Restricted Distribution IOC-XXI/2 Annex 11
Paris, 10 April 2001
INTERGOVERNMENTAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION
Twenty-first Session of the Assembly
Paris, 3-13 July 2001
Agenda item: 5.6.5
Ways to go Ahead
This document has been prepared by Dr. Gunnar Kullenberg,
Executive Director of the International Ocean Institute. It gives an
overall picture of the IOI; identifies areas of complimentary
activities and recommends ways of future co-operation between two
organizations – one of which is governmental and another non-
IOC-XXI/2 Annex 11
1. In 1967 Ambassador Arvid Pardo introduced in the General Assembly of the United
Nations the concept that parts of the Ocean are the Common Heritage of Mankind. It was
followed in 1970 by the first Pacem in Maribus Conference in Malta which emphasised the
need to explore the philosophical and ideological parameters of the concept of the Common
Heritage of the Mankind as well as its legal and economic content and institutional
regulations. It was felt that the issues needed sustained research and progressive development
which could best be achieved by an international institute.
2. Accordingly the International Ocean Institute (IOI) was officially established at the
University of Malta in 1972 with the assistance of UNDP.
3. The mission of IOI is to promote education, training and research to enhance the
peaceful and sustainable use of ocean and coastal spaces and their resources, their
management and regulation as well as the protection and conservation of the marine
environment, guided by the principle of the Common Heritage of Mankind.
4. The goals of the IOI are to:
(i) Enhance the ability of developing countries to develop and manage their own
resources sustainably for their own benefit, to establish self-reliant
development, and help with education and eradication of poverty from
community to national level;
(ii) Enhance abilities for self-reliant development at community level, taking into
account the diversity in developing as well as developed countries, including
control and protection of natural resources for future generations; the
eradication of poverty in coastal areas; and mitigation of and adaptation to
(iii) Enhance participation of people, in particular women, in development projects
which take into account environmental issues;
(iv) Establish sustainable mechanisms able to tackle inter-related social,
environmental and economic issues in an integrated fashion.
5. The approach by which the IOI gradually achieves its goals includes:
(i) Strengthening of institutions through capacity building, sharing and
dissemination of information, and generating incentives and contact between
local and national authorities;
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(ii) Establishing partnerships and networks with the IOI Operational Centres, other
NGOs, donors between authorities and communities;
(iii) Increasing awareness and understanding of the sensitivity and the importance
of the Coastal Zone and the Marine environment for sustainable development,
through demonstrations, training, provision of educational material and
information to local NGOs, schools and authorities;
(iv) Encouraging self-reliant development of sustainable livelihoods by means of
aquaculture, farming, value-added processing of resources, protection of water
resources and application of traditional and new technology;
(v) Emphasising decentralised decision making to local authorities and
communities, and implementation of agreements, regulations, and
development projects with the involvement of the private sector;
(vi) Increasing the abilities at local and national level to transfer and apply
scientific (social and natural sciences) knowledge and information, from
generators to users, through hands-on training, case studies, and demonstration
sites; and providing incentives through linkages to other sites, and to
international agreements and commitments.
ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES
6. For more than two decades the IOI was implementing its mission with the concern of
future generations through an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach.
7. The IOI has prepared working papers for the Third United Nations Conference on the
Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III: 1973-1981), the Preparatory Commission for the International
Seabed Authority, for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (1982-1994) as well as
for various governments. It has contributed to the UNICPOLOS establishment and to the
deliberations of the independent World Commission on the Oceans (1994-1998) and provided
consultants to UNEP, the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development
Organisation (UNIDO) and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee (AALCC).
8. The IOI’s activities include training projects, information dissemination, conferences,
research and publications.
Training of decision-makers and professionals, mainly from Developing
Countries, through short and long duration interdiscplinary courses in ocean and
Development work among coastal communities with the objective of improving
their livelihoods while restoring and preserving coastal ecology, risk assessment of
Information dissemination to NGOs and coastal communities through the global
IOI networks and the IOI Websites; publications, e.g., of Across the Ocean
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Organization of the annual Pacem in maribus (Peace in the Oceans) Conference
and other seminars and workshops;
Research on a variety of ocean-related areas such as international and regional
agreements and policies on oceans and the coastal zone; on regional and sub-
regional co-operation and on scientific and technological approaches to sustainable
management of living and nonliving marine resources;
Education and awareness-creation about ocean resources, marine and coastal
environments, and the need to care for them; development of a global network of
universities to provide through distance-learning master degree on ocean
Technology evaluation, transfer, and evaluation of the effects thereof.
