IOI Gallery for 2019

New Director of IOI Germany (Germany, January 2019)

Anna-Katharina Hornidge (L) taking over the position as director of IOI Germany from Werner Ekau (R). Photo Credit: A. Daschner
Anna-Katharina Hornidge (L) taking over the position as director of IOI Germany from Werner Ekau (R). Photo Credit: A. Daschner

Anna-Katharina Hornidge, has been appointed as new director of the International Ocean Institute in Germany effective from January 2019.  The position had previously been filled for many years by Werner Ekau who is retiring later this year. We also take the opportunity to commend and thank Dr Ekau for the many years of support and dedication to the IOI through the actions of IOI Germany, and his advice and input during his tenure as Chair of Directors on the IOI Governing Board. His work over this time has been invaluable and essential in its many forms, and his genuine friendship always hugely appreciated. Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director of IOI headquarters in Malta, welcomed Professor Hornidge to the position: “We look forward to working with Anna-Katharina Hornidge and to further enhancing the strong and fruitful relationship with IOI Germany. Her professional and personal qualities will be an asset to the role”, Ms. Vassallo wrote in a letter confirming the succession.


Additional information can be found in the latest IOInforma 0119. This can be downloaded from the Documents & Publications section.

3rd Training Programme on Ocean Governance, Ocean Sciences and GeoEthics 

(Universidad del Atlantico, Barranquilla, Columbia, 21st January - 15th February 2019)

IOI Participation during the "Capacity Development in the Federal State of Bremen" Event

(Berlin, Germany, 11th February 2019)

On 11th February, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) held a conference on Capacity Development at the Vertretung des Landes Bremen beim Bund in Berlin. The IOI was represented at this conference by Dr Awni Behnam (Honorary President of the IOI) who took part in a panel discussion on the requirements and needs for capacity development, Dr Anna-Katherina Hornidge (Director of IOI Germany), Dr Werner Ekau (Former Director of IOI Germany) and Mr Cosmin Chivu (Project Officer at IOIHQ) who manned the IOI stand at the event.


Overall, the event provided valuable insight on the various forms of capacity development, while the panel consisting of alumni and science strategists further elaborated on future requirements in order to successfully guarantee increased capacity development both regionally and internationally. Taking into account that capacity development is a long-term task, the event served both as an avenue to expand on current efforts of regional and international organisations in the field and also as a place of networking, encouraging further partnerships among the participants. 

7th Training Programme on the Sustainable Development and Governance of the Caspian Sea, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan Organised by the IOI and the State Enterprise on Caspian Sea Issues at the President of Turkmenistan 

(4th - 15th March 2019)

Meeting on the International Ocean Institute's Alumni Network

~ IOI Network and Alumni Representatives ~

(Malta, 30th April - 1st May 2019)

As part of its overall strategy implementation, the IOI Governing Board mandated IOI HQ to oversee the development of a network of Alumni of the IOI Programmes in support of the IOI actions to offer capacity development and education in Ocean Governance.


To this end, the first in a series of alumni meetings was organised in Malta, at Hotel Kappara where a number of alumni and representatives of IOI Training Centres and other centres tasked with alumni outreach gathered to share ideas, experiences and good practices with the final goal of empowering IOI alumni and creating a network of IOI-linked ocean leaders, competent in implementing ocean governance globally. 


The meeting was attended on behalf of IOI Governing Board and IOI HQ by: Peter Leder, Antonella Vassallo, Cosmin Chivu (IOI HQ), Tasha Ralston (IOI HQ), and Awni Behnam via Skype. The worldwide IOI Network was represented by Madeleine Coffen-Smout (representative, IOI Canada), Fangfang Wan (representative, IOI PR China), Wichayoot Boonkosol (representative, IOI Thailand), Lamiaa Mohammedein (Director, IOI Egypt), Mabel Yarhere (Director, IOI Nigeria), Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Director, IOI Germany), Fahimeh Foroughi (Representative, IOI IR Iran) and Andrej Abramic (2010 Malta Training Programme alumnus). The ensuing discussions provided valuable insights and recommendations on how to strengthen and vitalise the IOI Alumni Community and how to create a vibrant online community of IOI Alumni.

