Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa.
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 (WIO). 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 SDG goals and targets. This extends from the regional scale of the WIO and the Northern Mozambique Channel, to the local scale, such as promoting recycling to reduce plastic pollution in the sea and support jobs, and sustainable practices in fisheries and tourism that build resilience in coral reefs and dependent communities.
Coral reefs are iconic, yet local to global pressures on them are worsening, and taking them to the brink of collapse. David works through multiple fora so the coral reef lesson informs change for sustainability: through monitoring of trends, in conservation-informed science, in global policy areans, and increasingly through engaging business fora to promote circular economy. He also engages with public media 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).