9. The IOI provides different services which include advice, consultancy, evaluation and
assessment and information exchange regarding ocean and coastal environments.
10. More information about IOI, its activities and services can be found on the IOI
IOI OPERATIONAL CENTRES
11. Implementation of the IOI programmes is being achieved through the network of IOI
Operational Centres. These are established through a formal agreement with the institution
hosting the centre. This is normally a university. The network is global and covers a wide
spectrum of ocean affairs. The current Operational Centres and Affiliates in the development
stage and their host institutions are presented in Table 1.
Name of the Operational Centre or Name of the host Institution
IOI-Canada Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada;
IOI-China the National Marine Data and
Information Service, State Oceanic
IOI-Costa Rica the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica;
IOI-Pacific Islands the University of the South Pacific, Fiji;
IOI-India the Indian Institute of Technology,
IOI-Japan Yokohama City University, Japan;
IOI-Malta the University of Malta, Malta;
IOI-Black Sea the National Institute for Marine
Research and Development `Grigore
IOI-Senegal the Centre de Recherches
Oceanographiques de Dakar - Thiaroye
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Name of the Operational Centre or Name of the host Institution
IOI-Southern Africa the University of Western Cape, South
IOI-Eastern Africa the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research
Institute (KMFRI), Mombasa, Kenya;
IOI-Ukraine the Institute of Biology of the Southern
Seas (IBSS), Sevastopol, Ukraine;
IOI-Russia the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology,
IOI-Western Africa the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography
and Marine Research (NIOMR), Lagos,
IOI-Thailand the Office of Thai Marine Policy and
Restoration Committee (OTMPRC),
IOI-Caspian Sea the Astrakhan State Technical University
(ASTU), Astrakhan, Russia.
12. Each Centre is autonomous. It identifies its own regional priorities for research,
capacity building and development, while benefiting from the support of the overall IOI
network. This regional approach to research and capacity building enables the Institute to
draw upon the different strengths of the Operational Centres to cater to the needs identified
within each region. Each Centre is run by a Director, who is also a staff member of the Host
institution. There is a small staff and a number of experts and volunteers on call. The
directors are members of the IOI Planning Council, which meets annually.
13. The management of IOI and co-ordination of the work of the Operational Centres and
of other IOI activities is achieved by the IOI Headquarters established in Malta.
14. UNCED emphasised the importance of creating close, mutually beneficial links of co-
operation between governmental and non-governmental organisations in order to share more
effectively knowledge and experience and avoid duplication of efforts. In line with the
recommendation the IOI co-operates actively with other organisations and institutions. The
mission of the Institute and the very nature of it lays the foundation for such a co-operative
approach. At the same time the identity of the IOI as an organisation is maintained.
15. First and foremost is co-operation and indeed linkages with the agencies and
programmes of the United Nations system. The IOI has observer status with UNESCO, IMO,
UNCTAD, and ECOSOC and hence CSD and UNICPOLOS. Agreements on co-operation
have been signed with UNEP, UNU and IOC. Bonds of co-operation have been established
with regional intergovernmental bodies of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme, with the UN
Commission on Economic Co-operation, and with such bodies as ICES, PICES, IOMAC and
with many NGO’s of a national and international nature, e.g. ACOPS, HELMEPA, Women in
Fisheries Network, WIOMSA.
16. Due to the complimentary nature of the objectives of the two international
organisations the co-operation between IOI and IOC has a long history. In 1993 the co-
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operation between IOI and IOC led to signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU)
between the Organisations. The MOU re-emphasised the importance of co-operation and
defined its scope involving, in particular, training, education and mutual assistance in marine
sciences and related matters, including regional activities, joint awareness creating efforts and
promotion of financial and in-kind support to such activities. Inter alia, it was agreed to
improve exchange of information, to implement the partnership approach, to improve use of
complimentarities and develop regional co-operative priority programmes.
17. The representatives of IOI and IOC have an opportunity to participate as observers at
the meetings of respective governing and regional bodies which help to generate a linkage,
create co-operative efforts and know more about each other.
18. The past years co-operation between the organisations showed the benefit of
19. During the last few years IOI and IOC has co-operated in several activities in different
regions. To name a few: History of Oceanography and Coastal Megacities Conferences in
China in 1998 and 1999, respectively; contribution to the International Year of the Ocean –
1998; participation in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regional activities; support to the
activities of the MedGOOS Secretariat; co-sponsorship of the Conference on Oceans and
Coasts to be implemented in December 2001 and others. Interactions and consultations
should be facilitated in such areas as TEMA, regional activities, UNCLOS and ICAM.
20. More demand-driven activities are planned for the coming years where IOC and IOI
can be partners and where issues important to the humankind can be tackled in an integrated
and coherent manner.
21. Growing steadily and responding to global changes, IOI is now aiming at a multiplier
effect to its spectrum of activities. It plans to move from direct training to training-the-
trainers; from direct implementation to projects of offering advisory and consultative services
in areas of ocean governance, coastal management and risk assessment; from a network of
centres to a network of clusters and affiliates. IOI is also developing online and distance
22. The IOI network and IOC infrastructures in its Member States and regions provide
flexible complimentary mechanisms with global coverage. We have here potentially a
cohesive and comprehensive system capable of co-operating equally well with
intergovernmental systems and the private sector and provide services to decision-makers,
scientists and the public at large.
23. The next few years offer a unique opportunity to further develop IOI and IOC co-
operation. An intergovernmental review of the Global Programme of Action for the
Protection of the Marine Environment from land-based Activities is scheduled for 2001. “Rio
+ 10” in 2002 will review the implementation of the UNCED process and assess progress
towards the implementation of sustainable development.
24. Several problem-oriented activities are planned for coming years in the
implementation of which IOI and IOC may co-operate with a mutual benefit and in addition
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they will make a sound contribution to strengthening the UNICPOLOS and transforming it
into a fully representative forum for the ocean.
Pacem in Maribus
25. Pacem in Maribus is the name of the annual Conference organised by IOI with the
objective to deal with aspects of ocean governance at the global, regional and national level
based on the principle of the Common Heritage. The IOI has organised 28 Pacem in Maribus
Conferences thus far in all parts of the world. They are respected as important events in
elucidating threats to the world’s ocean as well as the potential of ocean resources to sustain
humankind. Pacem in Maribus Conferences and the work of the IOI are inextricably linked
up. Countries and individuals draw inspiration from the research done in conjunction with
Pacem in Maribus meetings and new and seminal ideas emerging there from. The last three
Conferences in 1998, 1999 and 2000 took place respectively, in Canada, Fiji and Hamburg.
The 2001 Conference is planned for 7-10 November 2001 in Dakar, Senegal. It will be the
first PIM Conference in the new millennium, in which the sustainable use of ocean space and
resources will be an increasingly important component of the local, national, regional and
global systems of economic and sustainable development, the conservation of the
environment, and human security.
26. The purpose of the Conference is to demonstrate and reinforce the realisation of the
importance of the ocean, its coasts, resources and their sustainable development for the
African peoples. Adoption of UNCLOS and agreement on EEZ provided a unique
opportunity for developing countries in Africa to become real owners of many coastal area
resources of great significance for economic development.
27. It is expected that the Conference will bring together African representatives from all
relevant sectors to formulate jointly a Strategy for sustainable development of coastal and
marine resources of the African nations. This shall respond to the African needs and
harmonise with international conventions and agreements which together provide for an
international legal framework of governance.
28. The Conference will also endeavour to link the Strategy to African Organisations and
to partnerships with European and other countries or institutions through participation in and
providing related expertise to the Conference.
29. PIM 2001 aims are targeted also to reinforce the existing and to develop new modern
infrastructures for marine and coastal research activities in Africa. In this regard the
Conference helps to ensure the continuation of the intergovernmental dialogue, as well as
regional and international co-operation vis-à-vis Africa’s marine environment initiated by
Pan-African Conference on sustainable integrated coastal management (PACSICOM,
Maputo, Mozambique, 18 – 24 July 1998).
30. PIM 2001 aims do also assist in facilitating the UNESCO Priority Africa Programme
specially in areas of training, public awareness and reinforcement of partnerships specified by
Resolution XX-21. They also correspond to those of the International Year of Culture and
Peace and help implement international agreements and conventions and integrate sustainable
development and security.
