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Mauritius Undertakes To Conserve And Protect The Marine Park Around The Chagos Archipelago

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The announcement has been made by Pravind Jugnauth. The Prime Minister was attending a workshop on the creation of a zone to protect the marine environment around the Chagos Islands yesterday morning at Intercontinental Resort in Balaclava. The Conference is organised by the Prime Minister’s Office in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London.

Pravind Jugnauth maintained that a marine park will protect and conserve this unique environment for future generations.

He said Mauritius is committed to playing a leading role in conserving the marine park around the archipelago before commenting the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in favour of Mauritius on the sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos Islands.

Mauritius Undertakes To Conserve And Protect The Marine Park Around The Chagos Archipelago

Olivier Bancoult, leader of the Chagos Refugees Group, was also present at the workshop on the creation of a Marine Protected Area around the Chagos Islands. He recalled that in 2010, the British government excluded the Chagossians from discussions on the proposed marine protected area around the archipelago.For him, it is imperative to involve the Chagossians in the implementation process of any project concerning the Chagos archipelago.

Prime Minister Jugnauth underscored the significance of the MPA workshop, highlighting the unparalleled richness of marine life the Chagos Archipelago harbours and the potential threats it faces. He commended the participants for their shared commitment to the preservation of the marine environment of the Chagos Archipelago, encouraging them to actively participate in the discussions, and contribute to the development of a robust framework for the establishment of the MPA.

Mauritius Undertakes To Conserve And Protect The Marine Park Around The Chagos Archipelago

He gave an overview of the historical and legal background regarding the status of the Chagos Archipelago under international law, citing the resolution 73/295 passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. Against this backdrop, discussions on the establishment of an MPA in the Chagos Archipelago hold profound significance, the Prime Minister affirmed.

Mr Jugnauth underlined, too, the significance of intertwining the traditional wisdom and local knowledge of the Chagossians with state-of-the-art management techniques and cutting-edge technologies in a bid to create a blueprint that not only conserves the unique biodiversity of the Chagos Archipelago but also fosters a harmonious coexistence between nature and communities.

Mauritius Undertakes To Conserve And Protect The Marine Park Around The Chagos Archipelago

Emphasising the importance of leveraging advanced monitoring tools to enable the detection and allow prompt response to environmental changes, he pledged the use of state-of-the-art satellite imaging, underwater sensor networks, Artificial Intelligence, and Geographic Information System technologies, among others, to obtain real-time data on the health of coral reefs, marine biodiversity and changes in the physical and underwater environment.

For his part, Ambassador Koonjul dwelt on the representations made at the United Nations Ocean Conference 2022 as regards the establishment of an MPA in the Chagos Archipelago. The MPA, he added, will help in the protection of the marine environment of the Chagos Archipelago and its rich biodiversity as well as secure a healthy archipelago.

Mauritius Undertakes To Conserve And Protect The Marine Park Around The Chagos Archipelago

As for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Zoological Society of London, Ambassador Matthew Gould;, he commended the presence of scientists, experts, policymakers, and community representatives, gathered with the shared mission to protect nature in Mauritius, the Indian Ocean, and beyond. This workshop, Mr Gould pointed out, is part of an important step towards the creation of the MPA of the Chagos Archipelago as it can be a patron and a model to the world regarding the protection and security of our oceans.

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