David Obura


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. CORDIO takes research to management and policy, builds capacity, and works with stakeholders, managers and policy makers. David’s primary research is on coral reef resilience, in particular to climate change, and the biogeography of the Indian Ocean.

At the boundary between science and action, David works to integrate conservation and development through inclusive blue economy principles and links provided by global sustainability goals and targets. He works from the local scale, through fostering innovative action to promote sustainability, through regional scale alignment and integration such as in the Northern Mozambique Channel, to global scales of bringing knowledge and local-regional practice into decision-making circles. 2020 will be a critical year for ocean, biodiversity and climate targets in global conventions, and David is engaged in multiple processes (see expert groups) to bring coral reef science and learning into these global fora.

Coral reefs are iconic, yet local to global pressures on them are worsening, and taking them to the brink of collapse. Reaching out to non-scientists and the public is essential to create the change needed for sustainability. David has contributed in multiple fora such as The Conversation Africa, the Guardian/Observer, major TV (South African Broadcasting Company, Al Jazheera, BBC) and film (e.g. Vamizi, Cradle of Coral; Chasing Coral; Blue in Focus).

 

For further information see the following:

Online profiles
CORDIO East Africa – https://cordioea.net/davidobura (this bio)

  • Google scholar – https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Z4RL3A8AAAAJ&hl=en
  • LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-obura-a6554547/
  • Loop (FrontiersIn) – https://loop.frontiersin.org/people/178148/overview
  • Academia.edu – https://cordioea.academia.edu/DavidOburaExpert groups
  • Earth Commission, Global Commons Alliance/Future Earth.
  • Technical Working Group (Kenya) and Science Advisory Network, High Level Panel on Ocean Sustainability
  • IUCN Coral Specialist Group (chair) (International Union for the Conservation of Nature)
  • IPBES Global Assessment – Coordinating Lead Author, Chapter 2: Nature subsection
  • National Geographic Explorer. Updating the global coral Red List of Threatened Species
  • Informal Advisory Group (IAG), Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas, CBD Secretariat
  • GOOS Biodiversity and Ecosystems Panel (Global Ocean Observing System, UNESCO-IOC)
  • GCRMN – Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, Technical development and coordination
  • bioDISCOVERY (Steering Committee)
  • Northern Mozambique Channel – Core Team/Strategic Advisor

Outreach

Some recent/indicative references (see full list in downloadable CV):

  1. Obura DO, et al. (2019) Coral Reef Monitoring, Reef Assessment Technologies, and Ecosystem-Based Management. Mar. Sci. 6:580. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00580
  2. Bax NJ, Miloslavich P, Muller-Karger FE, Allain V, Appeltans W, Batten SD, Benedetti-Cecchi L, Buttigieg PL, Chiba S, Costa DP, Duffy JE, Dunn DC, Johnson CR, Kudela RM, Obura D, Rebelo L-M, Shin Y-J, Simmons SE and Tyack PL (2019) A Response to Scientific and Societal Needs for Marine Biological Observations. Mar. Sci. 6:395. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00395
  3. Cowburn B., samoilys M.A., Osuka K., Klaus R., Newman C., Gudka M., & Obura D.O. (2019) Healthy and diverse coral reefs in Djibouti – A resilient reef system or few anthropogenic threats? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 148, 182–193.
  4. Gamoyo, M., Obura, D., & Reason, C. J. C. (2019). Estimating connectivity through larval dispersal in the Western Indian Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124. https://doi.org/10.1029/ 2019JG005128
  5. Chassot E., Bodin N., Sardenne F., & Obura D.O. (2019) The key role of the Northern Mozambique Channel for Indian Ocean tropical tuna fisheries. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-01
  6. McLeod E., Anthony K.R.N., Mumby P.J., Maynard J., Beeden R., Graham N.A.J., Heron S.F., Hoegh-Guldberg O., Jupiter S., MacGowan P., Mangubhai S., Marshall N., Marshall P.A., McClanahan T.R., Mcleod K., Nyström M., Obura D.O., Parker B., possingham H.P., Salm R.V., & Tamelander J. (2019) The future of resilience-based management in coral reef ecosystem Journal of Environmental Management, 233, 291–301
  7. Popova E., Vousden D., Sauer W.H.H., Mohammed E.Y., Allain V., Downey-Breedt N., Fletcher R., Gjerde K.M., Halpin P.N., Kelly S., Obura D.O., Pecl G., Roberts M., Raitsos D.E., Rogers A., Samoilys M., Sumaila U.R., Tracey S., & Yool A. (2019) Ecological connectivity between the areas beyond national jurisdiction and T coastal waters: Safeguarding interests of coastal communities in developing countries. Marine Policy, 104, 90–102.
  8. Obura, D.O. The Three Horses of Sustainability—Population, Affluence and Technology. Preprints2018, 2018120176 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201812.0176.v1)
  9. Obura, DO (2018) Ocean health in the blue economy. In: A Handbook on the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean Region. Editor: Prof VN Attri. Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ESRC/S Africa.
  10. Obura D, et al. (2018) East and southern Africa – coastal and ocean futures. Northern Mozambique Channel initiative (WWF/CORDIO), www.wiofutures.net.
  11. Obura, DO (2017) Refilling the coral reef glass. Science 357 (6357): 1215 DOI: 10.1126/science.aao5002
  12. Obura, DO et al. Reviving the Western Indian Ocean Economy: Implementing the SDGs to sustain a healthy ocean economy.  WWF International/Boston Consulting Group/CORDIO.
  13. Obura DO, et al. (2017) The Northern Mozambique Channel – a capitals approach to a Blue Economy future. In: Handbook on the Economics and Management for Sustainable Oceans. Editors: Svansson LE, Nunes PALD, Kumar P & Markandya A. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  14. Costello M.J., et al. (2016) Methods for the Study of Marine Biodiversity. The GEO Handbook on Biodiversity Observation Networks (ed. by M. Walters and R.J. Scholes), pp. 129–163. Springer.
  15. Obura, DO (2017), An Indian Ocean centre of origin revisited: Palaeogene and Neogene influences defining a biogeographic realm. Journal of Biogeography. 43:229–242 doi: 10.1111/jbi.12656
  16. Freestone, D. et al. (2016) World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. World Heritage Centre reports, #44, United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization. 79 pp.
  17. Sale PF, & 24 others. (2014) Transforming management of tropical coastal seas to cope with challenges of the 21st century. Marine Pollution Bulletin: 1–16. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.06.005
  18. Hoegh-Guldberg O. et al. (2013) Indispensable Ocean. Aligning ocean health and human well-being. Guidance from the Blue Ribbon Panel to the Global Partnership for Oceans
  19. Obura, DO (2012) The diversity and biogeography of Western Indian Ocean reef-building corals. PLOS ONE. 1371/0045013.
  20. Obura DO. (2009) Reef corals bleach to resist stress. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58:206-212. DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.10.002
  21. Carpenter KE, et al. (2008). One-Third of Reef-Building Corals Face Elevated Extinction Risk from Climate Change and Local Impacts. Science 321: 560-563
  22. Obura DO (2005) Resilience and climate change – lessons from coral reefs and bleaching in the Western Indian Ocean. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 603: 353-372.