Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) was initiated in 1999 as a response to the El-Niño related mass bleaching and mortality of corals in the Indian Ocean in 1998. It is a non-profit research organization, registered in Kenya, with a network of projects, collaborators and partners that extends across the Indian Ocean. Focusing initially on Eastern Africa, Western Indian Ocean Islands and South Asia. Initially called ‘Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean’, due to the widespread impact of the mass mortality of corals, it changed its name in 2004-5 to reflect broader challenges and opportunities in the coastal marine systems of the region.
Currently CORDIO focus is in the Western Indian Ocean and its base is in Mombasa, Kenya, but at various times CORDIO has worked in the Eastern Indian Ocean/Andaman Sea (following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004), and have maintained some projects activities with partners in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. From 1999 to 2015 CORDIO has supported and collaborated in projects in 20 countries in 5 sub-regions of the Indian Ocean:
- East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Somalia)
- South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Maldives)
- Andaman Sea (Thailand, Indonesia)
- Indian Ocean islands (Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, Reunion)
- Red Sea (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti)