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IOI-SA was established in the
(now part of the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation
Biology) at the
University of the Western Cape
in early 1996, following the signing of a Memorandum of
Agreement between IOI headquarters and the University of the
Western Cape. IOI-SA is sustained in part through linkages with other
organizations involved in Ocean research and management in
IOI-SA develops and offers high quality capacity building and research programs that improve upon the sustainable livelihoods of poor and underprivileged people living in coastal areas.
IOI-SA responds to on-going assessment of the factors that contribute to livelihoods within the southern African region.
IOI-SA maintains a particular focus on rural coastal communities, decision-makers, university students at postgraduate level, and schools. It achieves its mission through networking with other organizations in the region that are active in the sphere of marine and coastal management, and sustainable livelihoods.
IOI-SA exists to serve the Southern African region. Nevertheless, it is conscious of its location in Western Cape, within the milieu created by the Apartheid history of tertiary education in South Africa, as well as within the University of the Western Cape. It therefore strives to achieve its goals within the context of: the Mission Statement of UWC; growing regional co-operation and resource sharing among tertiary institutions as well as the public and private sector in the region; a need for corrective action and capacity building at UWC as a ‘historically-disadvantaged’ institution.
The goals of IOI-SA are based upon its strategy to act as a networking organization within the region, and to promote science and other forms of knowledge in the service of sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities. To achieve this goal, IOI-SA will focus in part on its strengths in seaweed mariculture and the use of seaweed resources to improve the livelihoods of coastal people in a sustainable manner. Specific goals are:
to develop as a centre of focus in sustainable livelihoods methodology, including research, implementation, and capacity building;
to act as a focus for the development of community-based seaweed mariculture within southern Africa, particularly through research and the running of workshops and training courses and to do this within the broader context of sustainable livelihoods as conceived through the United Nations Development Program;
to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills useful to the management of inshore marine and coastal resources to community level, policy makers, planners, resource managers, community leaders and other decision makers in southern Africa and to do so within the framework of sustainable livelihoods;
to promote marine environmental education in southern Africa;
to use its skills and technology to develop as a centre of focus in electronic resource sharing for IOI and related organizations in the global context, in particular focusing on harnessing global electronic resources in the service of sustainable livelihoods of coastal people.