Training Programme on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management

Training is a key activity of the IOI global network. The Institute's flagship interdisciplinary training programme has been conducted at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia each summer since the initiation of the course by Elisabeth Mann Borgese in 1981. 

2015 course participants at The Bedford Institute of Oceanography
2015 course participants at The Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Training Programme information:

  • Offered by IOI in Canada at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Two-month residential programme in May-July, held annually since 1981
  • Global coverage of ocean governance issues with emphasis on viewing the ocean as a complex system with varied users and multiple, often competing and conflicting, uses.
  • More than 680 alumni from over 100 countries
  • Designed primarily for developing country mid-career professionals with responsibility for some aspect of coastal or ocean governance and an eagerness to step       outside their area of specialisation and into an international, interdisciplinary forum where diverse participants learn together, share different perspectives and examine issues from different viewpoints. 


  • Over 200 hours of lectures, interactive discussions, field trips, simulations and exercises, individual participant presentations, and a concluding Round Table of ocean specialists. This intensive programme of study challenges participants to:

o   deepen their understanding of the complexity and role of ocean-related issues in sustainable development;

o  strengthen and update their academic knowledge, while also being exposed to practical lessons drawn from actual experience in integrated coastal and ocean management;

o   develop relevant skills, leadership abilities and networks to help them apply their new knowledge on their return home; and, 

o  assist their countries towards maximising benefits to be derived from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, through the proper integration of coastal and ocean management into national and international development strategies.

  •  Approximately 90 speakers, including local and international experts and practitioners.
  • Organised thematically: 

o   Module 1: Orientation and Introduction to the Training Programme

o   Module 2: Ocean Sciences

o   Module 3: Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management 

o   Module 4: Law of the Sea and Principled Ocean Governance

o   Module 5: Fisheries and Aquaculture

o  Module 6: Communication and Negotiation

o   Module 7: Maritime Security

o   Module 8: Marine Transportation

o   Module 9: Energy

o Module 10: International Round Table and Conclusion of Training Programme

  • Modules are linked by a course-long simulation to help consolidate, reinforce and integrate the wide range of information and ideas presented during the course. This learning tool also requires participants to address the challenges of translating facts and theory into policy, and provides practice in leadership, teamwork, negotiation, communication and presentation skills.
  • Field trips reflect many of the module themes and showcase a unique variety of marine organisations and industries.  These include the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (an RFMO), Port of Halifax, land and sea-based aquaculture companies, tidal power, seaweed product development, clam depuration facility, oil spill remediation and emergency management operations. 

The Course Announcements and application forms for IOI Canada’s training programme on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management can be downloaded from the Training section of the website:  Any queries and expressions of interest may be addressed to: Madeleine Coffen-Smout, Programme Officer, IOI Canada on e-mail: