[Coral-List] Chagos Marine Protected Area

Richard Dunne RichardPDunne at aol.com
Sat Sep 18 03:55:44 EDT 2010

  Dear Listers and Pete

This is an excellent example of a small but positive step to help the 
Chagossians. Pete and Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) are to be 
congratulated on their initiative. Two young (18 yr old) descendants of 
former inhabitants of Diego Garcia were awarded these CCC scholarships 
and have been given the opportunity to participate in, and learn about 
coral reef conservation at a CCC training expedition in Tobago. They 
even enjoyed a Club Class flight, courtesy of British Airways! They have 
since returned to their families back in the United Kingdom where it is 
hoped that they will transfer their newly found skills and enthusiasm to 
friends and family. Hopefully, more Chagossians will be given this 

The leader of one of several Chagossian organisations, the Diego Garcian 
Society in Crawley, UK (which numbers about 2000 islanders and their 
descendants) , Allen Vincatassin has endorsed the CCC scholarship 
scheme: " This is a great opportunity for members of the Diego Garcian 
and the Chagos community at large, that marks the initial steps to our 
people becoming stewards of the protected area."

This is a first step to training and educating a new generation, 
hopefully so that they can return to the Chagos knowledgeable about 
coral reefs and the need for conservation. Whilst Diego Garcia is likely 
to remain 'off limits' for many decades or until the US agree to any 
resettlement there, it is possible that these young Diego Garcians may 
have the opportunity of working in the outer islands of the Chagos 
archipelago on aspects connected with the MPA. It would be a wonderful 
opportunity for them to use their new found skills and to visit (perhaps 
for the first time) their islands where their parents and grandparents 

As a next small step I would encourage Charles Sheppard (BIOT Scientific 
Adviser) to consider whether these and other young Chagossians can be 
included in his annual scientific expeditions to the Chagos.

Again thanks to Pete and CCC.

Richard P Dunne

On 17/09/2010 21:09, Pete Raines wrote:
>    Dear all,
> Those of you who care to know more may care to read about two Chagossian
> Scholars: http://www.coralcay.org/content/view/953/281/
> All the best,
> Pete
> Pete Raines MBE
> *Founder&  CEO*  *Coral Cay Conservation*

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