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31. Finally, PIM 2001 will give a new thrust to the regional co-operation which will be
indispensable for the Conference success and where IOI and IOC co-operation is mostly
welcomed. The IOC regional office in Kenya and IOCINCWIO, IOCEA and IOCINDIO
Regional Committees will be helpful for strengthening links with national and regional
governmental infrastructures and in increasing awareness of the Conference and its objectives
among wide scientific and decision-making groups.
IOI Virtual University
32. Since its establishment the focus of the IOI was on training, education and research.
The last decade of the 20th century was marked by the revolutionary technological changes in
information collection and sharing. It created an opportunity for adapting traditional ways of
teaching and learning to technological developments to meet effectively the needs in
developing an integrated culture of knowledge, inclusive and accessible to all. The need for
restructuring of higher education is felt globally.
33. The IOI accepted this challenge by creating a special mechanism called the
International Ocean Institute Virtual University. This education and training mechanism is
being created on the network of education, training and research centres with expertise on
ocean, coastal and marine-related affairs and governance, covering all relevant sectors and
disciplines. It utilises the most advanced technologies of virtual or distance learning and
teaching, combined with person-to-person teaching relationships in traditional classroom
settings and internships.
34. The IOIVU is an open-ended, expanding network of autonomous institutions,
clustered around the initial nucleus of IOI Operational Centres and their host institutions. The
number of partner institutions, mostly universities, both in developed and developing
countries is growing fast. The IOIVU does not substitute the existing network of universities.
It is rather contribute and strengthen this network. The IOIVU will not compete with existing
universities, but supplement them through the consolidation, optimisation and full utilisation
of the unique structure and accumulated global experience. The VU concept here does not
just mean to go Internet, but is rather a structure and approach by which the educational
activities and programmes of the IOI Network of Operational Centres and of their prestigious
Host institutions can be combined into one focused mechanism and purpose and also coupled
with activities of other academic centres of excellence, to provide a truly international and
35. The Virtual University will accept students globally and award an interdisciplinary,
internationally recognised master’s degree. Students from all parts of the world do not move
away from their home and employment, except possibly for a short internship period; they
can recognise some parts of the studies as coming from their own region, country and culture;
they do not have to experience the cultural shock associated with living for an extended
period in a foreign country away from their roots. The students will be at the graduate and
mid-level career level.
36. The establishment of the IOIVU is also an example responding to the call of Agenda
21, Chapter 36, for an integrated and comprehensive education process as a cross-sectoral
theme such as is required for implementation of most of Agenda 21.
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37. The IOIVU will offer a broad range of programmes with an interdisciplinary
curriculum that includes:
Masters or Advanced Graduate Degree Programmes in Ocean Affairs and the Law
of the Sea;
Advanced Training Programmes in specific subjects through existing or new
courses of the IOI Network and/or Host Institutions of the Operational Centres;
Upgrading and Supplementary Education programmes through specialised short
38. The course packages for these programmes will be drawn from courses available on
line or through participating institutions. They will fall into one of three categories:
Courses providing generic, overall knowledge, based on mainstream, accepted
understanding of ocean processes and legal and institutional arrangements;
Courses giving special knowledge on ocean subjects of a regional nature, such as
semi-enclosed seas, upwelling systems, Large Marine Ecosystems, legal, social
and economical instruments or subjects, or EEZ rights;
Courses giving knowledge about local, national, sub-regional conditions, cultures,
social systems, or traditional knowledge.
39. The Master’s Degree Programme has three components:
A number of core courses and optional courses will have to be completed, each
one with an established number of credits. Core courses can be taken through
distance-learning arrangements. Optional courses can be taken through any one of
the IOI Operational Centres and/or their host institutions;
An internship period of the duration of one academic quarter, which can be
completed in any of the IOI Operational Centres or suitable external organisation
(UN institutions such as UNCTAD, DOALOS, IMO, UNEP, etc., or private
The writing of a thesis, under the direction of a supervisor, and subject to
acceptance by a thesis committee consisting of members of the Virtual University
plus an external examiner.
40. Core courses include the following subjects:
- UNCLOS and UNCED: Ocean Governance and the Law of the Sea;
- Integrated Coastal Area Management;
- Coastal Community development;
- Marine and Coastal Resources economics;
- Integrated management of marine pollution, in particular related to land-based
- Spatial information management and decision making support;
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- Coastal and Oceanic ecosystems and processes;
- Introduction to living and non-living marine resources;
- Matters related to maritime transport and issues at sea; to be prepared in co-
operation with UNCTAD and WMU;
- Public-private partnerships in ocean management.
