The International Ocean Institute (IOI)

IOI logo


Antonella Vassallo


Managing Director


The International Ocean Institute (IOI) is a world leading independent, non-governmental non-profit organisation conducting training and capacity building in Ocean Governance with the aim of creating knowledgeable future leaders. IOI trains young and mid-career practitioners in contemporary approaches to coastal and ocean management, with an emphasis on the moral, ethical and legal values in Ocean Governance (equity and peaceful uses of the ocean).

In 1972, the IOI was founded by Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese and its establishment was a milestone in the struggle to promote the concept of Pacem in Maribus (peace in the oceans) and the conservation of the ocean and its resources so that future generations can share in their benefits. The IOI enjoys special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status at some of UN’s Specialized Agencies, and works to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage as defined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.

The mission of the IOI is to ensure the sustainability of the oceans as the “source of life”, and to uphold and expand the principle of the common heritage of mankind as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. As a knowledge-based institution the IOI offers a number of training courses on ocean governance and related issues at national, regional, and international levels. It also accesses and produces publications of current scientific, legal and policy developments and participates in the development of national and international ocean governance agendas. The IOI works through its Headquarters in Malta as well as through the global IOI network of Centres and Focal Points.