Chagos Conservation Trust

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Does the marine reserve prevent Chagossians returning to the islands?

It has been suggested that the no-take marine reserve prevents any future resettlement by Chagossians, as it does not allow fishing. Additionally, it has been suggested that the creation of a marine reserve presents a legal barrier to the Chagossians returning.

In fact, the marine reserve presents neither a legal nor a practical barrier to Chagossian return, if that were granted, because the current conservation arrangements can be adapted to accommodate the needs of any future communities.

The British government is currently reviewing its policy on resettlement. If the Chagossians are given the right to return, CCT would be keen to expand our work on conservation education with the community.