Following an FCO grant awarded to the Chagos Conservation Trust in March, plans are now underway for an environmental outreach programme aimed at Chagossian communities in the UK. The initial stages of this exciting project are to hold an open day at ZSL London Zoo, where family activities, talks and tours will focus on the fascinating natural heritage of the Chagos islands and surrounding marine life. It is also hoped that this day can be repeated in Manchester to make the day more accessible to the wider British-based Chagossian community.
These open days will also serve as an excellent introduction to a planned Chagos Environment Training Course, for which the project will be accepting applications shortly afterwards. Held over 8 weeks, the course intends to teach a range of basic practical and theoretical environmental skills to those Chagossians who have a particular interest in activities relevant to the conservation of tropical systems like Chagos.
Photo: From L-R: Rebecca Short, Xavier Hamon and Rudy Pothin (c) ZSL
A new team has been formed, based at ZSL London Zoo in both the Discovery & Learning and Conservation Programmes departments, to co-ordinate and deliver on these projects.
Xavier Hamon will direct the project as the newly appointed Chagos Outreach Officer, engaging heavily with the community to ensure that the content and delivery of activities on offer is most relevant.
Supporting Xavier in this task will be Rudy Pothin as the Chagos Outreach Assistant, and Rebecca Short as Project Co-ordinator.