ECOP Programme Funding Opportunities

Photo credit: Erik Lukas / Ocean Image Bank

Funded Capacity Development Training

During 2022, thanks to the the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the IOC-UNESCO, the ECOP Programme was able to offer two rounds of funded trainings; the first in March/April 2022 and the second in November 2022.  The calls and trainings were required to have particular emphasis on reaching Early Career Ocean Professionals from Africa or Caribbean SIDS. 

For the first round, an open call was released offering:

    A. funding for organisations (legal entities) to deliver (online or in person) capacity development training courses that addressed ocean science, ocean governance and ocean sustainability

     B. financial support to cover individual ECOPs and their expenses for participation fees in capacity development events, directly relevant to the Ocean Decade vision, mission, and challenges 

The second trainings were held by the same organisations, who were successful in receiving the first round of funding.  This enabled them to develop their trainings and reach more Early Career Ocean Professionals in their region.

The Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Programme is proud to share the results below:

First round of trainings: March/April 2022

In response to the first call ever released (in November 2021) by the Early Career Ocean Professionals Programme, four organisations were successful in receiving funding to deliver training courses that addressed ocean science, ocean governance and ocean sustainability with direct relevance to the Ocean Decade vision, mission and challenges.  It was imperative that they specifically target ocean-related issues in Africa, or Caribbean SIDS and featured ECOPs based in these regions.  Whilst all the trainings adhered to the over-arching objectives of the call, they also covered more detailed topics pertaining to each location and facilitating organisation.

The following training courses were conducted between March and April 2022, thanks to the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the IOC-UNESCO:

The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute delivered this training from 14th to 24th March, 2022.  The course ran virtually via Zoom over a series of nine online sessions. All pre-readings, session videos and presentation materials have been made available on the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute’s website and can be accessed via the ECOP Programme Youtube channel here.   

The International Ocean Institute (via its Secretariat in Malta) carried out this virtual training and through the training Centre of IOI in South Africa, as an opportunity for individuals from a diverse range of Ocean related backgrounds – self-identifying as ECOPs – to acquire a basic knowledge of Ocean governance. This was through a series of e-workshops over a period of four sessions between 29 March to 7 April 2022.

Dr Erick Ross Salazar, and ECOPs Vera Noon (MSc), and Sarah Mahadeo (MSc) conducted a training on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in Caribbean SIDS called Blue Planning in Practice (BPiP).  This training programme was held from 8 to 10 March, 2022, in a virtual setting with participants from nine different Caribbean countries.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) Caribbean and EcoVybz Environmental Creatives provided a special series on Developing ocean leadership and stewardship in the Caribbean, under the title “Thinking Beyond the Tides” with Khadija Stewart. This one-week virtual, Youth-led initiative ran from 14 to 22 March 2022 and included sessions on: Storytelling for Ocean Action, Marine Degradation in the Caribbean, Marine Opportunities, Idea Implementation and Leadership.

B. Capacity Development Event Fees

The following Early Career Ocean Professionals were provided financial support to cover their expenses for participation fees in capacity development events, directly relevant to the Ocean Decade vision, mission, and challenges.  

This took place between March and April 2022, also thanks to the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the IOC-UNESCO:

Sidónio was successful in being awarded funding to attend the International Indian Ocean Science Conference (IIOSC-2022), an online event designed to translate the knowledge of the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2), a multi-national, multi-institutional programme to advance our understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, geological and climatological aspects of the Indian Ocean, and enhance its role on the socio-economy of the region. 

The IIOSC-2022 was sponsored by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Govt. of India, held during 14-18 March 2022 in Goa, India, co-hosted by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa, Goa University and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, India.  The IIOSC conference facilitated further discussions on the collaborative activities being planned by various stakeholders as part of the ‘UN Ocean Decade’, with a specific technical session titled: “IIOE-2 contribution to sustainable development: toward the UN Decade of ocean science”.