IOI participation at the European Maritime Day 2019

(Lisbon - Portugal, 16th to 17th May 2019)

A report on this event is available in the IOInforma News Bulletin 0319 (June issue) available for download in the Documents and Publications section.

IOI welcomes Climate Youth Ambassadors during the Peace Boat Visit

(Malta, 24th May and New York, 7th June 2019)

A report on the events is available in the IOInforma News Bulletin 0319 (June issue) available for download in the Documents and Publications section.

Honorary President of IOI invited to lecture the UN Nippon Foundation Fellows, Class of 2019

(New York - USA, 11th June 2019)

During Dr Behnam's visit to New York to participate in the 20th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process (ICP) on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UN Headquarters, 10th to 14th June), he was also invited by UN DOALOS to speak to the 2019 group of Nippon Fellows. He gave a presentation on Maritime Transport and Seaborne Trade, giving a brief history of the development of maritime law as well as touching on the biggest challenges currently being faced. The Fellows provided very positive feedback on the presentation and appreciated, in particular, the information shared by Dr Behnam based not only on his long-standing experience and insight on maritime transport, but also on the negotiations leading to the adoption of UNCLOS and the development of the Law of the Sea in general.


A brief report about the 20th Meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP20) convened at the UN Headquarters in New York is available in the IOInforma News Bulletin 0319 (June issue) available for download in the Documents and Publications section.

The 39th IOI Canada Training Programme on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management 

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

(22nd May – 19th July 2019)

Gender and the Ocean: World Oceans Day 2019

The IOI Network celebrates globally through the activities of the IOI Centres and Focal Points

(8th June 2019)

A report on the activities is provided in the 0419 issue of the IOInforma which is available for download from the Documents & Publications section.

The 4th IOI Thailand Training Programme on the Regional Ocean Governance Framework, Implementation of UNCLOS and its Related Instruments in the Southeast Asian Seas & the Indian Ocean Navyphirom Hotel, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

(30th June – 27th July 2019)

IOI participation in the Meeting of Ocean Ambassadors

(Valletta, Malta, 2nd August 2019)

Attendees of the Ocean Ambassadors Meeting. Photo Credit: IOI HQ
Attendees of the Ocean Ambassadors Meeting. Photo Credit: IOI HQ

The first-ever global Ocean Ambassadors Forum convened in Malta on 2nd August, serving as a landmark occasion that brought around the same table pivotal actors within the global ocean governance framework including Peter Thomson (UN Special Envoy for the Ocean), Carmelo Abela (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Malta), Karmenu Vella (European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries), Patricia Scotland (Secretary General of the Commonwealth) and Alan Deidun (Ocean Ambassador for Malta), among many other distinguished guests. IOI was represented at the forum by Managing Director Antonella Vassallo.


The meeting’s aim was to hold an open and frank exchange of views, to have a better understanding of the challenges faced by the Oceans, to take stock of the numerous ongoing initiatives in this area, and to seek to improve partnerships, collaboration and cooperation to help to deliver in the different processes. On behalf of the IOI, Ms Vassallo reaffirmed the Institute’s commitment towards meeting the crucial need for greater capacity development in ocean governance, especially for small island states and developing countries.


In his own words, Ambassador Alan Deidun (also the Director of the IOI Malta Training Centreadded the following regarding the event:


“We are indeed at a critical juncture for ocean governance, a time for joining forces and for taking bold decisions in order to mobilise the global ocean governance community in a consistent and decisive way. There is a pressing need to capitalise on the current limelight being allocated to the oceans in order to extract meaningful results and not just platitudes. A resilient ocean is, after all, the best insurance policy against unremitting climate change.”

IOI participation in the Third Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ

(New York, 19th - 30th August 2019)

Delegates during the opening of IGC 3. Photo Credit: L R Cortes
Delegates during the opening of IGC 3. Photo Credit: L R Cortes

It has been over a decade since negotiations have started on an International Legally Binding Instrument (ILBI) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ process), but the last two weeks of August 2019 marked a significant point. During the third session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the ILBI, delegates started to engage in text-based negotiations on a “zero draft” document prepared by the IGC President, Ms Rena Lee (Singapore) with the assistance of the UN Secretariat (Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea).


