Ocean Academy 2023

This year the International Ocean Institute-SA partnered with the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation in conceptualising and developing an Ocean Academy focused on expanding ocean literacy, for a diverse group of participants. By providing free locally relevant, entry-level online education programmes, the Ocean Academy enabled interested participants to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to understand 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.

First course was hosted online earlier this year in June and the second course recently in November 2023. It consisted of six 3h30min sessions on a Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon over a two-week period. The programme was marketed South African early career professionals who work in the ocean space but don’t necessarily have a marine science or ocean governance background.

We received over 200 applications, a variety of candidates with various marine backgrounds and experience. Candidates were selected and split into two groups, and could either attend training in June or in November. 

Some of the Ocean Academy November 2023 participants, participating in an online group activity on local marine ecosystems.

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.

Ocean Academy June 2023, Responses of what the ocean means to them.

In the realm of ocean literacy and ocean governance, the past year has been an inspiring voyage marked by strides toward stewardship, sustainability, and collective responsibility. At the international Ocean Institute- Southern African our commitment to nurturing leaders and fostering expertise in managing our planet’s marine world has seen remarkable growth and achievement. We look forward to inviting new candidates and hosting two courses in the new year.

“I am immensely grateful for the enriching experience I’ve had with the International Oceans Academy course. Throughout the program, I delved into a plethora of topics that significantly broadened my understanding of marine ecosystems and conservation efforts. The comprehensive curriculum covered vital aspects such as the blue economy, shedding light on sustainable practices that balance economic development with the conservation of ocean resources. Disaster risk management lessons equipped me with the knowledge to address and mitigate potential threats to marine environments. Learning about turtle rehabilitation and shark education provided valuable insights into the critical efforts required to protect these vulnerable species. Additionally, the course emphasised the importance of recycling to prevent ocean pollution, instilling a sense of responsibility for the well-being of our oceans. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the International Oceans Academy for this enlightening journey, and I look forward to applying these lessons to contribute positively to our planet’s aquatic ecosystems. Thank you!”

“Firstly I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to be part of this amazing programme more especially because I studied environmental management which focuses more on the inland environment however now my knowledge is extended on marine environment including sea zones, marine animals as well as coastal laws. This programme opened my mind in so many things I’m now more interested and encouraged to save the environment as whole and not to be shy to spread the word.”

Author: IOI-SA

IOI-SA focuses on Ocean Governance capacity development in Africa through training programmes aimed at harmonising management, policy and development. The IOI-SA 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.