Largest ever turnout for CCT annual events

Nearly 100 people attended the Chagos Conservation Trust's annual events and reception at the Geological Society in the heart of London on 27 March 2024.

The day started with a Finance and Board Meeting for Trustees, before a private members' tour of the venue and William Smith map (1815), considered to be the first geological map of a complete country ever made.

Members then attended the Annual General Meeting (both in person and virtually), where new Trustees were voted onto the Board, including Chris Davies as Chair (see photo below), Dr John Turner as Deputy Chair, Dr Ken Johnson as Secretary, and Dr Nicole Esteban as Trustee and Scientific Advisor - see the full Board with biographies listed here:

Pascalina Nellan was also welcomed into the Trust's family as a Content Officer, who will ensure the CCT-funded website for and about the Chagossian community will stay relevant and up-to-date:

A speaker event was then held. Hosted by the Director, Sarah Puntan-Galea, talks were given on research projects happening in the Chagos which the Trust either supports or is involved in. The speakers (pictured with the Director below) were: Dr Pete Carr (CCT - birds), Dr Joanna Harris (Manta Trust - rays), Rachel Jones (ZSL - plastic pollution), Dr David Curnick and Dr Claire Collins (Ocean Predator Lab., ZSL, Exeter University - sharks), Dr Kimberley Stokes (Swansea University - turtles), and Dr Bryan Wilson (Oxford University - brain coral).

A recording of the event can be found here:

Dr Carr also launched and sold signed copies of his latest CCT-published book, 'Birds of the Chagos'. Buy a copy via our e-bookshop here:

The winner of the CCT social media competition to name the female juvenile manta ray that features on the cover of the 2024 Chagos News published by the Trust was announced: She will be called 'Esperanza', as suggested by reader Gloria Brunette. 

"Esperanza means 'hope', which is something the rays, and the Chagos environment and wildlife so desperately need at this current time due to the perils they face, from plastic pollution to illegal fishing," Ms Puntan-Galea told the audience. "Which is why we as a Trust are dedicated to continuing our work to protect and conserve the unique and precious environment of the Chagos Archipelago."

To help CCT continue their work, why not become a member here: