CORDIO’s work ranges from promoting sustainable resource use within fishing communities to national and regional research to support the improved governance of marine ecosystems.
At the global scale, CORDIO contributes to major international policy and convention processes through its scientific research and publications, as well as involvement in expert working groups and committees
CORDIO is one of the leading sources of scientific and monitoring expertise on coral reefs in the region, including their resilience to climate change, and other related topics such as coastal fisheries, endangered species and biogeography. CORDIO’s research effectively bridges science and management, notably through its body of work pioneering sustainability in artisanal fishing gears and the establishment of LMMAs in Kenya. CORDIO’s publications are diverse and increasingly multi-disciplinary, ranging from top global scientific journals such as Science and Nature, to user-friendly manuals on fisheries and LMMAs designed for local communities and other managers.
CORDIO applies its scientific and technical knowledge to actively support communities and local institutions in developing sustainable marine management practices. CORDIO has played a central role in supporting communities in the development and implementation of LMMAs and documenting their impacts in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania. CORDIO has also worked directly with fishing communities and local government bodies to monitor, train and track small scale fisheries and their impacts in order to develop best management practices. CORDIO provides a range of direct support services through training, monitoring and community exchanges.
CORDIO’s technical expertise and strong roots in Kenya, the WIO and the global coral reef community, enable a wide-ranging engagement with marine and conservation policy development. This spans national policies on small scale fisheries and LMMAs, including their legislative guidelines, marine spatial planning, scoping related to ocean governance and Blue Economy, and technical inputs to global policy processes, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. CORDIO brings its expertise, track record, technical capacity, extensive partner network, and its local grounding into these policy processes to link science, decision-making and action.
Over the past two decades, CORDIO has developed into a unique East African hub of knowledge on marine science and conservation, led by a growing team of African marine scientists. CORDIO has played a key role in facilitating regional knowledge and the flow of information through targeted training, mentoring and advice. CORDIO also collaborates with scientists at universities in the region contributing to a strong community of marine scientists within the WIO. An internship programme provides Kenyan undergraduates, as well as recent graduates, a chance to work within CORDIO for three months during or after their studies, providing a vital step for a student’s career. CORDIO’s culture of staff development through support to undertake further qualifications or new career opportunities, has also built a strong cadre of marine scientists in the region.