The Chagos marine reserve: One year on
Conceived in haste, and declared in the dying throes of the last government, the MPA was almost universally condemned in the House of Commons and House of Lords within days of its birth. It is now challenged in the High Court in London by the unlawfully removed inhabitants, and at the UN tribunal on the Law of the Sea by the neighbouring state of Mauritius, which claims that the UK has no right even to act as the sovereign power.
Two senior FCO officials admitted that the MPA plan was a device to exclude the residents, according to documents released by Wikileaks. But scientists, sadly, have played along, while failing to protest against the environmental damage caused by the US base.
This ill-conceived, ethnically-cleansed marine reserve is more fragile than it need be, and it may not last long.