However, these islands were judged to be too far away from the Maldives to be settled permanently by Maldivians. There are no indigenous peoples living on the island, and the UK represents the Territory internationally. Shark numbers have dramatically declined as a result of illegal fishing boats that seek to remove their fins and also as accidental by-catch in the two tuna fisheries that used to operate seasonally in the Chagos.. While the remoteness of the Chagos offers some protection from extractive activities, legal and illegal fishing have had an impact. Chagos Islands: UK refusal to return archipelago to Mauritius show the limits of international law November 26, 2019 11.10am EST Miriam Bak McKenna , Lund University At 640,000 km2, it is larger than France or the U.S. state of California. Our potential for religious and cultural tourism will be enhanced to promote the ocean economy,” says Mauritius’ Minister of Tourism Anil Gayan. Each tourism market is further analyzed by providing extensive data for key destination countries. , The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is the world's largest terrestrial arthropod, reaching over one metre in leg span and 3.5-4 kilos in weight. Because the … Its unique habitats include 66,000 km2 of shallow reefs, vast deep-sea plains and limestone … The official insisted that the establishment of a marine park—the world's largest—would in no way impinge on USG use of the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. , Successive UK governments, both Labour and Conservative, have supported environmental conservation of the Chagos and have resisted attempts to allow the exiled Chagossians to return. Climate is characterised by plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures, showers and light breezes. This administration is represented in the Territory by the Officer commanding British Forces on Diego Garcia, the "Brit Rep". Hundreds more are waiting to be rediscovered by curious travelers in what is regarded as one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world. Unspoiled islands provide us with the biological information that we need to re-establish the native plant communities on heavily altered islands. When it became so is debated. Few remains of their culture have been left, although their language is still spoken by some of their descendants in Mauritius. After Moresby took measurements of most of the atolls and reefs, the archipelago was charted with relative accuracy for the first time. The Chagos Archipelago was originally chartered by Vasco de Gama in the 1500s, but wasn’t colonized until the eighteenth century when the French claimed the archipelago as a part of Mauritius.  The islands were formally established as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on 8 November 1965. The British government rejected any jurisdiction of the court to deliberate these matters. He qualified the ruling as an important milestone in the relentless struggle, at the political, diplomatic and other levels, of successive Governments over the years for the effective exercise by Mauritius of its sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago. A major British-U.S. military facility was built on Diego Garcia in 1971, and the plantations there were closed. It is administered from London and is located approximately halfway between East Africa and Indonesia. It is populated by military who live in military base. Chagos Islands are about 500 kilometers from the Maldives to the south, but belong to the fictitious island of Mauritius. Indonesia’s tourism sector depicted growth during 2010–2015, driven by the tourism ministry’s promotional campaigns such as “Wonderful Indonesia”. In 1965, three years before Mauritius gained independence, the United Kingdom excised the archipelago from Mauritius and the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar, and Desroches from the Seychelles to form the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). We stopped there for nearly four weeks taking refuge on route from the Maldives to the Seychelles during the transition season when winds in the northern and southern hemisphere change. The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is a British overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia.The territory comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands – many very small – amounting to a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi). , In November 2016, the United Kingdom restated it would not permit Chagossians to return to the islands. About 280 species of flowering plants and ferns have now been recorded on the islands, but this increase reflects the introduction of non-native plants by humans, either accidentally or deliberately. The islands have a total land area of only 60km 2 . Coral reefs are scattered across the Indian Ocean, but let us note that here is the largest atoll in the world Great Chagos Bank. Mauritius has argued that the Chagos Islands has been a part of its territory since at least the 18th century, till the United Kingdom broke the archipelago away from Mauritius in 1965 and the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar, and Desroches from the Seychelles in the region to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. Currently we can see the remains of the buildings and fill your water from existing wells, as long as you can walk through the dense jungle. On eastern Diego Garcia, the largest island of the Chagos and the site of a UK–US military facility, Britain has designated the very large lagoon and the eastern arm of the atoll and seaward reefs as a "wetland of international importance" under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention). Britain failed to leave the Chagos Archipelago by November 2019, as instructed by the UN. It is home to an astonishing diversity of life, and acts as a refuge for many threatened species. On some islands, native forests were felled to plant coconut palms for the production of copra oil. Another feasibility study, commissioned by organisations supporting resettlement, found that resettlement would be possible at a cost to the British taxpayer of £25 million. The Chagos, together with the Maldives and Lakshadweep, forms the Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Archipelago tropical moist forests terrestrial ecoregion. Detailed market classification covering tourism flows, tourist expenditure and average expenditure per trip is provided. The land area of the islands is 56.13 km2 (21.7 sq. Diego Garcia is the largest atoll, is the location of a military base, and is strictly off-limits to cruisers. Egmont atoll was uninhabited for many years, but is a favorite spot for boaters and occasional travelers. , The French were the first to lay a claim on the Chagos after they settled Réunion (in 1665) and Isle de France (now Mauritius, in 1715).  On 18 March 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration unanimously held that the marine protected area (MPA) which the United Kingdom declared around the Chagos Archipelago in April 2010 violates international law. , Today, the status of the Chagos Islands’ native flora depends very much on past exploitation of particular islands. The British administered the Chagos archipelago originally as part of a colony containing Mauritius and the Seychelles (which became its own colony in 1902). , As well as the healthy communities of reef fish there are significant populations of pelagic fish such as manta rays (Manta birostris), whale sharks, normal sharks, and tuna. Chagos Islanders remind us that Britain is a shameful coloniser, not a colony . As a juvenile it behaves like a hermit crab and uses empty coconut shells as protection, but as an adult this giant crab climbs trees and can crack through a coconut with its massive claws. The UK has restricted access to the Chagos … In addition to the seven atolls with dry land reaching at least the high-water mark, there are nine reefs and banks, most of which can be considered permanently submerged atoll structures. The sovereignty of the Chagos is disputed between Mauritius and the UK. , The Chagos Islands have been colonised by plants since there was sufficient soil to support them—probably less than 4,000 years. In 2003, the UK government established an Environment (Protection and Preservation) Zone under Article 75 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. December through February is considered the rainy season (summer monsoon); typical weather conditions include light west-northwesterly winds and warmer temperatures with more rainfall. Sharks, which play a vital role in balancing the food web of tropical reefs, have suffered sharp declines from illegal fishing for their fins and as bycatch in legal fisheries. As a result, the ecosystems of the Chagos have so far proven resilient to climate change and environmental disruptions. The tribes that inhabited the islands were forcibly removed by the US and British governments during the late 1960s and early 1970s—effectively turning the islands into a military base. “The Chagos archipelago, which covers over 60 islands, would fit into our plan to develop tourism on other Indian Ocean islands that also belong to Mauritius.” “We hope to gain sovereignty over the Chagos archipelago in order to develop these islands for eco-tourism and other purposes.” History is strewn with people screwed over by humanity. Chagos Islands are about 500 kilometers from the Maldives to the south, but belong to the fictitious island of Mauritius.  In March 1971, Seabees, United States naval construction battalions, arrived on Diego Garcia to begin the construction of the Communications Station and an airfield. Today, Chagos archipelago is a military zone and has served in launching B52's during operation Desert Fox in '98 in Iraq, and the various bombing attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq thereafter. The Chagos Environment Network cites several reasons for supporting a protected area: The UK government opened a three-month public consultation which ended after the 5 March 2010 about conservation management of the Chagos Islands and its surrounding waters. Since being expelled, Chagossian natives have been prevented from returning to the islands. There are no separate names for the different atolls of the Chagos in the Maldivian oral tradition. 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