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I NTERNATIONAL

O CEAN H EADQUARTERS
I NSTITUTE

January 24, 2020

Dear friends, colleagues and IOI family,

As some of you may already be aware, during the last meeting of the IOI Governing Board in December 2019 I was
elected as the President of the Board. This was obviously a great honour for me and also a great responsibility and
challenge to which I feel wholeheartedly committed.

So first, I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to our former President Mr
Nikolaus Gelpke for his valuable contribution and continuous support of the IOI. I would also like to acknowledge
the very generous financial support of the Ocean Science and Research Foundation (OSRF) without which IOI
could not continue its functions. My thanks and gratitude also to the Governing Board members for their trust and
confidence in me. I will do my utmost to fulfill my responsibilities to the best of my abilities.

In 2022 we will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the IOI. While ocean related issues have been placed on
the global agenda relatively in recent years, it is almost a half century that IOI has been in the service of the
oceans. IOI is proud of its past achievements in promoting and creating awareness of ocean related issues at the
global, regional and national level and more importantly in capacity building in ocean governance. Training a large
number of skilled professionals, particularly from developing nations, and taking information and knowledge
where it is most needed. It has created a family of ocean ambassadors around the world.

However, it is now time to look to the future. Today we are facing greater challenges than fifty years ago. Climate
change, sea level rise, impact on human health, implementation of Sustainable Development Goals particularly
SDG 14 are only are some examples. We must make every effort to ensure that IOI not only remains relevant
today, but it is considered as one of the leading institutions in the field.

IOI must continue into the future and to play a vital role in Ocean Governance by maintaining the legacy of the
founder Elisabeth Mann Borgese for humankind to live with the Ocean and from the Ocean in sustainable
relationship, protecting both and respecting the Ocean’s majesty.

It is generally recognized that there is a need for an urgent action to save our oceans and environment. Climate
and ocean related issues are placed on the agenda of most international and regional organizations as well as
national governments. Attempts are being made to find solutions to the problems at hand.

Negotiations and discussions are continuing at the international level in an attempt to establish an appropriate
legal framework. It is important that IOI has a voice in such international events and contributes to the evolving
policy dialogue on ocean matters, keeping the network informed of the latest developments. This is also essential
in order to ensure that our training programs reflect and cover all relevant emerging issues, always remaining
relevant.

Thus, to address the challenges there is a need for a united approach. There is considerable expertise within the
IOI network on the subject among the GB members, Centre Directors, Focal Points and alumni. We have a common
goal and we need to work together in order to achieve this goal. Greater cooperation and communication,
exchange of information and ideas, between the GB members, the network and Headquarters need to be
maintained if we are to succeed.

In summary, to achieve our goal we need to work together. Share ideas, constructive and substantive proposals to
achieve results. Let us join forces together as the IOI family in pursuing our common goal. I wish you every success
in your endeavors.

Mahin Faghfouri

Visiting address: IOI HQ, University of Malta - Msida Campus, Msida MSD2080, Malta
Postal Address: IOI HQ, University of Malta, P.O. Box 3, Msida MSD2080, Malta
Email: ioihq@ioihq.org.mt Tel: +356 (-) 2134 6528, 2134 6529
URL: http://www.ioinst.org/