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


The Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas are characterised by a common feature of being geographically enclosed or semi-enclosed basins, subject to intense anthropogenic pressures while providing important resources on which major economic activities of international, regional and national importance rely. The regional seas connect the riparian countries and are also part subject to the countries within the national maritime zones. These seas have fragile coastal and marine ecosystems, with the activities and maritime policies of states affecting the quality of the marine environment of other regional states within the same basin. These regional seas exhibit different levels of experience in regional cooperation, sustainable development of the resources and services of the ocean, and this diversity and wealth of experience provides an opportunity for comparative learning.  


This training programme is a flagship activity of IOI together with that delivered from the University of Dalhousie in Canada and builds upon the more than 35 years' experience of the International Ocean Institute in conducting training and capacity building programmes on ocean governance. One of the main objectives is to assist in the formation of a core of decision-makers who will be aware of the complex global and regional contemporary issues of coastal and ocean management.   


The Ocean Governance content covers contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on moral, ethical and legal values in Ocean Governance (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean) under the governance architecture of UNCLOS and related international; instruments and agreements. 


Training Programme information:

  • Offered by IOI in Malta, Europe
  • Five-week residential programme offered annually since 2005 in November-December
  • Coverage of regional ocean governance issues with specific emphasis on the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas
  • The theme of the course draws upon the conduct of maritime affairs in line with the Lisbon Strategy, targeting the Millennium Development Goals and building upon a holistic and integrated maritime policy following the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The course focuses on the holistic approach to ocean governance and the need to align practices to the evolving global environment in the light of advances in science and technology. The course upholds a principles-and-application concept, focusing on an integrated and cross-cultural approach, embracing legal, ethical, environmental and economic aspects and the support of science and technology to the realistic achievement of ocean management and sustainable development. In particularly the course draws upon bridging ocean science and engineering to adaptive management and policy, including the use and support of real-time routine observations and nowcasting/forecasting methods toward improved rapid assessments, and sound decision-making.
  • The course consists of 4 modules, presented over a five-week period on a full-time basis. Topics are clustered into four modules and include two field trips, a project study providing participants with the opportunity to apply a multidisciplinary approach to decision making within the marine realm through a dedicated group assignment, and a number of simulation exercises and hands-on sessions. The backbone of the course relates to the sessions dedicated to the preparation by participants of regional ocean policy frameworks. This task is undertaken by the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Baltic Sea groups targeting to build upon the concept of national, regional and inter-regional policy development for a shared, integrated and common approach to ocean management:

MODULE 1: Global Ocean Governance Framework; Overarching Ocean Governance Issues and Priority Issues

MODULE 2: Managing Our Relations with The Ocean: Integrated Management Theory and Practice and Assessing the Marine          Environment through Monitoring and Forecasting

MODULE 3: Conflict Management and Consensus Building

MODULE 4: Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas; and Regional Ocean Policy                Framework Simulation Exercise

SPECIAL SESSIONS: some are held annually; some vary each year according to the theme chosen for additional focus:


Course participants on a field trip in Gozo
Course participants on a field trip in Gozo
  • Visit to International Maritime Law Institute
  • Field Trip 1 (Sea Based) – Grand Harbour and South Coast of Malta
  • Field Trip 2 – Dwejra (marine protected area), Gozo
  • Regional Ocean Policy Framework Simulation Exercise + Skype conferences with Regional Tutors
  • Project Study – Managing Marine Space and its Potential as an Economic Resource
  • Introduction to Maritime Spatial Planning
  • Migration as a Response to Environmental Impacts in Deltas and Coastal Areas
  • Vulnerability assessment and Disaster Risk in Europe related to floods and tsunamis
  • Seminar on the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea – anniversary year
  • Seminar on Issues in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.


For more information regarding Training Programmes kindly click here.

2016 Training Programme


The 12th edition of the IOI Malta Training Course came to a fruitful completion on the 8th of December 2016, five weeks after the welcome and opening ceremony on the 6th November. The course was launched by Course Director Dr Awni Behnam and Course Manager Prof Alan Deidun and the first day was an opportunity for the 18 course participants to meet with a number of Course faculty members and also the students of the Masters in Ocean Governance offered jointly by the University of Malta and IOI.


Over the previous 11 years, the IOI Course has trained nearly 200 mid-career participants hailing from a total of 35 countries bordering 4 different regional seas (Mediterranean, Black, Black and Caspian Seas) as well as from a number of observer countries, including China. A total of 18 alumni attended the Course in 2016, hailing from Algeria, Egypt, PR China, Croatia, IR Iran, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Tunisia, and Turkey. Once again, the participants’ academic and professional background was highly diverse, ranging from coastal management to geophysics, hydrology, fisheries and aquaculture and to petroleum engineering and mathematical modelling.


The successful delivery of the course was reported in the January edition of the IOInforma 01/17 available for download below.


Other links:


On Friday 2nd December, the Special Seminar on Ocean Literacy: linking education and life-long learning to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14 to Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources was held, as has been the praxis for the past years, at Dar l-Ewropa in Valletta, under the auspices of the European Commission representation in Malta. The seminar was also supported through an opening video message by Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. Speakers were Dr Francesca Santoro (IOC/UNESCO); Ms Fiona Crouch, Board member of EMSEA (European Marine Science Educators Association) and Coordinator of the SeaChange project on ocean literacy; Dr Azmath Jaleel from Cardiff University, Wales; and Dr Behzad Alipour Tehranyi, former Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva. The seminar drew to a close with the presentation of a statement by the Class given by class representative Natalia Cerkasova (see last page of the IOInforma below).


IOInforma 0117.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.1 MB

2017 Training Programme - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS


The IOI is pleased to announce the 5-week Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance which will be offered for the 13th successive year from the 5th November to the 8th December 2017.


A major development for this programme in Malta is the accession to University of Malta accreditation so that from the training programme 2017, participants successfully completing all assignments of the three Study-Units, (each equivalent to 5ECTS) of the IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic & Caspian Seas (Malta), will be formally accredited by the University of Malta and eligible to receive a transcript of the credits, recognised by academic institutions following the Bologna process of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The description of such Study-Units  can be accessed  through:


The course will cover international ocean legal framework, conventions and agreements (UNCLOS and others), ocean resource management and exploitation issues, negotiation skills and a policy-simulation exercise at the end. The syllabus will also address topical issues such as the implementation of the SDG14, ocean literacy, marine micro-plastics and litter, issues of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) and include field visits, GIS lab sessions and a training session on Marine Spatial Planning.


The application form (may also be downloaded by clicking on the link below) may be obtained by either contacting the Course Manager, Prof. Alan Deidun on alan.deidun(at) or IOI HQ on ioihq(at) The application deadline is the 2nd September 2017.


For further information kindly click here.


IOI MTP - Application Form 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 409.3 KB