Geography

Chagos Islands

The Chagos Islands lie 1,000 miles east of the Seychelles in the central Indian Ocean. The archipelago is composed of 55, mainly tiny, coral islands set in a little under one hundred square miles of ocean. The largest island, Diego Garcia, has a US military base. The other 54 islands are uninhabited, and cover only 6 square miles in total. By virtue of its extreme isolation and because the vast majority of Chagos is uninhabited, the ecology of the territory is nearly pristine. Chagos represents a rare and iconic surviving example of nature as it should be. A place where human pressures do not conflict with environmental needs, which lead to degradation and impoverishment.