Since its foundation in 1972, IOI has trained more than 2000 Ocean professionals, contributing towards a growing global network of trained and empowered leaders fully conversant with the latest developments in Ocean Governance, achieving a critical mass of IOI-trained professionals and practitioners. The IOI Alumni CPD Series aims to bring the latest knowledge and insights to the attention of our Alumni and to contribute meaningfully to the ongoing discourse on Ocean Governance and sustainable development.
Building on the webinar series launched in 2023, the 2024 schedule shall continue to highlight the latest developments in the ever-evolving landscape of global challenges and opportunities. Quarterly webinars are curated to enrich the knowledge of IOI Alumni with unique perspectives on the latest developments, featuring experts who guide discussion on the intersection of Ocean Governance, sustainability, and international cooperation.
Throughout the year, the IOI CPD series shall navigate key themes in the global landscape, from the triple planetary crisis to the specific challenges faced by vulnerable countries, critical discussions on the global financial system, and the current challenges to multilateralism. The hallmark of each IOI CPD webinar is the interactive learning and exchange of views with topic experts.
"In the end we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
And we will understand only what we are taught."
Baba Dioum, IUCN Triennial, New Delhi, 1968
The last IOI Alumni Webinar this year focused on the pivotal role of Ocean Literacy in fostering the advancement of the SDGs, especially SDG 14 and the underlying theme of Ocean protection and conservation, and aimed to serve as a platform for insightful discourse and collaborative exploration of key overlapping concepts.
In the face of current challenges of Ocean degradation, increasingly unpredictable Ocean-climate modulation, and potential biodiversity collapse, distinguished experts examined how knowledge-based institutions such as the IOI can contribute to achieving effective solutions that meet the global SDGs and ambitions, while also considering the role that Ocean literate communities can play in accelerating this transition.
With a primary emphasis on the critical need for heightened public awareness and understanding of Ocean issues, the seminar aimed to emphasise the significant impact of Ocean Literacy on fostering responsible and effective Ocean Governance practices amongst all stakeholders.
Inspired by the quotation in caption, the Seminar underscored the transformative power of Ocean Literacy in creating a global community that not only comprehends but cherishes the Ocean and appreciates its critical role as supporter of life on this planet. By nurturing a deeper understanding and respect for our Ocean, humankind can collectively chart a course towards a sustainable future where human activities are in harmony with the intricate web of the Ocean's ecosystems, ensuring their vitality for generations to come.
This Seminar sought to catalyse a mindset change among stakeholders, policymakers, educators, and the public to prioritise Ocean literacy as a means to comprehend and manage human-Ocean interactions and impacts to promote a sustainable and prosperous future, one in which our Ocean remains a vital source of life.
The third webinar in the series focused on Deep Seabed Mining which currently presents a complex spectrum of opportunities and immense challenges that demand thoughtful examination. Not only does deep seabed mining represent a burgeoning industry with the potential to revolutionise resource extraction, but it also brings to the forefront pressing environmental, ethical, and social concerns juxtaposed against the consideration of the principle of the Common Heritage of Humankind as laid out in UNCLOS.
This engaging session proved to be highly informative and insightful, marked by the valuable contributions of Dr Michael Norton (Environment Programme Director, EASAC) and Dr Bobbi-Jo Dobush (Legal & Ocean Governance Officer, The Ocean Foundation) . The Webinar delved into the multifaceted dimensions of deep seabed mining, focusing on its environmental, ethical, and technological implications.
Dr Norton's insights, drawn from his extensive experience in environmental science and policy, provided a comprehensive understanding of the complex intersection between international collaboration, environmental preservation, and deep seabed mining. His emphasis on the importance of sustainable practices and the common heritage of humankind underscored the significance of responsible resource management in safeguarding our Ocean for future generations.
Dr Dobush’s passionate advocacy for Ocean conservation and her work in promoting a moratorium on deep seabed mining highlighted the ethical considerations associated with this industry. Her nuanced perspective on sustainable mining practices and the need for a balanced approach resonated deeply with the audience, highlighting the imperative of safeguarding marine ecosystems and respecting the rights of indigenous communities.
During the Q&A session, the Webinar participants actively engaged in discussions, addressing critical issues such as ecosystem disruption, biodiversity preservation, and the ethical implications of deep seabed mining. As the Webinar drew to a close, the participants gained a comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding deep seabed mining, along with a heightened awareness of the urgent need for responsible practices and international collaboration to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of our Ocean.
The second webinar in the series was exclusively designed with the aim of enriching IOI alumni's knowledge with unique perspectives and state of the art developments, delivered by experts, and offering opportunities for interaction, questions, and exchange of views.
This engaging session focused on the new treaty of the "high seas" on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Experts drew attention to its key provisions and objectives, its significance in addressing gaps in existing international frameworks, and its ambitions to promote the sustainable management of marine resources. The speakers elaborated on future scenarios, highlighting potential implications and challenges associated with the implementation of this new treaty, opportunities for collaboration and innovation in scientific research, technology development, and sustainable practices.
Setting things off, Arne Langlet (PhD Student, MARIPOLDATA) highlighted how through a delicate balance of interests and some innovative drafting, BBNJ negotiators managed to finalize a treaty that can pave the way for the sustainable governance and conservation of biodiversity in the high seas. Following this, Liliana Rodríguez Cortés (Delegate of the IOI to the UN in New York, Co-founder and CEO of Fundación Aramacao), offered the attendees a unique reflection on the BBNJ consultations, bringing insights from the actual negotiation room and focusing on the perspective of an NGO in the process. Rounding up the webinar, Klaudija Cremers (Research Fellow, International Ocean Governance, IDDRI) elaborated on the next steps in the road to implementation and how the adoption of the BBNJ treaty is only the first step towards the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, and that now States will have to ratify the treaty to bring it into force, establish core institutions and develop capacity, science and technology to ensure rapid, effective and equitable implementation of the treaty.
By the end of the session, the participants gained a comprehensive understanding of the High Seas Treaty and its potential to reshape the conservation and management of biodiversity beyond national boundaries, hopefully setting the stage for a new era of Ocean Governance and sustainability.
This first webinar aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the current trends in the blue economy, as well as the future foresight and research directions that will be critical for achieving sustainable economic growth while protecting the marine environment. The expert speakers approached the topic from different angles based on their expertise.
Setting things off, Dr Awni Behnam (Honorary President, IOI) provided a short introduction with regard to the historic evolution of the concept and addressed both the opportunities and the pitfalls that come with it. Dr Lisa Pace (Senior Lecturer, The Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking & Innovation) highlighted future trends and the challenges to harnessing blue economy opportunities for innovation whilst understanding the socio-economic implications of ocean-based activities. Following this, Prof Alan Deidun (Ocean Ambassador for Malta and IOI Malta Training Centre Director, University of Malta) elaborated on interlinkages between the blue economy and the resources present in the deep sea, while answering the very timely question of whether or not we are heading towards a “Blue” Tragedy of the Commons. Ms Angelique Pouponneau (Policy Advisor, Alliance of Small Islands States) offered the attendees a unique perspective on how a sustainable blue economy requires policy, institutional and legal coherence for success – with a focus on the Seychelles.