International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Ocean Governance Online Course

The GEF LME:LEARN Ocean Governance online course provides an introduction into governance concepts relevant for practitioners working within Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) and their Coasts. This course aims to provide project leads, partners, and others with practical approaches, lessons on governance and illustrative case studies. It also serves to promote an integrated, collaborative approach to ocean and coastal management. After completing this course, participants will be able to apply good governance principles and tools to develop and sustain effective governance of Large Marine Ecosystems and their Coasts.

The course is available at:

About this Course

This online course will familiarize participants with key components of good ocean governance. As an Introduction, the course will review the governance arrangements and processes that reflect internationally accepted norms, principles, and values. It also provides basic information about relevant global- and regional-scale policy and legal frameworks as well as institutional structures relevant to the governance of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) and their coasts. 

The course was developed in collaboration with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Course Objectives

By the end of the course participants will understand and become familiar with:

  • Key principles of good governance;
  • The importance the role of values and ethics in supporting good governance;
  • The role and process of stakeholder engagement;
  • Approaches to sustainable finance;
  • International legal and institutional frameworks relevant to ocean governance on a global and/or regional scale;
  • The role of national and international agencies in implementing these global and regional instruments;
  • Key elements of effective governance;
  • The importance of and tools for effective communication as a component of effective governance;
  • Ways to integrate science into LME governance and assess science needs;
  • Ways to assess governance measures

Course structure

In all modules, participants should:

  • Read the compulsory content which is indicated as "Compulsory Reading"
  • Respond a set of multiple choice questions
  • Participants will also have access to recommended readings, videos, and suggested websites should they wish to further develop their knowledge.


  • Module 1: Good Governance
  • Module 2: Legal and Policy Frameworks
  • Module 3: Effective Governance