Red List of Ecosystems of Coral Reefs of the Western Indian Ocean

The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is a global framework for assessing the status of ecosystems. It aims to support conservation, resource use, and management decisions by identifying ecosystems most at risk of biodiversity loss using a unified standard.  It is applicable from sub-national to global levels and uses the same vulnerability categories as the IUCN Red List of Species (e.g. Critically Endangered, Endangered, etc.) plus a new category Collapsed (analogous with Extinct).



The RLE may be assessed through five separate criteria, relating to declining and restricted ecosystem distribution, degradation of abiotic and biotic processes, and quantitative models of ecosystem health.


An RLE may be used for many different purposes, to improve decision-making and sustaining vulnerable ecosystems.

Under CORDIO’s 5-year project ‘’Innovating and sharing knowledge for coastal resilience in Eastern Africa’’ funded by the Norwegian development agency Norad, CORDIO, together with international and regional partners will be undertaking a vulnerability assessment of coral reefs of the WIO.

The assessment builds on existing regional data sharing and reporting on coral reefs to generate an output targeting decision-makers. See the brochure on the right for more details. Globally, only two assessments of coral reefs have been completed, for the Caribbean region and the Meso-American Reefs.

Timeline and activities

The assessment will be initiated through a planning and training workshop in Mombasa in March, after which the regional analysis and assessment will be carried out, concluding in September 2019 with a dissemination workshop.

  • Partners and support

  • The project is led by CORDIO East Africa, assisted by the IUCN Coral Specialist Group (CSG) and the IUCN global RLE team. Participants from WIO countries will be sought for data sharing and to lead application of the findings to meet national and regional priorities.

risk assessment outputs