British Indian Ocean Territory — Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:06 pm on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Minister of State (Africa and the UN), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa and UN) 3:06 pm, 6th April 2010

My Lords, on 1 April 2010, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary announced the creation of a marine protected area in the British Indian Ocean Territory. The decision to establish an MPA was taken following a full public consultation and careful consideration of the many issues and interests involved. The consultation was launched on 10 November 2009, and due to the significant interest shown in the issue, the deadline for response was extended to 5 March 2010. Since the launch of the consultation, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has corresponded extensively with Parliament on this issue, including with the chairs of the FAC and APPG on Chagos. There was also a Westminster Hall debate on 10 March and I myself have corresponded with a number of Members of this House. We believe that the creation of this MPA is a major step forward for protecting the oceans and we will continue to work closely with all interested stakeholders in its implementation.