Pete Raines psr at coralcay.org
Fri May 27 15:54:24 EDT 2011

Dear Listers,

The conference entitled "Chagos Regagne" on May 19, 2011 was hosted 
compliments of the Royal Geographical Society (www.rgs.org) with 
generous sponsorship from Philippa Gregory (www.philippagregory.com) and 
Ben Fogle (www.benfogle.com). I attended the conference and my 
gratitudes to those concerned.

What struck me was the following: not one Chagossian present spoke 
against the Chagos MPA (that was strictly the domain of non-Chagossians) 
and nor did they endorse the concept (again, exclusively non-Chagossian) 
of some sort of 'Marine Research Station/Eco-village' anywhere other 
than possibly on Diego Garcia and certainly not on the northern Chagos 
islands. What also struck home was that the overwhelming majority of 
Chagossians present wanted Chagos (voiced very loud and in no uncertain 
terms at the RGS!) to remain firmly British and most definitely not 
passed on to any other country wishing, hopeful or otherwise, of a claim 
to BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territory).

A very good and detailed synopsis of scientific knowledge and research 
conducted within the Chagos MPA by Charles Sheppard (co-authored by very 
many others) was circulated prior to the RGS conference, with copies 
also made available on the day (for your copy, contact Charles 
Sheppard). It does not seem at all strange to me that vested interests 
objected and wish to blank any knowledge of or reference to it: plain 
truth (and primary data) often plays second-fiddle to fiddlers of plain 

Pete Raines
Coral Cay Conservation


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