Overseas Territories White Paper June 2012

On 28 June 2012, the FCO published its Overseas Territories White Paper entitled: "The Overseas Territories - Security, Success and Sustainability - June 2012".
The full report and the pages from the Annex giving the Background Information on BIOT are reproduced below under the Open Government Licence (OGL).
For an official document, there are some embarrassing errors. It is stated that: "The constitution of the BIOT is set out in the British Indian Ocean Territory Order 1976. The 1976 Order gives the Commissioner full power to make laws for the Territory."
This is incorrect. The 1976 Order was repealed and replaced by the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004.
On page 40 there is also a Case Study for the BIOT. A recent publication ('Review' paper - 2012) by the BIOT Environment Adviser states that "Chagos provides 25% of reefs in the 'low threat' category" for the Indian Ocean. This contrasts with the figure here of "half of all the reefs of this ocean which remain in good condition". As the publication points out, estimating areas and percentages in different categories is difficult, but it would certainly appear that in the White Paper this attribute of the Chagos has been overstated.
R P Dunne,
Jun 29, 2012, 12:59 AM