41. In addition there are a number of optional courses of a more specialised nature.
42. The programme will take 1-2 years study to complete, and can also function for part
time students. More information about the project is available on the IOI website:
http://www.ioinst.org, and www.ioivu.org.
43. Undertaking the task to establish such a “Virtual University” is extremely ambitious,
challenging and innovative. Success of the project can be achieved only through co-operative
and collaborative actions. On a wider perspective all the governments, organisations and
peoples interested in the implementation and enforcement of UNCLOS, UNCED 92 and
related agreements and conventions, can be seen as interested beneficiaries of the project.
44. The partners in this project include all the IOI Operational Centres, presently 16 in all,
their Host institutions and co-operating universities. The UNU, WMU, United Nations
University for Peace, UNESCO have confirmed willingness to co-operate in the IOIVU.
Furthermore the developing and developed countries where there is the need for the capacity
development are partners, and the students and the related employers.
45. IOC contributed to the formulation of the IOIVU project proposal and provided
valuable comments. IOIVU is an indispensable complement and could become a component
of the IOC TEMA activities and fully corresponds to one of the conclusions of the
International Year of the Ocean (IYO) that the ocean governance and protection starts from
the classroom and that new innovative approaches in training and education should become
part and parcel of all capacity building efforts. In fact IOIVU is a follow-up of the IYO.
46. The new institutional academic arrangement proposed by IOI responds to a number of
challenges facing IOC such as interdisciplinarity and integration; “globalisation” and
decentralisation; financial restraints and constraints.
47. Co-operation between IOI and IOC in finding required solutions to these problems
and, particularly, through restructuring the higher education and developing IOIVU, an
innovative approach to the sharing of knowledge on the ocean environment and its resources
looks very promising and needs further strengthening.
48. Apart from the development of human resources, the IOI system is involved in
tackling many global issues such as poverty eradication; resources management; sustainable
livelihoods; mitigation of and adaptation to natural hazards; participation of women in poor
developing countries in ocean and coastal affairs; risk assessment and its application for
coastal management and others of scientific, political, economic and socio nature. Although
the issues mentioned above are global their resolving is often achieved through the regional
approach as regionalization in certain aspects provides a better structure than globalisation for
the management of the ocean’s resources. In fact regional development and co-operation is of
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fundamental importance for IOI in successful implementation of not only the UNCLOS but
also of all UNCED and post UNCED conventions, agreements and action programmes. This
approach reflects better the geographic scale of most problems of marine resources and
ecosystems. The IOI follows the principle: “To think globally and implement regionally!”.
49. The IOI may boast with indulgent pride and satisfaction a few regional activities
which are considered as success stories, e.g. eco-villages project in India supported by
German GTZ and Japanese funding, with the focus on the problems of coastal communities
and the role of women in the coastal area protection and management; project on sustainable
livelihoods in coastal communities and Integrated Coastal Area management in South Africa
supported by UNDP; development of models for community participation in Integrated
Coastal Zone management and re-establishment of coastal community developments after
hazardous events like hurricanes in Central America and others. These activities provided a
wide window of opportunity to respond quickly and efficiently to regional concerns and needs
and establish open and meaningful discussions with experts and the public.
50. However much more can be done through concerted joint efforts of several partners.
The regional mechanisms established and operational in IOC can help to realise the full
potential of such co-operation in the context of regional systems for sustainable development.
It is also important to note as illustrated by the Mediterranean Environmental Technical
Assistance Programme (METAP), that functional regional structures are more likely to attract
51. There are several regions where the IOI and IOC have mutual interests and where
regional experience and knowledge can be complimentary. Among them are the –
Mediterranean Sea, the Black and Caspian seas. The IOI and IOC have the same vision on
the importance of these seas to Europe, North Africa and Middle Asia. They are of vital
importance for the climate and economic well being of the peoples. There is a common
challenge facing the IOI and IOC to improve the management and governance of these seas.
