Chagos island Marine Reserve Plans Saved by Billionaire

Chagos Islands

Well, it’s nice to see there is still some decency in the world today. A Billionaire from Switzerland has used some of their vast resources to help save plans to create the largest marine reserve in the world, and alleviate the pressures placed upon it from public spending cuts.

Government officials are currently engaged in talks over a 3.5 million GBP deal for Ernesto Bertarelli, America’s Cup-winning yachtsman, to help fund the efforts to police the zone around the Chagos Islands.

The area which is due to be protected, dubbed the MPA, is going to cover quite a bit of area. The proposal is to cover somewhere around 250,000 square miles of sea around the archipelago in the Indian Ocean and include a “not take” reserve which is going to ban commercial fishing.

The plan was approved last April by David Miliband, then foreign secretary, even though there were complaints that the government was not taking the territory’s exiled population into consideration.

You see, the Chagos have been in the midst of a heated debate for a long time now, due to the fact that the islanders were exiled to make way for the Diego Garcia US airbase, and are continuing legal proceedings to return to their homes.

There are still other concerns that the project may fail due to the lack of private funding to offset the amount they would lose from tuna fishing licenses.

So, hats off to the billionaire for trying, and hopefully it will be pushed through. It isn’t often a billionaire steps aside and tries to do something good in the world.