Chagos Conservation Trust

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Welcome to the Chagos Conservation Trust

This website is dedicated to the science, conservation and history of the Chagos archipelago.  Chagos contains some of the world’s healthiest coral reefs and the cleanest sea water, sediments and marine life tested so far in the world. It is a reservoir of biodiversity for an over exploited ocean.

Where and what is Chagos?

Chagos is located in the central Indian Ocean, about 1,500 km from the southern tip of India, 3,400 km due east of Africa and 3,000 km west of Indonesia.

Chagos is an archipelago of 55 tiny islands, of which the largest is Diego Garcia, in over quarter of a million square miles of the world’s cleanest seas. It contains the largest coral atoll on earth and over 60,000 square km of shallow limestone reef and associated habitats, and about 300 seamounts and abyssal habitats.  It is by far Britain’s greatest area of marine biodiversity.

Politically, Chagos is constituted as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

The Chagos Marine Reserve  

On 1st April 2010, the British Government announced the creation of the Chagos Marine Reserve. This designation of a fully no-take marine protected area (MPA) out to the 200 mile limit created the largest marine reserve in the world, a conservation legacy almost unrivalled in scale and significance. It will contribute greatly to a number of globally agreed targets, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of the oceans by 2020.

No other action taken by the United Kingdom makes anything like such a considerable contribution to these agreed global targets. This decision undoubtedly establishes the UK as a world leader in marine conservation for the benefit of all nations.

Few other MPAs have the same degree of protection that Chagos has been given, with the entire area designated as a fully protected no-take marine reserve.

Latest News Articles

  •  The BIOT Science Expedition 2014 has now drawn to a close with participants dispersing around the world to analyse the data they have gathered and publish their results to further knowledge and insights of the BIOT Marine Protected Area.
  • The 2014 research expedition is well into its second week and despite inclement weather have made many interesting discoveries.  An expedition blog with photographs is posted each evening to keep members up to date with our discoveries and the day's activities and can be seen on this website under Projects then 2014 BIOT Expedition, or follow this link.
  • The 2014 science research expedition is about to depart to the northern atolls of Chagos.  The 14 member team have a range of research projects to carry out to help understand and conserve this remarkable area.  Read more about the participants here.
  • The recent CCT AGM, held last week in London, was a very convivial and well attended event.
  • The Chagos Conservation Trust (CCT) welcomes the forthcoming study into the Feasibility of Resettlement of the Chagos islands. In the interest and pursuit of scientific and historic research and conservation for the common good, we have published a note expressing the need for strong science to be a central element to the work of the resettlement feasibility study.