April 11, 2023

Saudi Arabia establishes a foundation to expedite coral reef conservation and restoration technologies

Saudi Arabia establishes the Global Coral R&D Accelerator Platform Foundation (CORDAP Foundation) to support the G20 Coral Research and Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP) effort to develop the science and technology required to conserve and restore coral reefs worldwide.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 12, 2023A Royal order approved the creation of the Global Coral R&D Accelerator Platform Foundation (CORDAP Foundation), a nonprofit organization that will serve as the financial arm of the Coral Research and Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP).


Coral reefs are declining worldwide, and solutions are urgently needed to conserve them and expedite their recovery. However, this goal appears impossible under current scientific and technological capabilities, so better, scalable science and technology is required to achieve the goal.  CORDAP was adopted by the leaders of the G20 states during the summit held under the Saudi Presidency of the G20 in Riyadh (November 2020) to fast-track research and development solutions to save the world’s corals. The approval of the Global Platform Foundation gives CORDAP the financial traction and administrative independence needed to achieve its mandate. CORDAP is headquartered at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, but can operate internationally.


The Chair of CORDAP and Deputy Minister of Environment Dr. Osama Faqeeha with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said, “The Royal Court’s approval of the CORDAP Foundation marks a major milestone toward the implementation of this distinguished global initiative. The nonprofit organization will facilitate the receipt of financial contributions to CORDAP from G20 and non-G20 countries, the private sector, and other contributors according to CORDAP’s charter endorsed by G20 environmental ministers. This development will enable CORDAP to significantly expand its global outreach to support research and development solutions for coral reefs worldwide.”


In accordance with the guidelines and processes established by the CORDAP Foundation’s Governance Committee, the organization will provide financial resources to aid CORDAP’s restoration objectives. Resources include facilitating the receipt of conferment, donations, subsidies, grants, bequests, endowments or any other contributions from inside and outside Saudi Arabia; providing financial support and disbursement of funds for research and projects announced by the Initiative’s Scientific and Advisory Committee; and establishing branches or offices inside or outside Saudi Arabia as deemed necessary, among other responsibilities.


“The litany of accomplishments compiled by CORDAP since its inception at the 2020 G20 has been spectacular. Within the past year alone, a series of high profile, international events, including the UN Ocean Conference, UN Biodiversity Conference, COP 27 and the G20 No Coral Left Behind event in Bali, enabled CORDAP to emerge as the central global platform for coral protection and restoration. The formal authorization of the CORDAP Foundation in Saudi Arabia is a crucial step in this long road to save the world’s coral ecosystems and our common ocean.” says KAUST President Dr. Tony Chan.


The establishment of the Foundation as a formal funding mechanism will not only ensure that CORDAP will function in accordance with the plans approved by the Initiative’s Governance Committee, but also, and importantly, help it uphold its mission to secure a future for imperiled corals and reefs worldwide.



CORDAP will bring together the best minds worldwide, in a transdisciplinary approach, to accelerate international research and development to supply the technologies and innovations required to secure a future for corals and reefs.

Photo credits: Raquel Lisboa