2023 Ocean Governance Course

The International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa (IOI-SA) is happy to announce that the annual 4-week Ocean Governance Training Programme will take place from 4th-29th September 2023. Save the date, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to join the 2023 cohort. For more information click here. To apply please complete the online form by 15th June. Apply here.

No late applications will be considered.

2022 Course in Ocean Governance for Africa wraps up

The course ran from the 5th to the 30th of September 2022. The first two weeks were online but we were very excited to welcome participants to Cape Town for the final two weeks. With this, came the resumption of field trips, interactive sessions and enhanced discussion and interactions.

The weeks were characterized by thoughtful and enthusiastic input from the participants. We encouraged peer-to-peer learning and group exercises throughout the training. In addition to a Risk Assessment exercise and using the interactive board game donated by IOC-UNESCO to simulate a Marine Spatial Platform situation. One exercise ran throughout the four weeks and groups to develop a policy brief on one of four broad topics listed below:

  • Green shipping – A solution to mitigate climate change;
  • Small scale fisheries: Policy implementation challenges;
  • Deep seabed mining: Why we must protect our biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction;
  • Agriculture as a source of land-based pollution – The functionality of wetlands to improve water quality.

New Training Opportunity

IOI-Southern Africa and IOI-HQ are happy to announce an online training opportunity for Early Career Ocean Professionals in November 2022. The course will be run in collaboration with IOC – UNESCO within the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and is being provided free of charge. It will comprise four three hour sessions during which participants will be introduced to the basic concepts of ocean governance in the African context. Sessions will include presentations, discussions, videos and interactive tools and will cover the following topics:

Basic Concepts of Ocean Governance – The oceans and sustainable development – The Blue Economy and Societal Perspectives – Introduction to Marine Spatial Planning.

Participants who complete all the sessions will be eligible for a certificate.

Target Audience and Applications:

This training is open to early career ocean professionals from Africa. For the purpose of the ECOP Programme, an ECOP is a person that self-identifies as being early in their career (10 years or less of professional experience) within any field related to the Ocean (not only employed/paid positions). The term “professional” is used in order to be inclusive of professionals from many different sectors of society.

The course will take place during office hours and since it is interactive only applicants who can commit to attending all four sessions will be accepted (this will require applicants to provide proof of permission from their supervisors). The class size will also be capped and participants will be selected using a combination of criteria including gender, sectoral background, geographic location and profession. Participants must be able to access Zoom.

 Apply here by the 21st October. No late applications will be considered.

IOI-SA Course in Ocean Governance Begins!

The IOI-SA 2022 Course participants started their 4 week journey into understanding Ocean Governance today. The training started with an introduction to ocean governance and the science to policy process. The course is designed to encourage participation and discussion and this year’s participants started out on the perfect note. We look forward to spending the next 4 weeks with them, the final two of while will be in person in Cape Town!

Ocean Academy Wraps up

Some of the Ocean Academy participants in August 2022

In August 2022, IOI-SA teamed up with SAIMI (South African International Maritime Industry) to deliver 20 hours of free online learning on ocean issues. The Ocean Academy was marketed to South African interns who work in the ocean space but don’t necessarily have a marine science or ocean governance background. Through the magic of social media, and virtual training spaces, we also welcomed participants from all over Africa, in particular Kenya and Somalia.

The Ocean Academy explored what the ocean means for life on earth, and to each of us; marine and coastal biodiversity, ecosystem goods & services; challenges facing our oceans and coasts; climate change: what it means for our oceans and coasts and the blue economy.

The Ocean Academy encourages participant interaction and discussion.
This builds on the information that is presented during the course by
experts and professionals working in the ocean governance space. We also challenged everyone to commit to using what they have learned in their lives going forward.

“In my opinion, Ocean Academy stands out a unique institute that works to get the bright future of our oceans.”

SSF Governance Training Event Malawi – June 2022

Malawi is among the few countries in Africa leading the implementation of the SSF Guidelines for Securing Sustainable SSF. The process is being led by the FAO Malawi and the Department of Fisheries. Amongst the objectives of the implementation is the development of a National Plan of Action (NPOA-SSF) to raise awareness of the SSF Guidelines, act a roadmap for implementation, provide a catalyst toward meaningful change, and a platform for collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders. 