There is another challenge to bridge the gaps between the industrialised people of the “North”
and the people of the developing countries of the “West” and those emerging from centrally
planned economies of the “East”. The shores of these countries are washed by these seas. By
working together there is a solid possibility to enable all the countries to fully participate in
the global efforts needed to restore the human environment and enhance sustainable
52. The work of IOI started in the Mediterranean. The early results of its studies there in
the 70s supported the initiation of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme for the
53. The IOI and IOC efforts in the Mediterranean sea, Black and Caspian seas can be
linked with the activities of regional commissions on marine environment and sustainable
development and with a process of “revitalisation of the Regional Seas Programme” triggered
by the requirements of the implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the
Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.
54. The IOI has positive experience in co-operating with IOC in implementing joint
activities in the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins. Leadership Seminar on Mediterranean
Basin-wide Co-development and Security, carried out in Malta, 21-24 September 2000, and
support to MedGOOS are just two latest examples. The IOI will be most interested in
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participating and in contributing to the process of developing a science programme for the
Mediterranean Sea initiated by IOC.
55. The IOI has two Operational Centres in the Black Sea and plans to extend its
activities. It calls on the IOC Regional Committees for the Black Sea to work together and
bring the IOI plans in harmony with those of the Regional Committee. It is recommended to
take into account the upcoming national and European Marine Science Plans which aim at the
integration of all relevant dimensions of the natural and social sciences and the concerns of all
users of European Seas.
56. So far IOI has no activities in the Caspian Sea. However, the establishment of the IOI
Affiliate Centre in Astrakhan hosted by the Astrakhan University reflects the interest of the
region in IOI and vice-versa. There are several international organisations implementing
projects in the Caspian Sea basin – WMO, UNEP-Caspian Environmental Programme, IAEA,
IOC-Floating University Project and others. UNESCO is studying the possibilities of
launching a demonstration project within the Volga River and Caspian Sea basin.
57. There may be many activities where IOI can work together with the IOC. One of
them may be the study of the influence of the land-based activities on the marine environment
– e.g. the influence of the Volga River on the Caspian Sea environment. Links of co-
operation may be established and joint projects planned with IOC/UNESCO, UNEP-CEP and
other interested parties. There are basis for this project within the CEP activities, as well as
within the Russian federal Programme – Revival of the Volga River and the IOC decisions on
the Caspian Sea and measurement and management of submarine groundwater discharge in
the coastal zone as a contribution to the IOC/ICAM Programme and to the UNEP-GPA. If
we can quickly develop a joint project it may be included in the GPA Work programmes for
2002-2006 and presented to the First GPA Intergovernmental Review meeting planned in
Montreal, Canada, from 26-30 November 2001.
58. The IOI is interested to join its efforts with IOC in these and other geographical areas
and work together in meeting the needs of the bordering nations in marine and coastal
resources management and protection, marine policy and capacity building.
WAY TO GO
59. From what is presented above it is clear that there are many complimentary areas for
IOC and IOI. The organisations may consider ways of strengthening co-operation in
programme formulation, in achieving common objectives, in implementing joint funding. As
the first step it is desirable to revitalise and update the IOC/IOI memorandum of
understanding of 1993. There is a need to identify overlapping and complimentary areas, to
emphasise and agree upon specific areas of co-operation which correspond to the IOI and IOC
priorities and to develop a science plan of implementation.
60. As many of the activities implemented or planned by IOC and IOI are of interest also
to other governmental and non-governmental organisations it may be timely to consider an
innovative approach of co-operation by creating tripartite of multi-partite projects which may
involve UNEP, EU, IMO, UNDP and others.
61. One of the problems of co-operation is lack of information on the everyday activities
carried out by the organisations. It is a common problem. That’s why IOC and IOI can
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jointly explore the feasibility of establishing an ocean news agency. The IOI network of
Operational Centres and IOC Member States can provide support for such an agency and
facilitate its global outreach. Joint efforts in creating awareness of the state of and issues
affecting the ocean and coastal environment is also desirable at all levels and within all
elements of civil society.
62. There is no doubt that the benefits to individual institutions, nations and the entire
global community from strengthening links of co-operation, collaboration and co-ordination
between the IOI and IOC can be immediate and substantial. There is a need for action on the
basis of a strategic approach.
63. Co-operation with IOC, and other related governmental and non-governmental
organisations, are essential to the work of the IOI. As the External Evaluation Team on IOC
of UNESCO noted in its final report:
“If partnerships are ignored or poorly serviced due to lack of attention, they languish and
become a drain of resources rather than a benefit.”