The IIOSC-2022 was originally proposed to organized to discuss the results of the activities of IIOE-2 since its launch. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation the IIOSC-2020 conference was held virtually, still for the benefit of the group of countries on the Indian Ocean rim – of which, Sidonio’s homeland: Mozambique, belongs to. 

Read Sidónio’s testimonial here.

Ngozi is the Principal Research Officer at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Lagos, Nigeria.  Her work involves the collection of data, analysis and writing of reports on the Nigerian coastal and marine environment, and she is involved in the following research projects:

Heavy metals in fish and sediment of Lagos lagoon.
Biodiversity conservation of marine finfish resources in Nigerian coastal waters
Biology of shrimp by-catch in Apapa Liverpool port, Lagos State- Team member.

She applied for funding to do an Online Course in Scientific Writing, with the Dr. Anna Clements Researchers’ Writing Academy.  This course is designed for researchers who want to publish in high-impact journals without lacking structure in the writing process.

Read Ngozi’s testimonial here.

Second round of trainings: November 2022

For the second round of trainings, the same four organisations were successful in receiving funding to deliver training courses that addressed ocean science, ocean governance and ocean sustainability with direct relevance to the Ocean Decade vision, mission and challenges. Again, it was imperative that they specifically target ocean-related issues in Africa or Caribbean SIDS and featured ECOPs based in these regions.  Three of the trainings released open calls for participants to apply, whilst the “Youth in Africa’s Blue Economy: Developing Sustainable Careers and Businesses” course was only open to participants who went through the first training course in March/April.

Whilst all the trainings adhered to the over-arching objectives of the call, they also covered more detailed topics pertaining to each location and facilitating organisation.

The following training courses were conducted during November 2022, thanks to the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the IOC-UNESCO:

International Ocean Institute (IOI) delivered an online training called “Basic Concepts of Ocean Governance for Early Career Ocean Practitioners, with a focus on the African Seas” on 1, 3 ,8 and 10 November 2022.  30 selected Participants (out of 450) came from 9 African countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

This training course by the Gulf of Guinea Marine Institute (GoGMI) was organised on 8 to 18 November 2022.  It signaled an important first step for engaging African ECOPs as a means of facilitating participation and meaningful contribution to rich dialogue concerning Africa’s blue economy, and to continuously develop their capacity to create the workforce that Africa needs.  The course was designed to expose the second cohort of 30 participants to various career opportunities in Africa’s Blue Economy and guide them through variegated pathways for developing related sustainable careers.

This capacity development training held by Eco Vybz Environmental Creatives and SOAlliance Caribbean, from 14 to 19 November, saw 50 registrants from the Caribbean region accepted, and an attendance of 37 participants on average each session.  Attendees joined from: Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

This online workshop was devised and conducted by “Diaries of the Ocean” (ECOPs Sarah Mahadeo and Vera Noon), between 28 – 30 November 2022.  19 participants from 9 countries across the Caribbean region joined, including:  Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.

A huge thank you to the funders (NORAD and IOC-UNESCO), the organisations, coordinators and trainers; and all the participants that took part and submitted their feedback.

We hope to deliver more capacity training calls and courses in 2023.

Past Funding Calls [closed]

The objective of the present Call is to provide financial support for legal entities (various types of organizations) to organize online or in-person short capacity development programs or courses that address ocean science, ocean governance and ocean sustainability with direct relevance to the Ocean Decade vision, mission and challenges. Targeted participants shall be early career ocean professionals (ECOPs) from Africa, Pacific SIDS, or Caribbean SIDS, and the content of such trainings shall be of high relevance to these regions. Participation shall be made free for ECOPs.

The objective of the present Call is to provide financial support for early-career ocean professionals (ECOP) from Africa, Pacific SIDS, and Caribbean SIDS, to cover their expenses for participation fees in capacity development events that are directly relevant to the Ocean Decade vision, mission, and challenges. This will include but is not limited to online or in-person conferences, workshops, webinars, summer and winter schools, training, that concern ocean science, ocean governance, and ocean sustainability.

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