Coral reefs and the business of conservation

CORDIO is bringing coral reefs and the blue economy to the 2nd Business of Conservation Conference hosted by the School of Wildlife Conservation of the African Leadership University in Kigali, Rwanda, from 8-9 September 2019.


A plenary panel on the Blue Economy organized by Mariko Power of Oceankind and moderated by M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, will sit early on Monday morning, 7:30 – 8:15 am. The panel brings together:

Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust

Ussif Rashid Sumaila, Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

David Obura, Director of Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa

Penelope Shure & Arlin Wasserman, of Changing Tastes.

  1. If you’re at the conference, come and listen, as we bring marine and coastal systems and their values, into the mainstream discussions on what the business of conservation is about in Africa.
  2. The Business of Conservation Conference (BCC) aims to catalyze economic development in Africa by bringing together influential leaders to collaborate in tangible ways around one of Africa’s competitive advantages – its unique biodiversity.

For the detailed agenda see here.


David will present from his perspective on the immediate risk of loss  of coral reefs as a flagship system for global impacts, highlighted by the #glowinggone campaign, and the risk of loss of the myriad ecosystem services from coral reefs that are barely recognized in spite of their economic and social importance.

The blue economy is still nascent in Africa, though clearly of great current and future value – it can certainly be an engine of growth, but it will take planning and effort to do this in a way that delivers on sustainable development goals, rather than just a quick buck.