Learning from Chagos, Lessons for Pitcairn

Sue Farran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


While not an exact 'mirror reflection' Chagos and Pitcairn share a number of similarities. Both are small isolated collections of islands over which UK exercises sovereignty; they are prime areas for marine protection areas, in the case of BIOT this was established some time ago, in the case of Pitcairn has only recently been declared; the motivations behind these MPAs are not those of the islanders, who, in the case of Chagossians have been removed, and now, it seems, are unlikely to be permitted to return, while in the case of Pitcairn the islanders remain but in reducing and ageing numbers, but reflect wider agendas informed by international and bi-lateral treaties, the lobbying of influential public charities and NGOs, and appeals to 'world habitat', the 'global commons' and the 'responsibilities of mankind'. The legal governance of Pitcairn was considered as a possible model for a re-inhabited Chagos, while the implementation and regulation of the BIOT MPA provides a model for that proposed for Pitcairn. At the same time the issues of cost and viability which have been raised against resettlement of BIOT raises questions about the sustainable future of Pitcairn.
Drawing on the experience of BIOT this paper considers the legal similarities and differences between these two island groups and interrogates the processes and consequences of establishing Marine Protected Areas around remote British Overseas Territories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFifty Years of the British Indian Ocean Territory
EditorsStephen Allen, Chris Monaghan
Place of Publication9783319785400
ISBN (Electronic)9783319785417
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameSmall States


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