The annual IOI Malta Regional Ocean Governance Course, offered jointly by the University of Malta and the International Ocean Institute (IOI), kicked off remotely at the start of this academic year’s second semester, with a complement of 25 participants hailing from 15 different countries.
This year’s online Course was officially opened by Prof. Awni Behnam, Honorary IOI President and former deputy Secretary-General of the UN, by Prof. Alan Deidun, Director of the IOI Malta Training Centre and Malta’s Ocean Ambassador and by Ms Antonella Vassallo, IOI’s Managing Director. The online Course is still ongoing and should come to a close at the end of May 2021.
Under regular circumstances, the same Course, which consists of three complementary Study-Units (GSC 5101, GSC 5102 and GSC 5103) for a total of 15 ECTS, would be offered physically in Malta over a 5-week period in November-December, as has been the case for the previous 15 editions of the same Course.
Given the current restrictions on international travel, arrangements were made for the first component of the said Course – i.e. GSC 5101 (Global Ocean Governance Framework and Managing our Relations with the Sea) – to be offered online. An international call for applications was launched in December 2020, to which six Maltese participants nominated by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and the AFM (Armed Forces of Malta) as well as nineteen international participants, hailing from an array of European (e.g. Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Georgia, Moldova), Asian (Iran, Turkmenistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh), African (Egypt, Tanzania, Ghana) and South American (Brazil), responded.
The contemporary and compelling ocean governance thematics addressed within the online GSC 5101 component include emerging issues such as the BBNJ (Biodiversity in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) Process, Blue Biotrade, Blue Finance, the UN’s Regular Process and the EU’s Starfish Mission as well as the ‘omics’ and Industry 4.0 Revolution. Such an exciting compendium of thematics is being delved into by a prestigious outfit of both local (e.g. Dr Felicity Attard, Prof. Charles Galdies,Dr Adam Gauci, Prof. Alan Deidun) and international (e.g. Dr David Vivas-Egui from UNCTAD, Dr Francois Bailet from the UN Secretariat in New York, Prof. Awni Behnam from Geneva) faculty members.
The IOI Malta Regional Ocean Governance Course is one of a total of six ocean governance courses offered by the IOI through its global network of training centres, but is the only accredited one from such a crop of training courses. Further information about the Course can be found online.