The International Ocean Institute




04th November – 06th December 2019


Course Presentation

The “Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas” builds upon the more than 35 years experience of the International Ocean Institute in conducting training and capacity building programmes on ocean governance.

The theme of the course draws upon the conduct of maritime affairs at the regional level in a holistic and integrated approach, following the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, targeting the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainability Development Goals, and the follow-up to RIO+20. It focuses on linkages between natural, social and economic sciences, research-management interface and the support of technology to enable the effective achievement of ocean management and sustainable development.

The course also considers the implications of regional policies including the EU Integrated Maritime Policy for the European regional seas, with a science-based and holistic approach to policy undertakings and implementation, and brings to the forefront the characteristics of seas as different and sensitive as the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian in ocean governance issues. It aims to build stronger inter-regional coherence in countries' engagement in the governance of the regional seas, promote inter-regional cooperation, shared experiences and exchange of best practice scenarios, and foster interaction between participants from diverse countries bordering the regional seas under study. Specific reference is made to IMO Conventions to reduce emissions from ships, to control garbage from ships (through MARPOL Annex V), and through Annex IV on sewage which now includes the concept of Special Areas which is specially relevant to the Black and Mediterranean Seas. The roles of UNDOALOS and developments in the ICP (Informal Consultation Process) are also examined.

In the course, the practice of ocean governance is expressed within the perspective of evolving and changing global environments and advances in science and technology. The course programme details the efforts of the International Maritime Organisation to reduce emissions from ships, to control garbage from ships (through MARPOL Annex V), and through Annex IV on sewage which now includes the concept of Special Areas which is specially relevant to the Black and Mediterranean Seas, as well as those of the EU to achieve Good Environmental Status for its Sea by 2020 through the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).The course draws upon the bridging of 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. In this sense, the IOI course is a reference point for the governance of the regional seas, and a resource for innovative teaching appealing to a wide range of participants and practitioners in marine-related science, management and policy undertakings.



The Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas have differences, but also important similarities. A major similarity is that they are geographically enclosed or semi-enclosed and potentially subject to national maritime zones in their entirety. These seas have fragile ecosystems and biodiversity that are put under individual and cumulative pressure by their coastal states. As a result the activities and maritime policies of one state are bound to affect the quality of the marine environment and use enjoyed by neighbouring states. In this relationship, the EU maritime policy and the coherence of policies of neighbouring states with it are investigated in depth as basis for regional cooperation. These seas have different levels of experience in regional environmental cooperation and maritime use and the diversity of experience provides an opportunity for comparative learning.



While focusing on specific marine regions and their governance, this intensive training course highlights the importance of the global governance framework that underscores regional cooperation. Given the broad range of global and regional issues that need to be addressed, the ultimate course outcome is the creation of awareness of the complexities of contemporary ocean governance, and the realisation of means and methods to render such governance achievable and effective. This outcome will be achieved through the pursuit of the following goals and objectives:

- To assist the countries surrounding the regional seas in the formation of a core of decision-makers who will be aware of complex global and regional contemporary issues of coastal and ocean management.
- To deepen understanding of the ever-increasing importance of the regional seas and their resources in regional politics and sustainable economic development.
- To present problems facing enclosed and semi-enclosed seas (in particular the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas) and demonstrate ways to overcome them.
- To provide an insight into contemporary coastal and ocean law and policy issues and build capacity to maximise benefits from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other global and regional conventions.
- To highlight the IMO-related conventions which are particularly relevant to semi-enclosed seas, and provide reference to IMO efforts including concepts most relevant to the Regional Seas;
- To promote the role of science in supporting the development and implementation of ocean governance and quantify through specific applications the benefits that scientific inputs can make to the sustainable governance of ocean and coastal resources.
- To take account of emerging and evolving socio-economic, environmental and scientific realities as a framework for future development of ocean governance to changing scenarios.
- To provide a forum for exchange of views between managers and researchers and promote a better understanding of the science-management interface in coastal and ocean management.
- To make use of state-of-the art scientific and technological developments, including state-of-the-art ocean/coastal observing systems, approaches and methodologies addressing the various options for integrated management.
- To catalyse networking among participants and regional resource persons, and building lasting relations between participants to strengthen IOI alumni networks in the regions concerned.



The training course moves away from the traditional approach to a hands-on learning-through-practice approach which will provide the trainees with an opportunity to participate in real case studies of data collection, management and decision-making processes such as in coastal zone planning and management, combating, monitoring and containment of marine pollution.

The course aims at developing trainees’ analytical skills in order to enable them to assess coastal and ocean issues and appropriate integrated responses by developing basic multi-disciplinary team-building and teamwork skills in a multi-disciplinary setting. Participants will build an understanding for ocean and governance issues, policy making, data sourcing, management of complex information and use of information technology (e.g. GIS, electronic research, software use, etc.). This will also address the interfacing between scientists and managers/decision-makers.