Capacity Building and Development is the strengthening of skills, competencies, and abilities of people and communities in developing countries. The IOC runs many programmes to this end, including GOOS workshops, remote sensing, and teaching aids in tsunami warning and mitigation.
Rapid population growth and increased consumer demands can increase the need for more food, energy and trade from marine areas which can lead to the devastation of marine biodiversity and competition between different users (for instance shipping and offshore wind farms).
One way to solve these problems is through marine spatial planning. IOC helps countries develop a step-by-step approach for implementing marine spatial planning, instigate their own good practices of marine spatial planning, and helps develop capacity and training for marine spatial planning.
The IOC’s Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM) programme assists Member States in their efforts to build marine scientific and technological capabilities in the field of Integrated Coastal Management. Through this initiative, help will be provided to countries in implementing operational ecosystem-based management by finding space for biodiversity conservation and sustainable economic development in marine environments.
The UK uses marine spatial planning as part of its approach to safeguarding its seas and is able to benefit from the work done by other Member States and synthesised by IOC. Similarly, the IOC publication incorporated ideas developed by the UK thus raising awareness of this subject.
UK scientists and researchers are active in the UNESCO BILKO programme, which is a free, on-line global faculty for teaching the application of remote sensing to oceanography and coastal management via tutorials, lessons and modules.