The conversation around phosphate imported from the disputed area of the Western Sahara continues. After having spoken to one of the two companies who are the last two companies in the western world that continue to trade with Morocco (listen here to Ballance Agri-Nutrients who were the only company that agreed to a phone interview - Lillian is continuing to source information from Ravensdown), Lillian was intent on understanding the legal implications of this.
Kamal Fadel, who is based in Australia, is a spokesperson for Polisario Front - Western Sahara’s independence movement. Kamal had stated last week the group was looking into legal action against the companies in New Zealand. Lillian reached out to Kamal over Twitter to see if she could speak with him about this and it turned out he was in New Zealand for the next couple of days. Kamal had actually been part of organising Tecber’s talking tour, who we heard from for Part I of this series, and they had taken the rare opportunity of having someone from the Western Sahara visiting New Zealand to meet with government officials and attend conferences. When Lillian contacted Kamal, he was speaking at an event for the NZ Institute of International Affairs the following day. Lillian went along to the talk last minute and managed to introduce herself there - Kamal then agreed to come into the bFM studios for a discussion. They ended up discussing the legality of Morocco's invasion and continued occupation, the rights that exist for non-self-governing territories, and why there are plenty of good reasons for the NZ companies to stop being involved in the trading of 'stolen goods'. First up, Lillian asked what Polisario Front is.
-Forbes List 'King of Rock' reference
-CSPB research to halt the import of Western Saharan phosphate:
"CSBP also completed design work and started fabrication of a regenerative thermal oxidiser that will broaden supply options for the superphosphate manufacturing operation at Kwinana and help reduce dependence on phosphate rock from Western Sahara." Pg. 47
"The two other Australian importers of phosphate from Western Sahara, Wesfarmers (through its subsidiary CSBP) and Impact Fertilisers, divested from the region in 2009 and 2012, respectively."
-Nauru example given by Kamal explanation:
"Nauruans’ experiences of a resource curse from mining phosphate stands, as a case study of retarded development. Nauru was much adulated in the press in the early 20th century as an example of a small island that became wealthy through mining. The high grade phosphate that covered four fifths of the island was considered by outsiders as a very lucrative resource that had to be mined, particularly as fertilizer to enhance the pastures of Australia and New Zealand. The development of Nauru has been misinterpreted by attributions of wealth to Nauruans when most of the profits from mining accrued to the mining agencies. Sales of phosphate yielded far greater development to Australian agriculture than to Nauruan owners of the resource. Meanwhile the small island surface of Nauru underwent gradual destruction of its interior retarding any developments, economic or humanitarian."
This is Part III in a series, you can listen to the others here:
Photo credit: The Economist