[Coral-List] Chagos...

David Evans davidjevans1818 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 14 13:31:09 EDT 2010

Excellent News!!!

The Chagossians truly deserve this decision... Finally!

I think many will be relieved that the MPA will not be tainted from the get 

"Who ever said conservation was easy!?!?"

Best Wishes,



Message: 4
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 18:14:40 +0100
From: Richard Dunne <RichardPDunne at aol.com>
Subject: [Coral-List] Chagos Marine Protected Area - UK Government
    drops case in ECtHR and will uphold the right of the expelled
    Chagossians to return.
To: Coral List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <4C8E5C00.9070005 at aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

  Dear Listers

Earlier this year there was a debate on Coral List concerning the Chagos 
Archipelago and the proposal by the UK Government to implement a Marine 
Protected Area (MPA). Readers may recall that the indigenous population 
was expelled in the 1960s to make way for the US Military Base on Diego 
Garcia. Since that date the Chagossians have been denied a right of 
abode and most recently had pursued their case to the European Court of 
Human Rights (ECtHR). The case was due to be heard later this year.

On 1 April 2010 the former Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, announced 
the UK's intention to implement a MPA in the Chagos Archipelago. To date 
no further action had been taken pending a Judicial Review of that 
declaration by the Chagossians which was filed in the UK Courts in August.

In a remarkable about turn, the new Coalition Government revealed in a 
letter from Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP dated 9 September that it is 
abandoning its defence of the ECtHR case, "opting instead for a friendly 
settlement" with the Chagossians. Furthermore the letter declared that 
"The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is also committed to a fair 
settlement of this long-standing dispute. Steps have already been taken 
to ensure their [Chagossians] return."

This is wonderful news for everyone. It ensures that the Marine 
Protected Area now has a real chance of being implemented, that the 
islanders will be entitled to return and indeed could participate in the 
enforcement of the MPA, preventing it from just becoming a "paper park". 
Although the concept of a complete "no-take zone" throughout the MPA, 
and an archipelago devoid of any human habitation (apart from the 
massive base on Diego) was attractive to certain conservationists and 
heavily lobbied by some parties, it was also naive and patently unjust. 
Although it is still early days and there will be many issues to be 
resolved, we now have the opportunity to move forward with this 
important decision, whilst including all the stakeholders.

In addition it has been announced that a Swiss billionaire, Ernesto 
Bertarelli, and his British wife are in talks with the UK Government 
about providing some of the funding which will be necessary to police 
the MPA. It was feared that the spending cuts which the UK Government 
has had to make might have prevented the implementation.  For the full 
report see: 

It is an important day for both conservation and human rights.

Richard P Dunne


End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 25, Issue 12


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