Educating the World

Being a UNESCO-endorsed regional training centre has allowed an institute at UMT to share its knowledge of oceanography with the world

By Prof. Gs. Ts. Dr. Aidy @ Mohamed Shawal M Muslim, Lecturer, Institute of Oceanography and Environment (INOS)

For the past eight years, the Institute of Oceanography and Environment (INOS) has been playing an important role at the world’s stage.

And in doing so it has trained people from 30 countries.

Since 2014, INOS has been appointed as one of the OceanTeacher Global Academy (OTGA) Regional Training Centres, providing training for the Asia-Pacific region.

The ocean is an important resource. It covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface and plays a crucial role in regulating the earth’s climate and supporting biodiversity. Despite its importance, the ocean is still poorly understood, and its vast resources and potential are yet to be fully harnessed.

Recognizing the significance of the ocean, INOS has been working tirelessly to bridge the knowledge gap and build capacity related to ocean research and services.

INOS is a leading institution in Malaysia, committed to advancing the knowledge and understanding of the ocean and environment. Since its establishment, INOS has played a vital role in building equitable capacity related to ocean research, observations, and services.

INOS Part of OTGA Project

INOS is part of the OceanTeacher Global Academy (OTGA) Project under the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), UNESCO.

OTGA is a global initiative established under the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It aims to increase national and regional capacity in coastal and marine sciences, services, and management by providing customised training for ocean experts and professionals. To this end, OTGA created a global network of regional and specialised training centres (RTCs and STCs) that deliver high-quality training programmes tailored to meet the specific needs of participants.

In 2014, efforts were made to shape the network of OTGA regional training centres. Site visits were conducted to assess various factors that would influence the selection process. These factors included infrastructure, event-related services, human resources, relevant experience and history related to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and IODE, practical and legal issues, and the sustainability of the prospective training centres.

By evaluating these factors, OTGA aimed to ensure that the selected regional training centres would be equipped with the necessary resources and capabilities to provide high-quality training and promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise in oceanography.

The OTGA training programmes are designed to cater to the needs of both developing and developed countries and are open to participants from all regions of the world. The programmes are suitable for individuals working in government agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sector companies, and academic institutions, among others.


Appointed as Regional Training Centre

INOS was formally established as a regional training centre in 2014, with the purpose of providing training in the Asia-Pacific region, with support of about RM 1 million.

As an OTGA regional training centre, INOS provides a wide range of training programmes and courses in various fields related to oceanography, marine sciences, and coastal management. These training programmes are designed to equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to effectively manage and conserve ocean resources.

Some of the topics covered include marine biodiversity, ocean observation, ocean data management, marine spatial planning, marine pollution, climate change, and sustainable fisheries management, among others.

The training programmes are delivered through a variety of formats, including face-to-face workshops, online courses, and blended learning approaches.

The programmes are designed to cater to the needs of a diverse audience involved in ocean-related activities. The target participants include researchers, scientists, educators, policymakers, coastal managers, marine industry professionals, and other stakeholders interested in enhancing their knowledge and skills in oceanography, marine sciences, and coastal management.

One of the most significant achievements of INOS as OTGA training centre is the diversity of its participants. By welcoming participants from different countries and backgrounds, INOS is fostering equitable capacity building, ensuring that all regions have access to the resources and knowledge needed to advance ocean research and services. This is vital, given the significant challenges facing the ocean, including climate change, overfishing, and pollution.

The training instructors/facilitators are experts in their respective fields and have a wealth of knowledge and experience in oceanography, marine sciences, and coastal management. They are mostly UMT specialists, while several are regional experts. Many of them are affiliated with leading research institutions, universities, and organizations involved in ocean-related activities.


Positive Feedback

For its training, INOS has received positive feedback from past participants, the number totalling 200 to date, and also instructors/facilitators. Participants have praised INOS for providing high-quality training programmes that are well-structured, comprehensive, and practical. The positive feedback highlights the value and impact of the training programmes in promoting knowledge exchange, capacity building, and sustainable ocean management.

As an OTGA regional training centre, INOS has access to a wide range of training courses, workshops, and resources related to ocean science, technology, and data management. This has helped INOS researchers to stay up to date with the latest advancements in the field and to develop new skills and expertise.

Being an OTGA regional training centre also provides a platform for INOS to connect and collaborate with peers and experts from around the world. Through this, INOS has developed new partnerships, shared knowledge and best practices, and collaborated on research projects.

Being part of the OTGA network has also raised the profile of INOS within the marine science community, thereby helping attract new funding opportunities and collaborations.

Overall, being an OTGA has enable INOS to enhance its capacity to conduct high-quality research and to contribute to the global effort to understand and manage the world’s oceans.

Since the first appointment in 2014, INOS has carried out its role as an OTGA regional training centre to the best of its ability.

And the institute will surely continue to play this important role well into the future, training more people from more countries about all things oceans.


Professor Aidy and Mr. Zulkamal attending the OTGA Training of Trainers for Regional Training Centres

OTGA participants visiting INOS – South China Sea Repository and Reference Centre (RRC)

Professor Aidy presenting the OTGA programme at the IODE-XXV Science Conference

Professor Aidy chairing the OTGA Steering Group meeting in Oostende, Belgium

INOS OTGA Training Centre

OTGA Training Course – Digital Repositories: The Pathway form open Access to Digital Asset Management

The OTGA Training Course: Foundations of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning in INOS

OTGA participants taking the opportunity to visit INOS Research Gallery