IOI was represented during the negotiations by Liliana Rodriguez Cortes and Adnan Awad (Director, IOI South Africa). The IOI continues to track the BBNJ process, reflect the most recent developments in its work, and inject as appropriate into the deliberations the core values of the IOI and Elisabeth Mann Borgese’s vision. Significant opportunities to assist States, particularly the developing ones, will also come with the implementation of an eventual Agreement and the necessary capacity it will require.

7th IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Western Pacific organised by IOI-China with the support of the National Marine Data and Information Service (NMDIS), Ministry of Natural Resources, Tianjin, PR China

(19th August - 12th September 2019)

IOI Side-Event held during the UN Trade Forum on SDGs and Climate Change and the 3rd Oceans Forum

(Palais des Nations, Geneva, 9th - 13th September 2019)

On 10th September the IOI co-organised with UNCTAD and the Shenzhen World Health Foundation a side event entitled “The role of International Ocean Institute (IOI) in achieving SDG13 and SDG14”. The IOI, through its global network of Centres, and a portfolio of international and regional training and capacity development programmes in Ocean Governance provides tangible and measurable action towards achieving Agenda 2030 and could thus instigate a fruitful discussion among knowledgeable speakers such as panel chair Awni Behnam, Antonella Vassallo, Simone Borg (Ambassador of Malta for Climate Change and Representative of the Government of Malta on the IOI Governing Board), Kevin Hu (Shenzhen World Health Foundation) Peter Leder and Cristina Costa (IOI 2010 Malta Training Programme Alumnus). The panellists advanced examples of how capacity development in Ocean Governance and empowerment of IOI alumni play a central role in ensuring safe and healthy oceans for the benefit of humankind and how outreach initiatives in developing countries and countries in transition can serve towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.


During the 3rd Oceans Forum also held on 10th September, Ambassador Simone Borg delivered a presentation on the experience of Malta as a Small Island State in climate negotiations and Paris Agreement implementation.

6th IOI Training Programme on Ocean Governance for Africa, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa

(2nd - 27th September 2019)

Award of the IOI Elisabeth Mann Borgese Bursary, 2019 and presentation of the results of the Bursary awarded in 2018 held at the International Ocean Institute HQ, Malta

(27th September 2019)

IOI alumni meet again during the International Conference on ‘Ocean Governance in Archipelagic Regions’

(Faial, Azores, 7th - 10th October 2019)

L to R: L Paramio, C Costa, A Said. Photo Credit: A Said
L to R: L Paramio, C Costa, A Said. Photo Credit: A Said

The conference on Ocean Governance in Archipelagic Regions was hosted on Faial Island between 7th and 10th October to bring together various experts from the political, economic, social and academic realms, to discuss the sustainability of island systems, and to strengthen the role of scientific and technological research on fisheries, marine protected areas, sustainable exploitation, and maritime spatial planning.


Two IOI Malta 2010 Training Programme alumni participated in the event, Luz Paramio and Cristina Costa. Cristina presented EurOcean's experience in maximising research impact through Knowledge Transfer, and Luz chaired the “Environment and conservation, scientific research and technology Stakeholder Working Group” of the MarSP project, which she coordinates. This was a truly happy reunion as Alicia Said, the IOI’s first Elisabeth Mann Borgese Bursary Awardee, now a Post-Doc at IFREMER, also attended the Conference. Alicia was invited by the Azores Government to deliver a keynote presentation about the role and suitability of “EU polices in the context of archipelagic artisanal and small-scale fisheries”. In her presentation, Alicia drew on conceptual and empirical arguments based on her research in the archipelagic country of Malta, to speak about the sustainability implications of artisanal socio-ecological systems in island-based communities.

IOI Egypt Workshop on Red Sea Sustainable Development  ~ Governance, Resources and Management ~

(Hurghada, Egypt, 14th - 17th October 2019)

Training Programme participants on the field trip. Photo Credit: IOI Egypt
Training Programme participants on the field trip. Photo Credit: IOI Egypt

A four-day IOI workshop was held at the National Institute of Fisheries (NIOF), Hurghada Branch in cooperation with NIOF, also the host institute of the IOI Egypt Centre. 31 participants attended the workshop, all from different backgrounds, but all of them having in common their work in marine related fields.


