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The World Maritime University (WMU) and the Nippon Foundation announced that they operationalize the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, starting from July 6th. At its 35th Session, from 31 May to 1 June, the Board of Governors of WMU approved the setting up of the Ocean Institute within the framework of WMU and authorized the signing of the Arrangement with the Nippon Foundation.

The Ocean Institute will be the independent focal point for ocean- science-policy-law-industry interface acting as a convener and convergence point where policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society meet to discuss how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources for the sustainable development of present and future generations, supported by evidence-based research, educational programmes and capacity building.

In addition, research outputs of the Institute are expected to enhance capacity of all stakeholders to implement legal requirements and policies. A special emphasis will be placed on working closely with the IMO and other relevant UN organizations, including UNESCO.

In this way, the Institute is a concrete response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 14, that commits governments to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

On the occasion, the IMO Secretary-General stated that this step is aligned with IMO’s engagement in the broader sphere of ocean governance.

“Establishing this institute for broader ocean research within the IMO’s World Maritime University will provide an opportunity for IMO to strengthen its role in this regard and, in particular, its support for the Sustainable Development Goals, which I was pleased to re-affirm at the recent United Nations Ocean Conference in New York.”

The President of WMU, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry stated that the UN Ocean Conference held in June gave significant impetus for urgent action, with the outcome ‘Our Ocean, Our Future – Call for Action’ highlighting the need for ‘strengthened multi-stakeholder partnerships, more ocean-related education and greater resources for marine scientific research’.

Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director, Nippon Foundation stated:  “I sense that the greater global community is starting to accept the undeniable fact that our ocean is indeed in a crisis. To address this, we need to take a holistic approach to ocean governance; an approach that is both intergovernmental and trans-disciplinary.”


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