Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa is a research-based marine conservation organisation which specialises in generating knowledge to find solutions to the problems facing coastal and marine environments and the people dependent on them.

CORDIO East Africa has been operating from Mombasa, Kenya as a registered not-for-profit organisation since 2003. CORDIO has two active directors: Dr David Obura and Dr Melita Samoilys, who lead the coral reef and fish ecology and fisheries programs respectively.

CORDIO East Africa mainly works within the Western Indian Ocean region: Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, Seychelles, Tanzania, as well as the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

CORDIO East Africa’s primary work is research on coral reefs and adjacent marine ecosystems with a focus on sustaining healthy and productive ecosystem function, and conserving biodiversity. The work covers a range of topics including climate change, resilience, artisanal fisheries, community based management approaches and endangered species protection. CORDIO’s research and conservation work addresses problems that are linked in the WIO:  limited resources and habitat; high dependency on natural resources and food insecurity; growing population and poverty; low education and wealth; and weak governance. We emphasise solutions to support integrated coastal management, poverty alleviation and sustainable development; and work closely with partners to integrate science into management and policy at local, national and regional levels.

This first edition of the annual report aims to detail the main activities undertaken by CORDIO in the period from January to December 2016, using the organisation’s five strategic objectives as a framework. The key activities and outcomes of focal areas are explained under the appropriate objectives to showcase how CORDIO was able to promote coastal and marine sustainability thereby achieving its mandate in 2016.

The five strategic objectives:
1) To contribute scientific knowledge on coastal and ocean ecosystems in the context of climate change: to understand their vulnerabilities and resilience
2) To integrate science, practice and governance at local, national and regional levels
3) To build the capacity of communities to co-manage their resources and to decrease their vulnerability
4) To contribute to improved regional decision making through strengthened partnerships that implement solutions for managing marine and coastal systems sustainably
5) To strengthen CORDIO’s internal capacity to effectively and efficiently implement our strategic plan.