26 November 2020, Geneva, Switzerland - Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, UNITAR and the International Ocean Institute (IOI) launched the Online Diploma on Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems Whilst the current pandemic has understandably attracted society’s focus and energy, the consequences of the climate crisis remain as urgent to address as ever before. The MoU between UNITAR and IOI aim to focus on current and future policy leaders, by equipping: “A global network of trained and empowered leaders…with the knowledge, skills and essential attitude required for effective governance of the planet’s precious resources”. As the avenue of application for cooperation between UNITAR and IOI was “Academic Excellence in Ocean Governance and Diplomacy”, this mission has led to the creation of the new Online Diploma on Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems.

Programme objective: to train aware and able leaders on sustainable ocean governance

This programme will raise awareness as to the scope of strains endured by ocean eco-systems. It will offer key insights to translate environmental principles to short-term, actionable objectives, for long-term sustainable use of marine ecosystems. Collecting scientific data and apprehending factual threats to our oceans is not enough to ensure long-term commitment to sustainability. The significance of the matter must be accurately understood by the public and law-makers for effective implementation of sustainable policies. Therefore, the Online Diploma will also provide the practical skillset to implement, and improve, scientific communication strategies and outreach activities.

As such, the programme will aim to enhance participant’s command of the following fundamental topics:

  • Ocean Governance and the Law of the Sea;
  • Negotiation and stakeholder involvement in the field;
  • Sustainable development;
  • Biodiversity, resources, climate and pollution.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the Online Diploma, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the linkages between ocean governance and sustainable and equitable human resource use;
  • Describe the Law of the Sea and Principle of Ocean Governance;
  • Discuss trends and future challenges in the global and regional scenarios;
  • Explain the main concepts underlying marine biodiversity;
  • Apply relevant negotiation skills to support efforts to build a more effective multilateral and inclusive environment around the sustainable management of ocean resources and services;
  • Define and explain methods and procedures for evaluating the status of the marine environment through impact and risk assessments.


The International Ocean Institute is an independent, international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation conducting training and capacity-building in Ocean Governance globally. The IOI aims to build capacity by training young and mid-career practitioners in contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management. It emphasises the moral, ethical, and legal values in Ocean Governance, such as equity and the peaceful use of the ocean. It further provides relevant publications, technical advice and assistance in oceans and coastal area governance, policy and management.



The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is an autonomous body within the United Nations, mandated by the General Assembly to develop the individual, institutional, and organizational capacities of countries and other United Nations stakeholders. It performs its core mission through high quality learning solutions and related knowledge-building trainings. UNITAR aims to enhance effective decision-making capacities, and to support country-level action for overcoming global challenges.

UN Photo / Rick Bajornas
UN Photo/Ray Witlin

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