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

  • A satellite tagged Green Turtle has migrated an impressive 3979 kilometers from its breeding grounds in the Chagos Archipelago to its foraging grounds in Somalia on the east coast of Africa. This is the longest recorded migration for an adult cheloniid turtle. A total of eight of Green Turtles were tagged during their nesting on the beaches of the British Indian Ocean Territory Marine Protected Area in 2012 and after analysis of the data from the resulting tracks new insights have been gained into the importance of this marine reserve.
  • In January a habitat restoration specialist, Grant Harper, visited the island of Vache Marine in the Chagos Archipelago as a precursor to a project to eradicate invasive rats in order to allow sea birds to return and nest there. This short video was shot during his visit and outlines the approach of the project. The eradication is due to be undertaken in August 2014.
  • The latest edition of Chagos News has been published online in the Resources/Newsletters section here on the CCT website.  Your attention is drawn to a very interesting and sobering article by His Excellency, the President of Kiribati.  Feedback to the editor, on content and indeed any matter, is welcomed by the editor at
  • Prof Charles Sheppard has put together a comprehensive document to inform members of CCT about all the research and conservation work that CCT and its associated scientific researchers have achieved over the past 20 years.  It also lays out the future research plans and asks for comments from the CCT membership.  The document is on the CCT website and can be accessed here.
  • A report summarising the initial findings from the research gathered on the Chagos 2014 Darwin Science and Conservation Expedition has been compiled by the expedition leader, Dr Heather Koldewey, with input from all of the expedition participants. The report can be found in full at the following link in the CCT website resource section: