This site uses cookies in order to function as expected. By continuing, you are agreeing to our cookie policy.
Agree and close


News CEBioS meeting at the UNESCO-IOC Project Office for IODE

The meeting took place at the office of the IOC project for IODE, in Ostend, Belgium, on Tuesday 1st September 2015.

Release date 03/09/2015
Contributor mlsusini
Geographical coverage Global,
Keywords marine, database, capacity building, UNESCO, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO,

The meeting was the occasion to learn more on the current initiatives undertaken by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO).

IOC coordinates ocean observation and monitoring through the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) which aims to develop a network providing information and data exchange on the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the ocean. Governments, industry, scientists, and the public use this information to act on marine issues.

IOC also coordinates and fosters the establishment of regional intergovernmental coordinating tsunami warning and mitigation systems in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, in the North East Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean seas. See website for more information:

The IOC Project Office in Ostend is the central hub for implementation of IOC’s relaunched Capacity Development Strategy 2015-2021. In the strategy, they attach a lot of importance on developing capacities in Africa and to Gender Equality.

IOC is in charge of the ‘Ocean Biogeographic Information System’ project (OBIS). It is an open access database repository on the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine species. It has a mandate under the UNESCO. They count more than 20 nodes around the planet that connect 500 institutions from 56 countries. One of their activities is the Development of Information Products and Services based on OBIS and HAEDAT to support the WOA, IPBES and a Global Harmful Algal Bloom Status Report (DIPS-4-Ocean Assessments). It is funded by the Government of Flanders.

Finally Claudia Delgado presented the OceanTeacher Academy which is a capacity-building project. The OceanTeacher Academy project started in 2009 with support from the Government of Flanders. They have developed a special distance-learning platform using MOODLE with courses, quiz, etc. They also provide online theoretical lectures on a vimeo platform ( All the material is open access.

In 2013 a review of the OceanTeacher Academy resulted in the following recommendations:

  • Need to train more students from each country
  • Reduce travel of students and lecturers
  • Provide training in local language
  • Focus more on local issues
  • Make platform available to other IOC programmes.

It was concluded that the implementation of these recommendations would be possible by decentralizing the training facilities by establishing a network of Regional Training Centres. To make this possible a Project proposal was submitted to the Government of Flanders entitled "The OceanTeacher Global Academy". The OceanTeacher Global Academy started in 2014.

They are currently busy establishing their worldwide training facility. At the moment, they have selected 10 training centers. In Africa, these centers are based in Senegal, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa.

The meeting was very interesting since it enabled us to share ideas and best practices in the field of capacity building. We will think of future opportunities of working together, especially in biodiversity related training activities. 

Please note that this information has expired.