On the basis of the recommendations made at the first meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and the Islamabad Declaration of May 1983, a 20-years perspective plan was prepared for the development of Sciences and Technology in the Islamic countries. This plan was approved by the Fourth Islamic Summit held in Casablanca / Morocco in 1984. This plan has identified Ocean Sciences as a Key Programme Area.
Islamic Foundation for Sciences, Technology and Development (IFSTAD) has been mandated to carry out feasibility and modality studies for establishing an operational mechanism. The INOC Network was thus established by COMSTECH in November 1987 and became operational in April 1989. INOC is hosted by the Republic of Turkey, with its headquarters in Izmir.
The status of INOC is that of an inter-governmental, non-political and non-profit, autonomous body linked to COMSTECH.
Thus far, nine countries have accepted the INOC charter: Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey. Several other OIC member countries participate regularly to INOC activities without having formally adhered to its charter.
MISSION AND OBJECTIVES
The mission of INOC is to play the catalyser role to foster closer cooperation among the countries of the Muslim Ummah in the field of development and management of marine resources. In pursuit of this mission, it seeks to generate ideas and policy directions through intensive dialogue, studies and research on a continuing basis.
The main objectives of INOC are as follows:
- to facilitate the exchange of scientific data and information and the transfer of knowledge resulting from marine scientific research and maintain continuing dialogue with member states on the development of Ocean services;
- to set-up and maintain a data bank on the developments in the marine sciences and related fields, taking into account national interests of the subscribing countries;
- to collaborate and cooperate in the areas of common interest with a view to helping each other in building up the national capabilities of the member states in the development of the exploration and exploitation of the marine resources;
- to initiate joint research programmes and other activities, promote capacity building and recycling of operators in the fields and provide consultancy and advisory services to the member countries;
- to promote networking and develop partnership with other similar regional and international organizations.
The INOC envisions:
- to have all the OIC countries as members in the Network;
- to review the existing facilities in the Islamic countries on oceanographic research, recommend that basic facilities be established in countries, where at the present non exists, and the facilities in the existing institutes be further improved by acquiring advanced technology;
- to develop, recommend and coordinate the activities of Islamic countries involved in marine affairs for:
– a better understanding of the ocean environment through science and technology and the exploitation and development of ocean resources;
– approval of the research and development plans and programmes for the ocean sciences;
– recommending research and development projects of interest to various institutes/organizations in the Islamic countries and assessment of priorities among such projects;
– coordinating effectively ocean with a view to ensure efficient use of common services, including the use of research vessels;
– recommending means and methods for effective utilization of the research results by the Islamic countries;
– reviewing the implementation and progress of oceanographic research and development programmes;
– constituting task forces for specific purposes to meet hazards from the seas.
- to make its mark in the global area as the representative organization of the Ummah and make meaningful contributions in all important regional and international deliberations on the exploitation and development of ocean resources;
- to establish and update an Islamic Oceanographic Data Centre (IODC) in the Islamic countries and develop the linkages with global Network and coordinate with National Oceanographic Data Centres ( NODC ) of the other countries;
- to develop a comprehensive plan to enhance training facilities to meet the training manpower requirement in the Islamic countries. Oceanography will be introduced right from the school, college and university level in order to produce training scientists and technicians to support oceanographic investigation and research programme of individual Islamic country.
OFFICIAL INOC LANGUAGES
The working languages of the Network are English, French and Arabic. However, the scientific and technical documents when published will be in the language they were presented.
The Host Government will provide the operational costs and the logistics for running the Network through direct contributions. Other financial resources could be:
Grants from COMSTECH, Islamabad ;
Grants from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Jeddah ;
Donations and subsidies received from other organizations including international agencies, banks;
Contributions from the private sector.