Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO)

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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.

Current job title: 
Founding director of CORDIO East Africa

David Obura is a founding director of CORDIO East Africa, a knowledge organization supporting sustainability of coral reef and marine systems in the Western Indian Ocean. 

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Organization/Institution/Project linked to: 
FARI was established under the Fourth Conference of Parties (COP) of the Nairobi Convention Decision CP 4/ parts 3 and 4 which directed the Secretariat of the Nairobi Convention, in collaboration with other organizations, to facilitate the establishment of the network of academic and research institutions in the region. Further COP Decisions emphasized on the importance of FARI: Decision CP 7/17 of the seventh Conference of Parties (COP) to the Nairobi Convention which requested the secretariat to hold, and encourage partners to support, regular science to policy dialogues; The Eight Conference of Parties decision CP 8/12 also requested for the establishment of a dialogue platform to strengthen links between science, policy and action and mandated FARI to act as a technical and advisory body for the platform.
 
FARI provides a framework for
 
(i) Facilitating sharing of information between institutions and the Nairobi Convention and other regional processes, (ii) Offering scientific and technical advice on priorities for management, assessment and information dissemination to the regional initiatives,
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WIO-C is a consortium of international and regional Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in partnership with intergovernmental organizations that have presence and are active in regional marine and coastal ecosystem management in the WIO region. It was established during the impelementation of the project on ‘Addressing Land Based activities in the Western Indian Ocean (WIOLaB) to provide a framework for NGOs working in the WIO region to harmonize and advance efforts to protect, conserve, and manage the coastal and marine environment of the WIO region while working to alleviate poverty and attain sustainable livelihoods for the most vulnerable segments of its population. It also aims to support synergy in programmes of work on marine and coastal ecosystem management and promote knowledge and information sharing amongst stakeholders in the WIO region, as well as provide a mechanism for non-governmental entities to anchor activities in the Nairobi Convention and other intergovernmental processes, thus strengthening their implementation.

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Kenya's coastal and marine resources provide numerous benefits to coastal communities, including food, employment, protection from climate change, and more. However, inclusive planning. development, and management of resources is imperative to ensure that these benefits can be enjoyed by future generations of Kenyans.

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Coastal communities in Kenya have adopted the use of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) to conserve fisheries and marine resources and as a way of securing alternative livelihood activities. However, these LMMAs have been established in a somewhat ad hoc manner due to a lack of guidelines for their development and implementation. In this review we sought to determine if there are generic approaches and methods that LMMAs in Kenya have adopted that can be used for developing national guidelines. We also examined challenges and lessons learnt from the various LMMAs on the Kenyan coast.

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The United Nations Agenda 2030 further enshrines the central role of the ocean for sustainable development through Goal 14 (SDG14), to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources ", to lift millions of people out of poverty. The 2017 United Nations Oceans Conference provided a platform to focus countries' and other stakeholders' attention on commitments to achieving SDG14 at national and regional levels.

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The Northern Mozambique Channel (NMC) area is under the jurisdiction of Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, France, Seychelles and the Comoros, covering an area of approximately 700,000 km2. It is among the world's richest regions for biodiversity. It serves as a biological reservoir for the entire Eastern African coast, in particular for coral reefs and associated ecosystems, and is an important breeding and foraging areas for flagship marine and migratory species.

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The coastal ecosystem of the Indian Ocean includes environments such as mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. These habitats are some of the most productive and diverse environments on the planet. They form an essential link in the food webs that leads to fish and other seafood providing food security to the local human population. In addition coral reefs and mangrove forests protect the coastal areas against erosion. Unfortunately, due to a number of human activities, these valuable environments are now being degraded at an alarming rate.

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Corals as organisms and coral reefs as structures and ecosystems have fascinated scientists for centuries. Charles Darwin became well-known among natural scientists long before the publication of The Origin of Species, partly because of his studies of coral reefs and coral islands.