montego Bay on December 10th 1982.
  2. To promote the concept of Pacem in Maribus – peace in the Ocean and its management and conservation – for the benefit of future generations.
  3. To promote the concept of ocean governance, including integrated ocean policy, for planning and management of the oceans at national, regional and global levels.
  4. To conduct training and education for capacity building to meet the crucial demand for knowledgeable future leaders in ocean governance. To access and produce publications of the most current scientific, legal and policy developments and participate in the development of national and international ocean governance agendas.
  5. To promote 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, particularly developing countries, in managing their relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner remains the ethical and moral foundation of the IOI.


  1. The International Ocean Institute contributes to the evolving process of Ocean Governance through its functions and activities.
  2. Guided by the United Nations Charter, the General Principles of the International Law and of the Law of the Sea, the Institute monitors implementation of international conventions and agreements as they relate to the Oceans, participates in and contributes to the evolving policy dialogue on the Ocean in the fora of the United Nations System and other international organisations.
  3. The Institute promotes the elaboration of appropriate maritime laws and regulations and implements national and regional plans and international agreements on the management and sustainable use of the Ocean, coasts and islands.
  4. The Institute raises awareness of the peaceful uses of the Ocean, its protection and conservation, as well as the sustainable development of its resources, in accordance with the principle of the common heritage of mankind.
  5. The Institute engages in the dissemination of information, sharing and transfer of knowledge and experience.
  6. The Institute contributes to the sustainable uses of the Ocean as well as to the sustainable development of developing countries and countries in transition, through capacity building, training and education, enabling them to manage ocean and coastal resources sustainably.


(Extracts from the IOI Statutes and Rules of Procedure, 2015) available for download below  


IOI Statutes & Rules of Procedure.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 630.9 KB

Message from the IOI Patron


The International Ocean Institute is the legacy of its founder Prof Elisabeth Mann Borgese who devoted the best part of her life to the inspiring and worthy mission of integrating the ethical and moral dimension into the global governance dimension. She helped to fashion the constitution of the ocean – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – as an instrument for the peaceful use of ocean services and resources for the benefit of all humankind.


The direct impact of the human imprint on the ocean, combined with the interdependent nexus of ocean and climate change calls for a new vision and a new direction in the sustainable governance of the ocean, its seas and their resources.


Today I invite you to share with us an exciting and challenging journey by making your own contribution to improve the sustainability of the ocean and thus promote peace and development worldwide. There are many ways by which you can become involved with us so please take the time to visit our website, learn more about what the International Ocean Institute does and how you can be a part of this great venture.



Mr. Nikolaus Gelpke

Patron, International Ocean Institute