Chagos Environment Network
At a meeting in the Linnean Society, London, on 22 April 2008, the Chagos Environment Network (CEN) was formed. The purpose of the CEN is to support efforts to ensure that the globally important natural environment of the Chagos Archipelago is conserved as a unique and valuable resource for present and future generations. In particular, the CEN led the call for Chagos to be designated as a fully no-take IUCN Category I marine reserve out to the full extent of its waters.
The present membership of the CEN is:
BLUE Marine Foundation
BLUE Marine Foundation (BLUE) exists to fix the largest solvable problem on the planet - the crisis in the oceans - by creating flexible, case-by-case solutions to the marine crisis through public-private partnerships. By raising a springboard of €100 million to leverage conservation gains, BLUE aims to increase the area of ocean protected by marine reserves from 1% to 10% over the next ten years.
Coral Cay Conservation
Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) is an award-winning, leading specialist in community-based coral reef and forest conservation. The CCC family consists of thousands of volunteers, specialists, NGOs, communities and scholars from all over the world. Their approach to conservation has always been based on citizen-science, helping the local communities that depend on such natural resources as a source of livelihood.
Chagos Conservation Trust
For more information about CCT, please see our About CCTpage.
Linnean Society of London
The Linnean Society of London is driven by a single purpose: The cultivation of the Science of Natural History in all its branches. Today more than ever the Society is an important contemporary organisation encouraging debate, research, publications, meetings, as well as maintaining internationally important historical collections in the biological sciences.
Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. Their vision is for seas rich in wildlife, abundant fish stocks and pollution free beaches and bathing waters – seas that are fit for wildlife to thrive in and for people to enjoy, and seas that will support future generations with abundant resources.
Pew Charitable Trust
Global Ocean Legacy, a project of the Pew Charitable Trust and its partners, aims to establish a worldwide system of very large, highly protected marine reserves where fishing and other extractive activities are prohibited. They work with local citizens, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of the Earth’s most important and unspoiled marine environments.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Throughout its history, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has made important contributions to increasing the understanding of the plant kingdom with many benefits for mankind. Today Kew is still first and foremost a scientific institution. With its collections of living and preserved plants, of plant products and botanical information, it forms an encyclopaedia of knowledge about the plant kingdom.
The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. They aim to expand the frontiers of knowledge by championing the development and use of science, mathematics, engineering and medicine for the benefit of humanity and the good of the planet.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. They are the largest wildlife conservation organisation in Europe with over one million members. Their work is driven by a passionate belief that we all have a responsibility to protect birds and the environment.
Zoological Society of London
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs conservation programmes in Britain and over 50 countries worldwide. The conservation of wild animals and their natural habitats is fundamental to their mission. They work with local communities to conserve their environment and promote sustainability.
Professor Charles Sheppard
Prof. Charles Sheppard is based at the School of Life Sciences, Warwick University. Charles advises governments, NGOs and aid agencies on tropical marine and coastal management. He has published more than 100 papers and reports, 10 books, and more than 100 magazine contributions and is Chief Editor of the world’s largest marine science journal – the Marine Pollution Bulletin.
The IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network – a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.
In their response to the Chagos consultation (which you can read here) the IUCN said,
“Due to its location at the very centre of the Indian Ocean, its rich wildlife biodiversity, and unrivalled marine ecosystem health, Chagos acts as a unique biodiversity refuge and a re-seeding bank for other, more degraded, parts of the Indian Ocean. In other words, it serves as an environmental ‘insurance policy‘.”
European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
EAZA is the largest zoo and aquarium association in the world with 330 members in 35 countries. It provides membership services and leadership to those zoos and aquariums, promoting the association mission aims of biodiversity conservation, education and research.
In their letter to the government consultation, EAZA said:
“Marine life almost everywhere, including fish, invertebrates, mammals, seabirds, turtles, is suffering massive losses as a result of over-exploitation, by-catch and pollution. In the Chagos, which is by far the richest marine ecosystem under UK jurisdiction, we have an opportunity to establish a different future, creating a protected area in which marine life would thrive and recover.”
The Shark Trust
The Shark Trust is the UK charity dedicated to advancing the worldwide protection of sharks through science, education, influence and action. The Trust actively contributes to the legislative process advocating for sound shark management measures through both domestic, European and international frameworks.
Highlighting the benefits to shark species from a no-take Marine Reserve in the Chagos, the Shark Trust said:
“The pelagic longline industry, and in particular the tuna longline fishery is a key contributor to shark decline due to high levels of incidental shark bycatch. … The Shark Trust urges the British Government to enforce a strict no take MPA for the entire BIOT territorial waters, and consider carefully that any option which permitted any fisheries would undermine the integrity of the MPA and negate the benefits to many species which provide stability to the wider ecosystem.”
Greenpeace has been campaigning against environmental degradation since 1971, and today work on issues as diverse as climate change to Genetically Modified Organisms. Their oceans campaign work champions marine reserves as the best solution to the marine crisis.
You can read Greenpeace’s response to the consultation here. In support of a highly protected Marine Reserve in the Chagos, they said:
“Effective nature conservation in the sea cannot be delivered without Marine Reserves … Commercial fishing can radically degrade the conservation value of marine protected areas. Only a full no-take Marine Reserve can protect habitats over very long time-scales and only complete protection will provide sufficient refuge for highly vulnerable species."
Fauna & Flora International
Fauna & Flora International, founded in 1903, was the world’s first international conservation organisation. Today their work spans the globe, with over 100 projects in nearly 40 countries, mostly in the developing world.
In support of a no-take Marine Reserve in the Chagos, their response to the consultation said:
“FFI believes that full protection across the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Chagos provides an opportunity for the UK not only to meet its obligation to protect the rich biodiversity under UK jurisdiction, but also to provide global leadership on marine conservation and to contribute to future food security for some of the world’s poorest nations.”
Avaaz.org is a global web movement with a simple democratic mission: to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want. In less than three years, Avaaz.org has grown to over 4.2 million members, and has been dubbed “the biggest web campaigner across the world”.
In their response to the consultation on the Chagos, which they submitted along with their petition signed by over 250,000 people (see here), Avaaz.org said:
“Scientific investigations suggest that our oceans are in serious decline. Overfishing, pollution, rising CO2 levels: are just some of the factors driving this process. Unless drastic action is taken by all the governments, a critical loss of marine biodiversity will directly threaten the well-being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and also future generations who will inherit the mess we’ve created.”
British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA)
BIAZA is the professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland. We are a conservation, education and scientific wildlife charity founded in 1966 out of a mutual desire within the zoo and aquarium community to see sound principles and practices of animal management widely adopted in the British Isles and Ireland.
In support of a no-take Marine Reserve in the Chagos, BIAZA said:
“Fully protecting the Chagos and its 200 mile surrounding waters, would bring significant long-term benefits to the prosperity and well-being of coastal communities living around the Indian Ocean while assisting in the sustainability of an ocean, which is elsewhere under ever increasing pressure.”
Blue Ventures is an award‐winning London‐based marine conservation charity dedicated to working with local communities to conserve threatened tropical marine environments. For the past decade their field projects have been at the forefront of efforts to create locally‐managed marine areas (LMMAs) in the Indian Ocean region. Their highly‐acclaimed conservation programmes work with some of the world’s poorest coastal communities to develop conservation initiatives to protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods.
In support of a no-take Marine Reserve in the Chagos, Blue Ventures said:
"The ecological importance of preservation of the Chagos atolls is in no doubt...At a time when global reef health prognoses are becoming ever more severe and more immediate, the value of Chagos' proven exceptional reef resilience cannot be underestimated."