WIOGEN Ocean Governance Conference

The WIOGEN Ocean Governance Conference took place from the 27 – 29th October 2021. There were over 300 registrations for this free virtual conference. Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference included over 50 presentations that showcased the excellent work being conducted in the WIO region. We were honoured by the involvement of our inspiring keynote speakers, pictured below. More information about our people and their presentations can be found here.

To promote cooperation amongst the various networks in the regiona, facilitated tea sessions showcased the WIO Women in Science Network and WIO Early Career Research Network.

Day 3 of the conference was a special session hosted by the Nairobi Convention Secretariat that focused on the role of science in ocean governance. The outcomes of these discussions will be written up in a report soon. We will also upload all the recordings of presentations on to the WIOGEN YouTube page as soon as possible.

IOI Continuing Professional Development

Course 2: New Developments and Emerging Issues in Ocean Governance

Nine online sessions between 4th Oct. – 4th Nov. 2021

This online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course is offered jointly by IOI-Southern Africa and IOI-Canada as part of IOI’s commitment to continuing professional development for its alumni.  Nine live sessions in a series of three modules will utilise presentations, discussions, readings, videos and interactive tools to explore new and emerging issues in UNCLOS & ABNJ; Climate Change & Health of the Ocean; and Small-scale FisheriesThe schedule is available here and you can find out more our speakers here.

To apply, complete this online form by the application deadline of 15th September 2021.

The intended audience is anyone who has completed an IOI training programme prior to 2020 and is keen to improve their knowledge of recent developments in the field.  Since the course will be interactive, the class size will be capped at 24 and only applicants who can attend all nine sessions will be accepted.  Participants will be selected using a combination of criteria including gender, sectoral background, geographic location and profession.

WIOGEN Ocean Governance Conference 27-29 October

This is not your traditional scientific conference – WIOGEN aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and policy makers to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Ocean Governance in the Western Indian Ocean. It will provide an interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to meaningfully network and present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in ocean governance under eight broad themes.

There is still an opportunity to submit abstracts when you register! Guidelines for abstract submission are available here. We are excited to partner with WIOMSA’s Western Indian Journal of Marine Science to produce a special conference edition of the Journal from Conference submissions. Please note that you will need to submit an extended publication if you wish your paper to be considered for publication in the special edition. We will also be accepting abstracts of those who are not in a position to publish in the special edition and stakeholder (non-academic) presentations which can include policy briefs, creative stories, training manuals, fact sheets etc.

Marine Biological Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

The STRONG High Seas Project and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of a new website designed to provide information about Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), including the conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), with an emphasis on the Abidjan Convention Region: The user-friendly site is a first stop for anyone wanting to learn more about marine biodiversity in ABNJ, the pressures it faces and the development under the UN of a new treaty on BBNJ. There are links to key publicationsevents andother websites that are of interest to the Southeast Atlantic.Short fact sheets provide bite-size summaries of key BBNJ issues. Some of the key themes covered on the website include:

The website is currently in English, please bear with us as we are busy developing a French and Portuguese version.

First Online Course in Ocean Governance wrapping up

The decision to move the Course in Ocean Governance to online was not taken lightly, but after delaying the 2020 training that was scheduled for September, and the continuing uncertainty around Covid-19, it was the pragmatic decision. The training started on the 22nd Feb and finished Friday, the 19th March.

The online format has opened up opportunities to engage with experts from 12 different countries and include our IOI partners from Egypt, Malta, Nigeria and Kenya. It allowed for innovative ways to approach learning, with a strong focus on peer-to-peer learning, discussion and group exercises. The participants, from 11 countries in Africa, and a broad range of professional backgrounds, stepped up to the challenge of engaging effectively online, with lively discussions taking place through the weeks. While we couldn’t take the participants to the field, we did create a short video on Estuary Management, to introduce our participants to governance in action, using Zandvlei Estuary in Cape Town as a case study.

To find out more about the Course in Ocean Governance click here. The next training is schedule for September 2021.

IOI-SA concludes a successful pilot training event on Small-scale Fisheries Governance

On 15-19 February, IOI-SA in collaboration with the FAO, held the pilot training event for the Small-Scale Fisheries Governance Training Program for Africa – for creating an enabling environment for the implementation of the FAOs Voluntary SSF Guidelines. 

The training event brought together government stakeholders and FAO country
representatives from the countries of Ghana, Namibia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Over the 5 days, a great group of engaging participants interacted with experts and speakers from the region who delivered sessions of particular relevance to SSF governance in Africa. The sessions centered on approaches to good governance toward the recognition and awareness of the key principles and themes highlighted in the SSF Guidelines -grounded strongly in human rights based approaches. 

The training was well received by the participants, and served as a motivation for positive change for small-scale fisheries in their National contexts. “They (SSF sector) have fed the world. They have come from a place where they have been ignored. And now for the first time the world is looking in their direction. They are too big to ignore… Small-scale fishers lives matter.” – Participant, Ghana. 

Read more about the training event here
Read more about the FAOs Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication here.

Regional Small-scale Fisheries Governance Training Program: Creating an Enabling Environment for the Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines

IOI-SA is partnering with the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in developing a 5-day training program in regional small-scale fisheries governance for Africa.

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines 2014) promote governance reform in order to create food security and poverty eradication in small-scale fishing communities. The capability to implement the SSF Guidelines varies within States and regions, as do national policies and small-scale fisheries governance strategies.  Many States have poor awareness and recognition, capacity, co-ordination and institutional structures to effectively implement many of the fundamental values that the SSF Guidelines seek to promote.

The training program therefore aims to contribute towards creating an enabling environment for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines, through capacitating practitioners to address key small-scale fisheries governance issues using holistic and participatory methods. It also aims to strengthen capacity at national and regional levels, by creating increased awareness, facilitate institutional linkages and the development of good governance frameworks. The training is being developed in conjunction with regional experts, with the pilot training event expected to be held in Cape Town 2021. The pilot course will invite small-scale fisheries practitioners from a number of African countries who are currently working with the FAO on implementation of the SSF Guidelines in their countries.

Ending Plastic Pollution in South Africa by 2030: Fact or Fiction?

PETCO and IOI-SA gathered together plastic experts to try unpack some of the myths and mysteries around these issues in a panel discussion that was open to the public and media. The discussion took place on the 12th of March 2020. The experts included Peter Ryan  (University of Cape Town), Douw Steyn (Plastics|SA), Aaniyah Omardien (The Beach Co-op), Anthony Ribbink (Sustainable Seas Trust), Alison Davison (City of Cape Town), Suzan Oelofse (CSIR), Cheri Scholtz (PETCO) and Chandru Wadhwani (Extrupet). The discussion was facilitated by IOI-SA Director, Adnan Awad. The panelists were asked to highlight some of the plastic myths that they have come across and what message they would like the audience to take home. To find out more about the discussion, please click here: PETCO/IOI-SA Plastic Forum March 2020.

plastic mythsplastic take home


2020 Course in Ocean Governance for Africa

Applications are now open for the 2020 IOI-SA Course in Ocean Governance for Africa. The course will run from the 7th September to 2nd October 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. Find you application form and more information on the Course Page. 


The course is a unique opportunity to join the growing network of IOI Ocean Governance Ambassadors in Africa.


Applications will close on the 19th April 2020 and no late applications will be considered. Spaces are limited. Partial funding is available on a competitive basis and only to participants from Africa.