See how the controversial plantations boomed in the desert
maraichage_du_sahara_2005-2016.jpg

Based on assessments of satelite images, WSRW has calculated how the plantations in occupied Western Sahara developed from 2003 until today.
Published: 18.07 - 2016 12:01Printer version    
The pictures above show the plantation Sté Maraîchage du Sahara 3 at location N 23°36'14.07” W 15°47'28.12” in occupied Western Sahara, for the years 2005, 2010 and 2016. Photos: Google Earth.

WSRW today publishes the research note ‘The expansion of plantation infrastructure in occupied Western Sahara, 2003-2016’ where we estimate the development of each of the 12 plantations in the territory Morocco holds under occupation.

Download the study here.

The study is done by visual analysis of three sets of satellite images provided by Google Earth, with three different sets of photos: from 2003/2004/2005, from 2010/2011/2012 and from 2016.

It shows that approximately 1000 hectares are today under plantation in occupied Western Sahara. Several of the plantations are also said to have been investing heavily since the last set of satellite photos were taken in February this year.

ngjir_340.jpgThis research note contains two main findings:
  • There is a continued growth of the plantation acreage. WSRW found a large increase in infrastructure from 2003-2005 (150 ha) to the years 2010-2012 (841 ha). Since then, the acreage has increased even more (963 ha in 2016). As the present analysis is made with conservative figures, the acreage is probably larger.
  • There is a remarkable timing of the first boom in infrastructure. The large increase of infrastructure at the time when Morocco and the EU were negotiating a trade agreement, suggests that the Moroccan government and the Moroccan/French companies involved had expected the trade agreement to go through. After all, the EU is the main market for the agriculture products grown in Dakhla. From the first to the second image set, the number of plantations increased from 4 to 12.

    In 2012 WSRW published the report ‘Label and Liability - How the EU turns a blind eye to falsely stamped agricultural products made by Morocco in occupied Western Sahara’. The now published research note adds to the findings of that initial study. Even though no state in the world recognises Morocco's claims to the territory, the EU presently applies the agreement with Morocco to goods coming from a territory which is outside of the internationally recognised borders of Morocco. On 10 December 2015, the Court of Justice of the EU ordered set aside the agreement insofar as it allowed products from Western Sahara into the EU on a free trade basis. There are no indications that the EU, Morocco, the exporters or the importers are honouring the court's decision from 2015.

    19 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union is hearing the two parties in the court case Frente Polisario v. European Council. The EU appealed he decision of the first instance over technicalities: that the court has no mandate to express itself on such international matters, and that Polisario could not be granted a right to speak on behalf of the people of the territory in an EU court.

    Morocco invaded parts of Western Sahara in 1975, against the opinion of the International Court of Justice.

    All plantations are also made available via this Google Earth file (requires your computer has Google Earth installed).


  •     

    Top

    News archive:
    17.05 - 2018Exclusive: Here are the Moroccan groups that the EU consulted
    03.05 - 2018Camel researchers move event from Western Sahara to Morocco
    26.04 - 2018Vincent Piket, 25 April 2018, ALDE seminar on EU-Morocco relations
    24.04 - 2018New report on contentious Western Sahara phosphate trade
    16.04 - 2018Polisario will take EU Council to Court over fish deal
    10.04 - 2018UN study on Morocco's green energy plans fails at geography
    26.02 - 2018EU risks recognising Western Sahara products as Moroccan
    20.03 - 2018Does OPEC consider Western Sahara to be part of Morocco?
    01.03 - 2018What is HeidelbergCement doing in occupied Western Sahara?
    01.03 - 2018Confirmed: Innophos key client of Western Sahara phosphate rock




    EN ES FR DE AR

    Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
    EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies

    tn_law_hammer.jpg

    It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
    Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

    tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

    Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
    Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

    tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

    Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
    Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

    tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

    At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.

    WSRW.org News Archive 2018
    WSRW.org News Archive 2017
    WSRW.org News Archive 2016
    WSRW.org News Archive 2015
    WSRW.org News Archive 2014
    WSRW.org News Archive 2013
    WSRW.org News Archive 2012
    WSRW.org News Archive 2011
    WSRW.org News Archive 2010
    WSRW.org News Archive 2009
    WSRW.org News Archive 2008
    WSRW.org News Archive 2007
    WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


    Register for our English newsletter:









    These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy