Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Consultation to protect British Indian Ocean Territory

David Miliband launched a public consultation to establish a Marine Protected Area in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) on Tuesday 10 November.

The proposal was put forward by the Chagos Environment Network and if successful would create one of the world’s largest marine protected areas.

Read the statement

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband):
The Government is today launching a public consultation into a proposal put forward by the Chagos Environment Network to establish a Marine Protected Area in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

The Chagos Environment Network’s proposal “The Chagos Archipelago: its Nature and the Future” advocates the creation of one of the world’s greatest natural conservation areas and is a remarkable opportunity for Britain to create one of the world’s largest marine protected areas and double the global coverage of the world’s oceans benefiting from protection.

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views from stakeholders and interested parties to help the Government assess whether a Marine Protected Area is the right option for the future environmental protection of the Territory and we are, therefore, strongly encouraging as many people as possible to participate in the consultation.

We are also arranging for a facilitator to travel to Port Louis and Victoria early next year to listen to the views of the Chagossian communities and other stakeholders in Mauritius and Seychelles. The consultation will run until 12 February 2010.

Copies of the consultation are available on the UK in the Seychelles British High Commission website and are being disseminated widely to interested groups.

How to respond

The consultation period will begin on 10 November 2009. It will run until 12 February 2010. There will be meetings in Port Louis, Mauritius and Victoria, Seychelles between 21 January and 9 February (exact dates to be advised later). There will also be a meeting in the UK. These meetings will be organised by an independent facilitator who will record all the views expressed.
Alternatively, you are welcome to respond by post or e-mail. Please ensure that your response reaches us by 12 February. If you live overseas and intend to respond by post, please ensure that your response reaches us no later than 12 February.

You may respond to this consultation in the following ways:

(i) Write to: BIOT marine protected area consultationOverseas Territories DirectorateForeign and Commonwealth OfficeKing Charles StreetLondonSW1A 2AH

(ii) E-mail your response to: biotmpaconsultation@fco.gov.uk