In line with these developments, the IOI-SA National Small-scale Fisheries
Governance Training Course: Creating an Enabling Environment for SSF guidelines Implementation, took place at the beautiful Ufulu Gardens Hotel and Conference Venue in Lilongwe, Malawi from the 13th  – 17th  June 2022. The objective was to contribute toward the capacity development of relevant stakeholders, to support the development of the NPOA-SSF, and contribute toward an enabling environment for implementation. 

It was inspiring to see wonderful expertise and the diverse group of cross-sectoral stakeholders committed to the holistic, participatory and integrated management of the sector! As well as the support and commitment of the Department of Fisheries and FAO Malawi.

IOI-SA has a new Director – Judy Beaumont

The International Ocean Institute of Southern Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Judy Beaumont to the post of Director.

Judy has worked in the environmental sector for 30 years, focussing on environmental sustainability, ocean and coastal management and climate change response.

For much of that time, she worked for the South African Government in the department responsible for environmental management.  In the portfolio on ocean and coastal management, her work focussed on implementing marine and coastal legislation, expanding South Africa’s marine protected areas, growing South Africa’s blue economy, promoting integrated coastal management and co-ordinating the National Antarctic Programme. She has also worked extensively on programmes aimed at enhancing South Africa’s climate change response.  

Judy will be working with Programme Manager Shannon Hampton, as well partners and associates of IOI-SA the Management Committee and stakeholders.

This appointment brings the opportunity for IOI-SA to explore new opportunities.

The IOI-SA focuses on Ocean Governance capacity development in Africa. It also produces research, policy and strategy-related outputs to address key challenges of sustainable ocean governance in support of the communities, governments, regions and international organizations concerned with securing a peaceful, prosperous and healthy future for all. The IOI-SA maintains particular focus on rural coastal communities, decision-makers, post­graduate students and schools. It achieves its mission through collaborating and networking with organizations and government agencies in Africa that are active in the sphere of marine and coastal management and sustainable livelihoods.

Ocean Academy

In celebration of IOI International’s 50th Anniversary, the global centres are delivering online Ocean Academies around the World! IOI-SA and SAIMI will be hosting an Ocean Academy in August 2022 for interns exploring maritime and marine careers.

We need a healthy Ocean to survive. But our Ocean is in trouble, and so are we. By providing locally relevant, online education programmes, the IOI Ocean Academy will enable anyone interested to learn more about the complexities of the ocean and its local and global effects, now and in a changing future, laying the foundations for more informed understanding and personal daily decision-making.


  • 20-hour delivered online, 3,5 hours per session, twice a week (over 3 weeks)
  • Free-of-charge for participants.
  • A certificate of completion will be awarded to those who attend all the sessions and complete a feedback form.
  • Ocean knowledge that is locally relevant.
  • Overseen by the IOI-SA and implemented by local experts.
  • Dates:
    • 10 & 11 August 2022 (09:30 – 13:00 SAST)
    • 17 & 18 August 2022 (09:30 – 13:00 SAST)
    • 24 & 25 August 2022 (09:30 – 13:00 SAST)
  • Target Audience: Interns from various institutions that have an interest in the ocean, ocean literacy, and ocean opportunities, including government, non-government organisations, business, labour etc. To apply, please complete this form by the 30th July 2022.

People completing an IOI Academy Course will:

  • gain a basic understanding of the ocean: the goods and services it provides, the threats to the ocean, how to live in a more sustainable way with the ocean;
  • learn about the importance of ocean governance, sustainable and equitable human use, the principle of the common heritage of humankind, respecting the needs of future generations, all in locally relevant context;
  • be empowered to become more active locally as stakeholders to positively influence their communities and beyond;
  • be able to identify priority issues, trends and future challenges in ocean issues, locally and globally.

Regional small-scale fisheries governance training – creating an enabling environment for SSF Guidelines implementation

Since 2020, IOI-SA has been partnering with the FAO to develop and deliver a number of training courses to promote the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines, 2015). A pilot 5-day Regional training course was delivered in the African region in early 2021, followed by a second course in the Asia region in November, 2021. The regional courses are aimed at government actors with the objective of building capacity for the uptake of the SSF Guidelines through policy and action. In 2022, the training will be delivered nationally in Malawi, to support the development of the NPOA-SSF (National Plan of Action for small-scale fisheries) in the country.  The development of an eLearning version of the course is also underway, and is to be launched by the FAO e-learning academy in 2022. A 3rd initiative is intended to provide a short, half-day training session on the SSF Guidelines to relevant FAO staff and partners with the objective of mainstreaming the principles of the SSF Guidelines into FAO and partner project proposals. The half-day course is to be delivered in four regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central America) in 2022.