The workshop commenced with a welcome speech from Prof Mahmoud Dar (Director of NIOF Hurghada Branch), followed by a course overview delivered by Dr Lamiaa Mohamedein (IOI Egypt Director). She also presented on the IOI and its work globally and regionally and distributed IOI flyers and accompanying course inserts in Arabic in order to introduce the participants to other IOI courses from all over the world. 14 different lecturers from the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and NIOF professors delivered lectures during the workshop on a host of subjects of high regional importance.


A field trip was also organised on a special boat fitted with an underwater observation platform, which took the participants to an area containing corals of high ecosystem importance. The participants could observe thus observe in situ the human impacts on the coral ecosystems and protection mechanisms that they had previously discussed during the classroom lectures.

IOI panel on Human Health and the Health of the Ocean organised during the 2nd Xiong’an International Health Forum

(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.


A full report is given in the IOInforma News Bulletin (0519 issue) available in the Documents & Publications section as well as in the 

NEWS & LIBRARY section. 

IOI invited to the 110th Anniversary of Shanghai Maritime University

(Shanghai, 20th October 2019)



Antonella Vassallo (Managing Director, IOI) represented the IOI at the 110th anniversary of the Shanghai Maritime University (SMU), and was invited to speak at the University’s Presidents’ Forum. This participation reaffirmed the fruitful and longstanding collaboration between the IOI and the Shanghai Maritime University, with numerous SMU students having in the past enrolled in the MA in Ocean Governance postgraduate degree offered by the IOI and the University of Malta.

15th IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic & Caspian Seas organised by IOI Training Centre in Malta with the support of the University of Malta

(4th November – 6th December 2019, Malta)

The IOI Malta Training  Programme Class of 2019, IOI Faculty, and Special Seminar Speakers. Photo Credit: IOI HQ
The IOI Malta Training Programme Class of 2019, IOI Faculty, and Special Seminar Speakers. Photo Credit: IOI HQ

IOI Special Seminar on

Challenges of area-based management tools (ABMTs) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ):

“Discussions on Areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) under UNCLOS”

(Valletta, Malta, 2nd December 2019)

L-R: A Premti, L R Cortes, A Behnam, D Johnson.  Photo Credit: IOI HQ
L-R: A Premti, L R Cortes, A Behnam, D Johnson. Photo Credit: IOI HQ

 On Monday 2nd December, the annual IOI Special Seminar was held at Europe House, Valletta, with the support and collaboration of the European Commission Representation in Malta.  The seminar was held within the IOI’s 15th Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas.


Further information is available in the latest IOInforma News Bulletin 0120 (January) under NEWS & LIBRARY: Documents & Publications.

Award of the IOI’s Elisabeth Mann Borgese Medal to

Karmenu Vella - European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

(Malta, 2nd December 2019)  

L-R: A Vassallo, K Vella, A Behnam, A Deidun Photo Credit: IOI HQ
L-R: A Vassallo, K Vella, A Behnam, A Deidun Photo Credit: IOI HQ

 The Elisabeth Mann Borgese Medal was conferred on Commissioner Vella in appreciation of his enduring commitment to bringing the seas and oceans to the forefront of the European and global agendas throughout his tenure as European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (2014-2019). The medal recognizes leadership in promoting the importance of sustainable maritime occupations and economies that preserve natural resources on land and sea and, especially, for creating and maintaining global partnerships aimed at good governance of our planet’s ocean. The IOI recognises and appreciates the support to the IOI as custodian of the legacy of Elisabeth Mann Borgese and Arvid Pardo.


The award ceremony was held at Europe House, in Valletta, Malta. Present at the ceremony were Awni Behnam, Honorary President of the IOI; Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director of IOI HQ; Ocean Ambassador Alan Deidun, Director of the IOI Malta Training Centre as well as the distinguished speakers present during the seminar. The celebration was also attended by the participants and faculty of the 15th IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas.