The international course on the ‘Ocean Governance for Mediterranean and Eastern European Countries’ builds upon the 30 years experience of the International Ocean Institute in conducting training and capacity building programmes in ocean governance.
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. It focuses on the linkages between the natural, social and economic sciences to the development of sustainable ocean governance, and on the research-management interface that can render governance operable. The Course stresses the inter-linkages of multi-disciplinary inputs, and on the support of technology to enable the effective achievement of ocean management and sustainable development.
The emphasis of the course will be on the implications of the EU maritime policy for the European regional seas and the practical implementation that takes into account the particularities of seas as different and sensitive as the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic and Caspian Seas. It aims to build stronger coherence between the EU and its acceding countries and their neighbours in their engagement in the governance of the regional seas, promoting inter-regional comparisons, shared experiences and exchange of best practice scenarios, and fostering interaction between participants from European, Eastern European, North African and Middle East countries bordering the Mediterranean.
In the course the practice of ocean governance is expressed within the perspective of an evolving and changing global environments, and advances in science and technology. 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 governability of the oceans, and a resource for innovative teaching appealing to a wide range of participants and practitioners in marine-related science, management and policy undertakings.
The regional seas concerned
The Mediterranean, Black and 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. Regional cooperation is imperative and in the interests of all states. 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 Mediterranean and Eastern European countries 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 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 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 the 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 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