[Coral-List] Chagos Islands

Ted Morris easy501 at zianet.com
Thu Jan 21 11:36:07 EST 2010

The process of protecting the marine environment of the Chagos Archipelago
is at a critical point, and signing the petition at http://protectchagos.org
is the very minimum anyone concerned with the reefs of the Chagos should do.

Politicizing the process by insisting on the inclusion of Chagossian claims,
all of which have been dismissed by UK and US courts, would be unwise.  That
said, there are certainly many people who wonder just what really did happen
to the islanders back in the early 70s, and would like to ensure that a
suitable political solution is arrived at on their behalf.  To fully
participate in that discussion, one should reflect on the economic and
geo-political context of the times, and not solely on emotional appeals. 
There is also a huge amount of data concerning the demographics and
population that is germane to the discussion, but is not included in the
arguments posted to date.

I've been a student of the islands, it's history and current uses for many
years, and about 18 months ago I wrote a short paper summarizing the various
British Court cases, the Chagossian lawsuit in the US, and the available
published literature at the time.  That information might be of interest to
readers as they attempt to determine what role the Chagossian community
should play in the future of the islands.  The paper is on line at

Meanwhile, the goal is to fully protect the near-pristine coral reef and
other marine environments of the central Indian Ocean, and anything that
would delay or derail that effort should be avoided.  Conservation now would
be to the advantage of any future resident population, should things change
in that respect, and to no one's disadvantage, least of all to other
residents of the Indian Ocean.

Ted A. Morris, Jr.
easy501 at zianet.com
skype:  ted.morris.501

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