British Indian Ocean Territory: Marine Protected Areas

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd June 2015.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to comply with the award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the case of Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration (Mauritius v. UK) dated 18 March 2015.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Arbitral Tribunal agreed with us that it had no jurisdiction to consider sovereignty, and found that there was no improper motive in the creation of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) around the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). In respect of the Tribunal's findings about the process of establishing the MPA, it noted that it is now open to the UK and Mauritius to enter into negotiations to take account of Mauritian interests in the marine environment of the Territory.

The Government wishes to implement the award in the spirit of greatest possible cooperation, and has written to the Mauritian government several times since the award, making a proposal to hold consultations about the protection of the marine environment as early as July.

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