Latest News and Upcoming Events

Sidney Holt (1926 - 2019)


The IOI family is deeply saddened by the news of the death of a great supporter of the institute since its formative stages, Sidney Holt. He was the first Executive Director of the IOI and collaborated closely with Elisabeth Mann Borgese, contributing also greatly to the establishment of the IOI Canada Training Programme. 


The ocean community owes a debt of gratitude to Sidney Holt for his remarkable conservation initiatives, commitment to the Oceans and contribution in the service of humanity.

New President of IOI Governing Board and

Composition of IOI Governing Board in 2020


Dr Mahin Faghfouri is the new President of the IOI Governing Board, chosen by the Board members in unanimity during their meeting in December 2019. She succeeds Nikolaus Gelpke, who is now the IOI’s Patron, following his previous role as President. The IOI family acknowledges with gratitude his support of the IOI throughout his tenure. The position of Vice President vacated by Dr Faghfouri is now occupied by Dr Chua Thia-Eng. The IOI continues to benefit immensely from the combined expertise and guidance of its members:


Awni Behnam, Honorary President

Nikolaus Gelpke, Patron of IOI

Mahin Faghfouri, President

Chua Thia-Eng, Vice-President

Simone Borg, Representative of the Government of Malta to the IOI Governing Board

Peter W Leder, Treasurer

Adnan Awad, Chair of IOI Directors

Louis F Cassar, Member

Anita Coady, Member

Lawrence Hildebrand, Member 

Shi Suixiang, Member

Wendy Watson-Wright, Member

  • IOI panel on Human Health and the Health of the Ocean organised during the 2nd Xiong'an International Health Forum in Langfang, PR China (17th - 18th October 2019)

The 2nd Xiong’an International Health Forum (XIHF), co-founded by the Shenzhen World Health Foundation, aimed to provide a platform for government officials, business managers, researchers and practitioners where ideas and good practices could be exchanged in order to predict development trends, discuss policy recommendations, build cross-sector bridges and promote the comprehensive implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, with a special focus on human health issues.


During the forum the IOI was invited to organise a panel on “Human Health and the Health of the Ocean: Linking SDG3 and SDG14 for Human Health & Wellbeing”. The panel was moderated by Antonella Vassallo and contained interventions from Chad Blackman (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Barbados to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva); Poh Poh Wong (Visiting Associate Professor, School of Social Science, University of Adelaide, Australia); Mao Bin (Course Director, IOI China Training Programme); Hajo Zeeb (Professor of Epidemiology, Leibniz-Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology-BIPS, Bremen, Germany); Lu Haifeng (Secretary General, Global Forum on Human Settlements); Cherdsak Virapat (Executive Director, International Institute for Trade and Development, Thailand) and Peter Leder (Member, IOI Governing Board).


The speakers made their presentations with the intent of developing and emphasising the linkages between SDG3, SDG14 and also SDG13 under the broad thematic of human health as it relates to ocean and climate issues, Small Island Developing States, the interdependence of cities and oceans, ocean governance, capacity development and education, institutional arrangements and ocean policy, aquaculture and food security and socio-cultural issues.

  •  Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Awni Behnam (photos available in the GALLERY section)

During the opening ceremony of the Forum, Awni Behnam (Honorary President, IOI) received the XIHF Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his contribution to promoting the sustainable use of the ocean and also for his role in raising awareness on the importance of using its resources rationally and sustainably. The award was collected on his behalf by Antonella Vassallo.




The 2019-2020 Bursary will be awarded to one person/research team carrying out postgraduate studies/research in ocean/marine/maritime related studies at the University of Malta.  Staff or students are to be registered with the University of Malta where research in the relevant fields is carried out.


For more information as well as the application form/guidelines kindly click here.


The official application deadline is the 28th June 2019.

