enjoy, Mark. The most important natural attractions of Chagos Archipelago are protected by international conventions of the UN and especially the commitment of the UK. Other islands remain unspoiled and support a wide range of habitats, including unique Pisonia forests and large clumps of the gigantic fish poison tree (Barringtonia asiatica). On 23 June 1976, Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches were returned to the Seychelles. Because many different forms of life call it home, from the coral reefs to the various species that live on more than 55 islands. Mauritius has repeatedly asserted that the British claim that the Chagos Archipelago is one of its territories is a violation of law and of UN resolutions. In 2003, the UK government established an Environment (Protection and Preservation) Zone under Article 75 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. In 2010 a 640,000 km² ‘no-take’ marine protected … As of 2010[update], only the atoll of Diego Garcia has been transformed into a military facility. The Chagos Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean, and forms the British Indian Ocean Territory. However, licenses have not been given since October 2010; the last expired after the creation of the no-take marine reserve.[9]. Chagos Islands: UK refusal to return archipelago to Mauritius show the limits of international law November 26, 2019 11.10am EST Miriam Bak McKenna , Lund University The tribunal considered in detail the undertakings given by the United Kingdom to the Mauritian Ministers at the Lancaster House talks in September 1965. Diego Garcia, the largest and most southerly island, is 44 sq km in land … [68], On 1 April 2010, the British government Cabinet established the Chagos Archipelago as the world's largest marine reserve. In 2010, the Maldives sought an extension of its Exclusive Economic Zone on the grounds that the UK had no right to claim a 200 nautical mile EEZ if … [citation needed], The Chagos Islands have been colonised by plants since there was sufficient soil to support them—probably less than 4,000 years. In 1968, Mauritius gained independence from the British Empire. [28] On 18 March 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration unanimously held that the marine protected area (MPA) which the United Kingdom declared around the Chagos Archipelago in April 2010 violates international law. On 25 February 2019, the International Court of Justice ruled that the United Kingdom is under an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible. Diego Garcia, the largest and most southerly island, has an area of 44km 2 . Because some of these non-native species have become invasive and pose a threat to the native ecosystems, plans are being developed to control them. Home | Europe | Asia | Africa | North America | Yahoo Travel | Google News | Google+ | Australia | Contact Us. Access is restricted and a permit is … The six joined similar groups of Chagossians living in Mauritius and the UK for a special tour of the Chagos archipelago in early May. [4], The island nation of Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago (which is coterminous with the BIOT), including Diego Garcia. The last license to fish near the Chagos archipelago expired in 2010. They named as well some of the atolls, such as Diego Garcia and Peros Banhos Atoll, mentioned as Pedro dos Banhos in 1513 by Afonso de Albuquerque. There are no indigenous peoples living on the island, and the UK represents the Territory internationally. In 1965, the UK bought the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius for £3 million. Learn more about Diego Garcia here. The total land area is only about 60 sq km. It is administered from London and is located approximately halfway between East Africa and Indonesia. [56] Dugongs, being locally extinct today, once thrived in the archipelago and the Sea Cow Island was named after the presences of the species. Britain purchased it for £3m - creating the BIOT. [28] The protection of the marine reserve will be guaranteed for the next five years thanks to the financial support of the Bertarelli Foundation. The Chagossians and Their Struggle", "Mauritius: MPA Around Chagos Archipelago Violates International Law - This Is a Historic Ruling for Mauritius, Says PM", "MPA around Chagos Archipelago violates international law – This is a Historic ruling for Mauritius, says PM", "Chagossians fight for a home in paradise", "Chagos Islands dispute: UK 'threatened' Mauritius", "Chagos islanders cannot return home, UK Foreign Office confirms", https://maldivesindependent.com/politics/maldives-defends-un-vote-on-chagos-islands-dispute-145501, "Mauritius to reiterate its conditions for renewed talks with UK on Chagos", "Mauritius threatens to take Chagos Islands row to UN court", "U.K. seeks Indian help in resolving Chagos Archipelago dispute", "U.N. Asks International Court to Weigh In on Britain-Mauritius Dispute", "Chagos legal status sent to international court by UN", "UK suffers crushing defeat in UN vote on Chagos Islands", "Chagos islanders cannot return home, says Supreme Court", "Diego Garcia "Camp Justice" 7º20'S 72º25'E", "A Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Chagos", "Bleaching impacts on carbonate production in the Chagos Archipelago: influence of functional coral groups on carbonate budget trajectories", "Coral bleaching impacts from back-to-back 2015–2016 thermal anomalies in the remote central Indian Ocean", "Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area", "Sharks Crack The Case: Uncovering Illegal Activities In Paradise", The Creation of the Chagos Marine Protected Area: A Fisheries Perspective, "Concerns about the Chagos Archipelago MPA Proposal", "Conservation and Management in British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago)", "Wetland and marine protected areas on the world heritage list", "Britain protects Chagos Islands, creating world's largest marine reserve", "UK sets up Chagos Islands marine reserve", "Welcome to the Chagos Conservation Trust | Chagos Conservation Trust", "Consultation on Whether to Establish a Marine Protected Area in the British Indian Ocean Territory", "WikiLeaks: Foreign Office accused of misleading public over Diego Garcia | Politics", "Hmg Floats Proposal For Marine Reserve Covering", ICJ 2019 Advisory Opinion on Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chagos_Archipelago&oldid=1000036938, Geography of the British Indian Ocean Territory, Articles with dead external links from July 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2018, Articles containing Portuguese-language text, Articles needing additional references from October 2016, All articles needing additional references, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2010, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from August 2010, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2012, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2015, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. According to Wikileaks cablegate documents,[71] the UK proposed in 2009 that the BIOT become a "marine reserve". Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Archipelago tropical moist forest is composed entirely of low coral reef associated coralline structures, and sandy islands, which have grown upon the crest of the submarine Chagos-Laccadive Ridge. The sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago is disputed between the United Kingdom and Mauritius. [38], On 23 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favour of referring the territorial dispute between Mauritius and the United Kingdom to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in order to clarify the legal status of the Chagos Islands archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The Chagos Archipelago (/ˈtʃɑːɡəs, -ɡoʊs/) or Chagos Islands (formerly the Bassas de Chagas,[2] and later the Oil Islands) are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south of the Maldives archipelago. [49] Thick stands of branching staghorn coral (Acropora sp) previously protected the low-lying islands from wave erosion. Thursday 9 March 2017 . The UK should end its control of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean "as rapidly as possible", the UN's highest court has said. The reserve was then created in 2010. India has maintained that the matter of whether or not to proceed with the UN General Assembly move is a decision for the Mauritian government to make. The deep oceanic waters around the Chagos Islands, out to the 200 nautical mile limit, include an exceptional diversity of undersea geological features (such as 6000 m deep trenches, oceanic ridges, and sea mounts). The plantation workers and their families were initially moved to the plantations on Peros Banhos and Salomon atolls in the northwest of the archipelago; those who requested were transported to the Seychelles or Mauritius. But one group of people being screwed right now that almost no one knows about is the people of the Chagos Islands.. Environments of Chagos Archipelago provides rich biodiversity and support varieties of cetacean species within the vicinity,[54] such as three populations of blue whales[55] and toothed whales (sperm, pilot, orca, pseudo-orca, risso's and other dolphins such as spinners, and so on). The total area, including lagoons within atolls, is more than 15 000 km2, of which 12 642 km2 are accounted by the Great Chagos Bank, the largest acknowledged atoll structure of the world (the completely submerged Saya de Malha Bank is larger, but its status as an atoll is uncertain). [citation needed] Portuguese seafarers named the group as Bassas de Chagas,[12] Portuguese: Chagas (wounds) referring to the Holy Wounds of the crucifixion of Jesus. In a press statement issued last week, Mancham suggested that Seychelles and the British government should engage in offering certain assistance and encouragement to the development of tourism in some parts of the Chagos archipelago.. Mancham said that Seychelles had over recent years acquired considerable experience in the … [48], The reefs host at least 371 species of coral including the endemic brain coral Ctenella chagius. The populations of both species in Chagos are of global significance given the critically endangered status of hawksbills and the endangered status of green turtles on the IUCN Red List. An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Chagos (British Indian Ocean Territory) in the Indian Ocean. The Court concluded that, “as a result of the Chagos Archipelago’s unlawful detachment and its incorporation into a new colony, known as the [British Indian Ocean Territory] BIOT, the process of decolonization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed when Mauritius acceded to … The number of atolls in the Chagos Archipelago is given as four or five in most sources, plus two island groups and two single islands, mainly because it is not recognised that the Great Chagos Bank is a huge atoll structure (including those two island groups and two single islands), and because Blenheim Reef, which has islets or cays above or just reaching the high-water mark, is not included. In fact, it is very hard to get to at all, as the main atoll, Diego Garcia, is also a joint military facility of the USA and the UK. In addition, advocacy on the Chagossians' behalf continues both in the United States and in Europe. At 640,000 km2, it is larger than France or the U.S. state of California. As of 2018[update], Mauritius has taken the matter to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion, against British objections. 2. mrs_trellis. It is not known as a destination for travellers. Chagos archipelago of five atolls, the most interesting is the atoll Diego Garcia. Features are listed in the table from north to south: The main natural resources of the area are coconuts and fish. The British Indian Ocean Territory is centrally located in the Indian Ocean, south of the Maldives, about halfway between Madagascar and Indonesia.The main island, Diego Garcia, is a military facility off limits to anyone not on official duty, but some of the uninhabited outer islands can be visited by independent yachters with advance permission. Leaked US Cables have shown the FCO suggesting to the US counterparts that setting up a protected no-take zone would make it "difficult, if not impossible" for the islanders to return. "[72], Outlying territories of European countries. 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