The greenwashing of Africa's last colony: the case of Western Sahara

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Byron, Jessica
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After 42 years of occupation, the Western Sahara conflict remains unresolved. As the Moroccan occupation has taken roots in the region without any effective action being taken by international actors, civil society has taken upon itself to bridge this gap. For years, associations have attempted to highlight the illegality of the plunder of Saharawi resources. Thanks to their actions, a number of companies have taken the decision to withhold their investments in sign of protest. However, over the past few years, a new challenge has arisen in the form of the exploitation of renewable resources. Indeed, the legal arguments that had been heavily relied upon until then to demonstrate the unlawfulness of these actions relied on the depletion of Saharawi resources. In the case of renewable resources, the same rational cannot be applied and corporations have attempted to use this loophole to their advantage. This paper will provide an alternative legal reasoning to tackle this new form of exploitation and will then proceed to applying this rational the case study of Siemens and wind farming as well as eco-tourism in the Dakhla Bay.
Second semester University: University of Helsinki
renewable sources, tourism, environment, corporate responsibility, Western Sahara, Morocco, natural resources