On Saturday 21st July CCT and ZSL were delighted to present a second family fun day for members of the Chagossian community in the UK, this time in Manchester. The day, kindly hosted by the Manchester Museum, was an opportunity for families to come and learn more about environmental issues in Chagos (BIOT) and the conservation work being done there, as well as to find out about how they can get more involved.
Over 90 people of all ages attended the event and, with educational activities and games, as well as a chance to see real live snakes and lizards from the Museum’s living collection, the day was an enjoyable experience for all. It culminated with a discussion session during which members of the project tem answered questions relating to the environmental and conservation issues in the Chagos Archipelago. This was also an opportunity for members of the community to give their views on how they would like to be involved both with the Chagos Community Environment Project and more generally with conservation in the Chagos. Attendees had the opportunity to sign up for a training course, spanning eight Saturdays, which aims to provide a foundation of knowledge and skills in environmental conservation relevant to the Chagos and elsewhere.
Dr Heather Koldewey, Head of Global Conservation Programmes for ZSL and a member of the CCT Executive Committee said, “the Chagos islands and their surrounding marine environment are enormously important globally, with some of the cleanest water in the world and over half the total area of good quality reefs in the Indian Ocean. The unique environment of the Chagos must be cared for and protected so that it remains this way. It is essential that the Chagossian people are part of the conservation effort and this is the goal of the Chagos Community Environment Project. We were delighted by the turn out and engagement of the Chagossian community in Manchester at the Chagos Fun Day on Saturday and hope this is just the start of a long and fruitful collaboration”.
More information about the Chagos Community Environment Project, including details of the training course can be found on our web page or on the ZSL website. If you have a query or would like to get involved with the project, please contact Xavier Hamon, Rudy Pothin or Rebecca Short.