Chagos Conservation Trust

account icon
  ACCOUNT     cart icon CART

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.

Explore the Chagos MPA online

In February 2015 The Chagos Conservation Trust supported an expedition that captured a number of the islands and reefs of the Chagos MPA for Google Street View. Explore the archipelago at the following links: Islands - Reefs  Just search the thumbnails in the right hand navigation bar for any links from the British Indian Ocean Territory. Enjoy the views!

Latest News Articles

  • Every six years, all the UK’s academic institutions submit information on themselves and their staff which decides various things such as university rankings and future funding.  A group of a dozen government departments and other bodies have selected their ‘Top 20’ case studies from them.  They say about their top 20: “These stories were selected from the 6,975 impact case studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the system that’s used to assess the research quality of all UK universities.
  • CCT is delighted to announce that Helen Pitman has been appointed to the new post of Director of CCT, from 12th October.  
  • 2016 CCT-US Expedition Scholarship - Chagos Atoll Restoration ExpeditionThis message to announce that applications are now being considered for the 2016 Chagos Conservation Trust U.S. (CCT-US) Expedition Scholarship.
  • ChIP (Chagos Information Portal) is now online at  CCT funded the first phase of this a year ago, and its intent is to bring under one location as much as possible of the scientific material of the Chagos Archipelago, along with a good selection of graphic material both old and new, video and still, from the air, on land and underwater.  Further funds have been received and/or promised to substantially expand this too, partly to cater for the large quantity of research now being undertaken in the archipelago.
  • As well as a Facebook page (, Chagos now also has an Instagram page.Follow some great images of Chagos on