The International Ocean Institute (IOI)
The International Ocean Institute (IOI) is an international non-governmental organization `devoted to the sustainable development of the oceans. Having contributed to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and as a consultative body to the UN itself, IOI shares in the belief that the ocean is humankind`s `common heritage` and a `source of life.` To this end, IOI embraces Pacem in Maribus (Peace in the Oceans) in order to `promote and advocate the peaceful and sustainable uses of ocean space and coasts`. The organization posits its strengths on its training and capacity-building programs, as well as on its educational, sustainable management and ocean conservation outreach.
The International Ocean Institute (IOI) is a world leading independent, non-governmental non-profit organisation conducting training and capacity building in Ocean Governance globally. It aims to train young and mid-career practitioners in contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on the moral, ethical and legal values in Ocean Governance (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean).
In 1972, the IOI was founded by Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese. Its establishment was a milestone in the struggle to promote the concept of Pacem in Maribus (peace in the oceans) and conservation of the ocean and its resources so that future generations can share in their benefits. The IOI enjoys special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status at some of UN’s Specialized Agencies, the IOI works to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage as defined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.
Today, IOI operates through a network of Operational Centres and Focal Points globally, with its Headquarters hosted by the Government of Malta at the premises of the University of Malta.
The major financial support to the IOI and its global programmes comes from the Ocean Science and Research Foundation (OSRF) and in addition to financial contributions from OSRF and other partners, IOI receives in-kind support from other partners. These contributions are substantial in terms of quality and quantity and complement the financial resources for IOI to deliver its programmes and fulfill its mission.
The three pillars supporting the IOI mission are Training and Capacity Building, International Relations, and Publications.
Training and Capacity Building: Since 1980, IOI has trained more than 1,500 people - particularly from developing countries and countries in transition and contributed to a growing global network of trained and empowered leaders fully conversant with the latest developments in ocean governance, with the knowledge, skills and essential attitude required for effective ocean governance of the planet´s precious resources.
Publications and International Relations: The IOI promotes its training and capacity building activities by accessing and producing publications which contribute intellectual inputs, and by partnering with international, regional, national and local institutions and governments, and public and private institutions working in the field of Ocean Governance.
The respect for common goods, the peaceful and sustainable use of ocean services and resources, the common heritage of the high seas and the need to support and empower people and countries in managing their relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner remains the ethical and moral foundation of the IOI.
A summary of the core activities of IOI is presented in the diagram below*:
The ethical and moral underpinnings of the IOI in managing relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner are: the respect for common goods; the peaceful and sustainable use of ocean services and resources; the common heritage of the high seas; and the need to support and empower people and countries, particularly developing countries.
To continue into the future to play a vital role in Ocean Governance by maintaining the legacy of the founder Elisabeth Mann Borgese for humankind to live with the Ocean and from the Ocean in sustainable relationship, protecting both and respecting the Ocean’s majesty.
- To ensure the sustainability of the Ocean as “a source of life”, and to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea signed at Montego Bay on December 10th 1982.
- To promote the concept of Pacem in Maribus – peace in the Ocean and its management and conservation – for the benefit of future generations.
- To promote the concept of ocean governance, including integrated ocean policy, for planning and management of the oceans at national, regional and global levels.
- To conduct training and education for capacity building to meet the crucial demand for knowledgeable future leaders in ocean governance. To access and produce publications of the most current scientific, legal and policy developments and participate in the development of national and international ocean governance agendas.
- To promote the respect for common goods, the peaceful and sustainable use of ocean services and resources, the common heritage of the high seas and the need to support and empower people and countries, particularly developing countries, in managing their relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner remains the ethical and moral foundation of the IOI.
- The International Ocean Institute contributes to the evolving process of Ocean Governance through its functions and activities.
- Guided by the United Nations Charter, the General Principles of the International Law and of the Law of the Sea, the Institute monitors implementation of international conventions and agreements as they relate to the Oceans, participates in and contributes to the evolving policy dialogue on the Ocean in the fora of the United Nations System and other international organisations.
- The Institute promotes the elaboration of appropriate maritime laws and regulations and implements national and regional plans and international agreements on the management and sustainable use of the Ocean, coasts and islands.
- The Institute raises awareness of the peaceful uses of the Ocean, its protection and conservation, as well as the sustainable development of its resources, in accordance with the principle of the common heritage of mankind.
- The Institute engages in the dissemination of information, sharing and transfer of knowledge and experience.
- The Institute contributes to the sustainable uses of the Ocean as well as to the sustainable development of developing countries and countries in transition, through capacity building, training and education, enabling them to manage ocean and coastal resources sustainably.
In order to achieve its stated mission and goals internationally, the IOI works through a global network of Centres and Focal Points which is administered through the Headquarters based in Malta and which acts as the secretariat for the IOI Governing Board. The IOI Board sets out the broad activities and programmes of the IOI based on a strategy for action. The IOI network also benefits from close support and collaboration from its Training Partners and the Alumni of IOI training programmes over the years.
IOI Training Centres are responsible to organise and provide the hallmark ocean governance training programmes of the IOI. These are offered to meet regional needs in capacity building and training and the location of the training programmes is thus a geo-strategic one. The Training Centres closely co-operate with a dedicated IOI Centre in the geographical vicinity so as to have further access to outreach, dissemination of information as well as substantive support in the performance of specific tasks and core activities, primarily that of providing capacity building and training in ocean governance issues. The Management at IOI HQ, under the direction of the Governing Board, oversees and ensures the implementation of the annual training programmes globally through the IOI Training Centres, IOI Centres and strategic partnerships.
IOI Centres offering Training Programmes:
- IOI Brazil
- IOI Canada
- IOI China
- IOI Malta
- IOI South Africa
- IOI Thailand
- IOI Costa Rica
- IOI Egypt
- IOI Germany
- IOI IR Iran
- IOI Nigeria
IOI Training Partner:
IOI Focal Points:
- Sri Lanka
In order to achieve its ambitious training programmes and capacity development activities for persons from developing countries and countries in transition, the IOI works with the help and support of numerous partners and organisations.
Should you be interested in supporting the IOI's work in this capacity, you can consider the following modalities of achieving this. Please contact IOI HQ to see how we can work together to make these joint ambitions a reality.
You or your organisation could help the IOI by:
- supporting the costs of participation of a trainee at an IOI training programme
- by financially supporting the expenses of faculty members to share their expertise during training events
- making a financial donation towards IOI activities
- setting up a long term endowment for a specific scholarship, bursary or academic chair
- providing financial and substantive support to IOI academic programmes.