Week 6 Report (5th to 9th May 2014)
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he main focus of the week was a one hour individual meeting with Ms Valentina Germani, the UN Nippon Programme Advisor, to discuss the outline of their theses. This three day exercise was very fruitful in the sense that it gave clear directions as to how the theses can be laid out and also useful pointers in terms of content. It is to be noted that this is an ongoing process.
In parallel to that exercise, other meetings were also included in the agenda for the week.
The fellows had a Skype interaction with Mr. Abbas Daher Djama, the UN Nippon Alumni Representative. He gave an overview of the Alumni Network’s role and functions, as well as its website. He illustrated how the website can be a tool for fellows to interact and at the same time gather useful information about the programme. He urged everyone to create and then update their profile and also to play an active role and contribute towards the richness of the site.
During this week there was a meeting of the Group of Experts of the Regular Process for the global reporting and assessment of the status of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects. This meeting offered the fellows a good opportunity to discuss various ocean-related matters with the Experts. The interactions took place during a small reception on Monday evening as well as during some talks by the Experts organized during the week.
Dr. Patricio Bernal started his presentation by informing the fellows about his involvement with ocean related matters, for instance his involvement in his country to assist in setting up national institutional capabilities. He also gave a clear overview on points to consider in improving sustainability in managing activities in the oceans. He pointed out that this comes with many challenges and opportunities mainly in terms of funding, communication, coordination and implementation by countries.
Mr. Julian Barbiere gave a presentation on The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO). He highlighted the activities of the organisation ranging from climate research and observation to tsunami warning system all in a well-structured and coordinated manner.
Dr. Jake Rice talked about ocean management from a multi-faceted approach and provided a comprehensive view on how science is used to support decision-making. Furthermore he explained the importance of an integrated approach towards ocean management and the benefits it brings.
The meetings with the Experts were conducted in an interactive atmosphere, whereby the fellows asked questions and sought clarifications after each intervention. The knowledge gained from these presentations will add substance and facts to their thesis. Furthermore the information received can be applied to other oceans matters in their respective countries.
In the words of some of the fellows:
“The meetings with experts were very helpful. Indeed we had:
- The possibility to understand their experience and their careers;
- Open our minds and acquire materials in areas that were still unknown;
- A comprehensive and practical idea of the structure of certain international organizations (IUCN, IOC, etc.).
- Cultivated our desire to become an expert.”
(Jean Claude Tibe, République de Côte d’Ivoire, 2014-2015 UN Nippon Fellow)
“I found the talks very useful since it made me understand many concepts I did not know about ocean affairs”
(Zakieh T. Pirposhteh, Islamic Republic of Iran, 2014-2015 UN Nippon Fellow)