  • The World Maritime University and the IOI partner on ocean sustainability and capacity development

The President of WMU, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, and the President of the International Ocean Institute, Mr Nikolaus Gelpke, signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January 2019. The MoU builds on the shared commitment of the IOI and WMU in supporting the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 focused on sustainable oceans as well as the vital role of education and capacity building in support of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The MoU fosters the development of collaborative and reciprocal activities in the fields of ocean sustainability, ocean governance, the implementation of the sustainable development goal for the oceans, and the science-law-policy interface. Collaboration in research, training opportunities and capacity-building initiatives and in the delivery of conferences, seminars, workshops and joint publications on matters of common interest will contribute to the achievement of these objectives.



The Course Brochure and application form for IOI-South Africa's 2019 training programme can be downloaded from the Training section of the website: Any queries and expressions of interest may be addressed to: Mr. Adnan Awad, Director, IOI South Africa on e-mail: awad.adnan(at)


The official application deadline is the 7th May 2019.

The IOI’s Ocean Yearbook publication is published by Brill Nijhoff in cooperation with the Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. Articles on issues and prospects, ocean governance, living resources of the ocean, non-living ocean resources, transportation and communications, environment and coastal management, maritime security, military activities, regional developments, training and education, and ocean polar issues will be considered for Volume 34. Submission deadline is 31st March 2019.


The Ocean Yearbook Student Prize is an annual competition open to students writing research papers on marine affairs subjects at any university or other tertiary education institution. The paper of the 2019 Ocean Yearbook Student Prize winner will be offered publication acceptance in Volume 34, to be published in 2019. Deadline for submissions is the end of the business day on 13 May 2019, with results being announced by 15 July 2019.


The IOI hereby invites applications/nominations for the 2019 Danielle de St. Jorre Scholarship. Further information on the Scholarship as well as the application form and explanatory notes may be either requested/obtained by sending an email to: Madeleine Coffen-Smout, Programme Officer, IOI Canada on e-mail: ioi(at) or by accessing the link below.


The deadline for receipt of applications is 10th February 2019.



The 2019 training programme on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management is scheduled to be held from the 22nd May to 19th July 2019 (subject to final confirmation).


In order to obtain an application form kindly click here.


The official application deadline is the 5th January 2019.



The 3rd IOI Training Programme on Ocean Governance, Ocean Sciences and Geoethics is scheduled to be held at the Universidad del Atlántico, Barranquilla, Colombia from the 21st January to the 15th February 2019.


Pre-registration is now open. The form may be obtained by clicking on the website here. The deadline for registration is the 10th December 2018.


The EGU General Assembly, taking place in Vienna on 7th –12th April 2019, will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences.


During this prestigious event, IOI Brazil Director Dr Eduardo Marone shall be hosting a short course entitled “Foundations of Geoethics for Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences”, that aims to introduce and assist geoscientists in order to apply sound ethical behaviours for the benefit of society at large and the natural environment. The short course is co-sponsored by:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( and IOI-TC-LAC - International Ocean Institute Training Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean ( This course is based on the IOI course offered annually in the Latin American and Caribbean region by IOI Brazil and IOI Costa Rica.


Limited funding opportunities to attend the conference are available at the link below:


Deadline 1st December 2018


In this era of globalization and sectoral integration, capacity building in ocean governance plays a pivotal role in ensuring safe and healthy oceans for the benefit of humankind and the planet. Additionally, obligations towards achieving the SDGs, notably SDG14 and its targets, and other intersecting SDGs, place a burden of responsibility on States and institutions which may benefit from targeted capacity development and training opportunities for their staff.



The Course Brochure and application form for IOI-South Africa's 2018 training programme can be downloaded from the Training section of the website: Any queries and expressions of interest may be addressed to: Mr. Adnan Awad, Director, IOI South Africa on e-mail: awad.adnan(at)


The official application deadline is the 13th April 2018.

IOI-SA cares about empowering all sectors of the population with knowledge about the marine environment including the young ocean ambassadors. They have developed a (digital) booklet of games that are available as PDFs on the IOI-SA Kids website.