20th Anniversary


It is an honour and pleasure for the International Ocean Institute Thailand Training Centre (IOI Thailand) to have had the opportunity to produce this publication to celebrate its 20th anniversary and the World Ocean Day 2020: Innovation for sustainable ocean.

On behalf of the local organisers, IOI Thailand wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the IOI Headquarters and the host organisation, Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council and partners for all supports during the past two decades. IOI Thailand wishes to thank the staff of the IOI Thailand, many other friends and colleagues who have been working on the preparation of this publication, for the Governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat and staff for organisation of the World Ocean Day 2020 event in Khnom, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, as well as IOI Thailand’s partner organisations and IOI global network for their messages to be shared in this publication dedicated to the celebration of the 20th anniversary of IOI Thailand and the World Ocean Day 2020: Innovation for sustainable ocean. 

All contributions and steadfast support will surely encourage us to continue our commitment and our dedication to implementing IOI’s important mission for the peaceful and sustainable use of the oceans for the benefit of future generations. 

Ocean Day 2020 Message from Dr. Awni Behnam, 
Honorary President of the International Ocean Institute (IOI)

Dear Dr. Cherdsak Virapat and the IOI Thailand Family, Alumni, friends and supporters 

This year as we face the critical challenge of COV19 we remember the importance of the ocean, our source of life and recall our solemn commitment of living with the ocean and from the ocean in sustainable relation in order to protect the ocean and thus protecting our Blue Planet. We have no other choice or alternative for the future generation. 

I commend IOI Thailand for its valuable and immeasurable contribution over the years though its many activities by giving a voice to the ocean through awareness creation, advocacy, training and education. 

Dr. Cherdsak I applaud your contribution and commitment together with your close supporters for upholding the vision and eternal message of the founder Elisabeth Mann Borgese.

Message from Dr, Mahin Faghfouri, President, International Ocean Institute (IOI) 

The year 2020 is a very special year for IOI Thailand. We celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Two decades of commitment and dedication to IOI’s mission and objectives, promoting ocean issues and contributing to training present and future ocean leaders of the region. It is with great pleasure that I extend my very warm congratulations to IOI Thailand for the success they have achieved over the past 20 years. I would also like to express appreciation and gratitude to all those who have contributed to this success, including Government agencies, Directors, host institutes, experts, partners, etc. We certainly look forward to continuing this very successful cooperation over the years to come. 

Armed with the experience of the past 20 years, I am sure that IOI Thailand is now ready to address the challenges of the future, bearing in mind that challenges facing our oceans today are far greater than 20 years ago. While the world relies on clean, healthy and productive oceans for living, the world oceans are facing unprecedented crises from human activities. Climate change, overexploitation of marine resources, plastic pollution, ocean acidification, increased new ocean-related economic activities are just few examples. Nevertheless, we are confident that IOI Thailand is up to the challenge. 

This Anniversary celebration also coincides with the United Nations World Ocean Day (WOD) celebration that is held every year on the 8th June. The concept that originated in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was officially recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2008. Global celebrations aim to raise awareness and highlight the vital importance of our oceans and the crucial role they play in sustaining a healthy planet. 

This year’s WOD celebration, however, will take place primarily via virtual channels, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures put in place by the Governments to control the spread of the virus. Nevertheless they will not be less effective. The need to protect and preserve our oceans and marine ecosystems is now more urgent than ever before. Our actions today will determine and shape our tomorrow. Protecting our oceans is protecting our future. I wish IOI Thailand continued success in its future endeavours.

Message from H.E. Dr. Smith Dharmasaroja, Honorary Advisor of IOI Thailand, Chairman of the Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council and Former Vice Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister 

The 20th anniversary of International Ocean Institute Thailand occurs at a time when the world is facing pandemic risks of COVID-19. Although other risks of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, tropical cyclone, and others are increasing faster in coastal areas than inland areas. Ensuring a strong resilience of populations living along coastal areas due to the impacts of natural disasters and climate change will continued to be important mission of IOI and its partners in the years to come. , Chairman of the Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council and Former Vice Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister 

Foundation of National Disaster Warning Council (FNDWC) has enjoyed a strong partnership with IOI since 2009 when FNDWC has hosted IOI Thailand for the period of 10 years. 

During the last decade, IOI Thailand has contributed significantly to build up awareness on Thai seas and marine resources conservation by organizations of world ocean day events as well as on building human resources through IOI flagship training programme on ocean governance for government officers from interagency departments in Thailand and from the Southeast Asian Seas and the Indian Ocean countries. 

In the occasion of the 20th anniversary of IOI Thailand, it gives me great pleasure to extend my warm congratulations and best wishes to IOI. On behalf of FNDWC as a host institution of IOI Thailand, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Director and staff for your significant achievements. 

Message from Antonella Vassallo, Managing Director, IOI

Since its foundation in 1972 by Elisabeth Mann Borgese, the International Ocean Institute (IOI) has strived to ensure the sustainability of the oceans as the “source of life”. The respect for common goods, the peaceful and sustainable use of ocean services and resources, the Common Heritage of the high seas as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the need to support and empower people and countries in managing their relations with the ocean in a sustainable manner remain the ethical and moral foundation of the IOI. This ethos infuses IOI actions in capacity development, education and training as well as its international partnerships and publications. The IOI contributes towards a growing global network of trained and empowered leaders through the IOI capacity development programmes and the dissemination of the latest knowledge in ocean governance topics and through IOI interaction with the talented alumni of IOI programmes. This important work is implemented effectively through the concerted global actions of the IOI network of Centres and Focal Points and strategic partnerships. 

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the IOI Centre in Thailand under the initial directorship of Cherdsak Virapat, it is appropriate to reflect also on its definitive and effective contributions in Thailand and the surrounding region in achieving the milestones and goals of the IOI. 

Throughout its 20-year history, IOI Thailand has been prominent and active in reaching out to Thai and regional ocean communities with the IOI message. It has achieved this at many levels and has promoted the sustainable management, use and proper protection of the coastal and marine environment and resources for sustainable development based on good governance, integrated policy-making and coastal community-based participatory approaches. 

Notable achievements of the Centre include the offer of the IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance in the Southeast Asian Seas and the Indian Ocean annually in Thailand since 2016, as well as outreach and ocean literacy programmes on World Oceans Day annually and the organisation of topical and relevant meetings on ocean issues through the years. 

In this way, IOI Thailand actions have reached hundreds of regional stakeholders at several levels in the region: encouraging interest in the ocean in schoolchildren; reaching out to lay persons with published information; developing capacity in the region’s ocean managers and decision-makers; and above all fostering a love of the oceans, a respect for rule-of-law under UNCLOS, good ocean governance and the application of principles of sustainability in the development and protection of these resources. 

Today we are proud to have amongst our IOI Alumni outstanding colleagues from Thailand or who have graduated from the IOI Thailand Training Programme. We count on IOI Thailand and our Alumni to continue to carry forward the message of Elisabeth and the mission to save and protect our Ocean for its intrinsic majesty and beauty, for its incalculable value as the source of life and livelihoods, and for the benefit of current and future generations. 

I end my few words with a note of heartfelt gratitude to the people who have worked with dedication all these years to create and strengthen IOI Thailand and to support its mission. This anniversary celebration would not have been possible without them. On behalf of the IOI, I also recognize the important work achieved by IOI Thailand in the region. Long may we enjoy the successes and achievements of the Centre into the future…ad multos annos, IOI Thailand!