Our story starts in 1999, after the global coral bleaching event of 1998.
Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) was established in 1999 as a regional research network in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) focused on coral reef science. Its formation was originally spurred by the global coral bleaching event of 1998.
Formally established as a non-profit organisation in Kenya in 2003, CORDIO has grown over the past two decades (see below) into a leading centre for coastal marine and ocean science and conservation in East Africa and the wider WIO region.
1999: CORDIO is founded with a focus on supporting and building capacity for coral reef monitoring in the Western Indian Ocean and South Asia.
2003: Registration of CORDIO East Africa as a Kenyan non-profit organisation.
2006: Transition from Sida (Sweden) dominated funding to multiple donors and to regional research projects; transition in CORDIO coordination from Sweden to Mombasa, and of geographic focus to the Western Indian Ocean.
2007 – 2012: Expansion with addition of Co-Director, and shift of focus to regional research on coral reef climate resilience and biogeography, threatened species and fisheries research and capacity-building with fishing communities.
2013 – 2018: Institutional strengthening through establishing Advisory Board; increased leadership roles in regional and global initiatives (Northern Mozambique Channel, multiple IUCN groups, SDG14, blue economy and ocean governance).
2019-2020: Institutional growth through larger grants (Norad, IKI-IUCN), expansion of research and management staffing, end of 2016-2020 Strategic Plan coinciding with major decadal policy processes (CBD, SDG, UN Decade).