IOI Training Programmes on Ocean Governance Globally

Originally initiated under Elisabeth Mann Borgese’s direction and reflecting her political acumen and engagement, the IOI training courses today convey her legacy with regards to a vision of equitable and sustainable global development with sound foundations in the social, economic and environmental spheres. The respect for common goods, the peaceful and sustainable use of Ocean services and resources, the common heritage of the high seas as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the need to support and empower people and countries in managing their relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner remain the ethical and moral foundation of the IOI and the training it provides.

Since 1981 the IOI has conduced and managed training and capacity building programmes in Ocean Governance. The ocean governance content covers contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on moral, ethical and legal values (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean) under the governance architecture of UNCLOS and related international instruments and agreements. The IOI has trained about 4000 young practitioners from developing countries and countries in transition, contributing towards a growing global network of trained and empowered leaders. 


The courses have evolved over the years and are constantly adapted to new challenges, maintaining a special focus on the needs of developing countries and countries in transition. Based on ethical values such as equity, common heritage, common but differentiated responsibilities, and policy space, the programmes of the courses are defined around major elements (accountability, transparency, inclusiveness, effectiveness, participatory practices) and principles (rule of law, regulations, protocols, agreement and guidelines) of good governance.


Target audiences are mid-career practitioners in ocean governance: scientists, policy makers, educators and decision makers. They are in a position to successfully transmit and apply the acquired knowledge on return to their institutions, serving as educators and ocean advocates in their homeland. The IOI enjoys strong links with a growing alumni network world-wide.


The training is delivered via classroom-based lectures, interactive discussions, field trips, simulations and exercises, individual participant presentations, and international round tables with guidance offered by expert faculty and supported through appropriate learning tools. 

The portfolio of regular training courses offered today includes:

Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management

Offered in Canada at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia

MA in Ocean Governance Students, Awni Behnam, Simone Borg

Master of Arts in Ocean Governance

Offered by the University of Malta in collaboration with the IOI in Malta

Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas

Offered in Malta

Ocean Governance Training Programme for Africa

Offered in Cape Town, South Africa

Sustainable Development and Governance of the Caspian Sea

Organised in partnership with the Caspian Sea Institute in Turkmenistan

Ocean Governance for the Western Pacific Region

Organised in partnership with the National Marine Data and Information Service (NMDIS) in Tianjin, China

Regional Ocean Governance Framework, Implementation of UNCLOS and its Related Instruments in the SE Asian Seas and the Indian Ocean

Offered in Thailand

IOI Alumni Network and  capacity development