David Obura

Director, CORDIO East Africa

Portrait 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 provides research for management and policy, builds capacity and works with stakeholders, managers and policymakers. Obura’s primary research is on coral reef resilience, biogeography and climate change impacts, and turning now toward sustainability science using coral reefs as a model.

At the boundary between science and action, Obura works to integrate conservation and development across scales, in the context provided by global sustainability goals and targets. He works at local level through fostering innovative action to promote sustainability, through regional scale alignment and integration, to global scales, bringing knowledge and local-regional practice into decision-making contexts. He serves on the Earth Commission (2019–2022) and co-chairs the IPBES Nexus Assessment (2022–2024). He was awarded Kenya’s national honour, Moran of the Burning Spear in December 2021, and the Coral Reef Conservation Award of the International Coral Reef Society in 2022.

SPEAKERS & MODERATORS

SPEAKER

Antje Boetius

Director, Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Germany

SPEAKER

Daniel Dunn

Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland, Australia

SPEAKER

Karen Evans

Principal Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Tasmania

SPEAKER

Diego Sancho Gallegos

Surf Conservation Data Coordinator, Save The Waves Coalition (STW), Costa Rica

SPEAKER

Kristina M. Gjerde

Senior High Seas Advisor, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Global Marine and Polar Programme, USA

SPEAKER

Reinhold Hanel

Head, Thünen-Institute of Fisheries Ecology (TI-FI) in Bremerhaven, Germany

SPEAKER

Sheila Heymans

Executive Director, European Marine Board, Belgium

SPEAKER

Anna-Katharina Hornidge

Director, The German Development Institute (DIE)/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Germany

SPEAKER

Anna Jöborn

Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra), Sweden

MODERATOR

Monika Jones

International TV and Conference Host, Germany

SPEAKER

David Obura

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

SPEAKER

Simone Pennafirme

Manager, Marine Life Center, Secretariat for Environment of the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro

SPEAKER

J. Murray Roberts

Professor, University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences & Head, Changing Oceans Research Group & Coordinator, European Horizon 2020 iAtlantic Project, Scotland

SPEAKER

Vladimir Ryabinin

Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, France

SPEKAER

Jens Schiffers

Scientific Officer, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany

SPEAKER

Jörn Schmidt

Chair, Science Committee, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Denmark

SPEAKER

Mirja Schoderer

Reseacher, The German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Germany

SPEAKER

Jacqueline Uku

President, Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), Kenya

SPEAKER

Sebastian Unger

Head, Ocean Governance Research Group, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam, Germany

SPEAKER

Anya Waite

CEO & Scientific Director, Ocean Frontier Institute, Canada

SPEAKER

Dixon Waruinge

Coordinator, Nairobi Convention Secretariat, Kenia

Speaker

Andrea Weiss

Science Officer, German Environment Agency, Germany