3 Apr 2010
Chagos Marine Reserve 'justified by lies'
I thought the idea that conservation meant excluding people had finally been buried by Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize win. So I am sad to hear that the Chagos Islands have been made a conservation reserve by the British government.
The Chagos people were physically removed from their islands to make way for a US base. The US gave the UK government £11 million towards Polaris nuclear weapons in the 1960s for getting rid of local people
They have fought a long battle to return from exile, the reserve looks like preventing them from going home.
Ostrom has shown that local people are best at conservation, after all if they mess up their environment, they will be in serious trouble.
I am sure preventing fishing by industrial outfits etc is good....but local people need sustainable local activity which might involve eating fish, may be a bit of local fishing is 'allowed'. 'Allowed' even if the case, says it all, the British government stole an Island, kicked off its people and still decides what they should be 'allowed' to do.
What right has the British government have to make decisions about other parts of the planet? In my view none. Sadly due to the waste and inefficiency of our economy, based on taking resources and using them as quickly as possible, climate change looks like sinking the Chagos beneath the sea.
Very sad to see conservation from the top down being supported by so many environmentalists.
Chagos Support group here
Letter to Greenpeace here