Protesting UN inaction to violence in the Occupied Territories at MINURSO HQs, Tifariti, October 25, 2010 (photo: Kirby Gookin)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

General Statistics: Demographics, Natural Resources, Economy, etc.

New Internationalist Magazine: Special Issue on WS (December 1997)

Oil (
Phosphates (
    and Fred Pearce: Phosphate: A Critical Resource
Fisheries: (
Fisheries: (FishElswhere)
Agriculture (

Further Reading (
Mulay Hafid- Smara-Blog (scroll to bottom half)
         (has numerous links to governmental & commercial interests involving oil & gas licensing, etc.)
PHOSPHOROUS: "The Gravest Natural Resource Shortage You’ve Never Heard Of.”  
The United Nations Population Fund announced that the world’s population hit 7 billion people on October 31, 2011.   Predictions for future growth are anticipated to hit 8 billion by 2025 and 16 billion by 2100.  Environmental journalist Elizabeth Kolbert responded to this declaration by assessing “the world’s ability to provide for all these additional people.”  Her conclusion is that success will rely on efficiencies in agriculture.  However, these efficiencies are threatened by increased shortages in such “essential commodities” as oil, water, arable land and phosphorous:
“Part of what made the first green revolution possible was a sharp increase in the use of phosphorous-rich fertilizers.  Thanks to this increased use, experts say, reserves of phosphorous are now being exhausted. Foreign Policy has called this ‘the gravest natural resource shortage you’ve never heard of.’ ” ["Billions and Billions," New Yorker, October 24, 2011, p 22]. 

For more on the environmental, economic and political role that phosphates and phosphate mining plays internationally and in Western Sahara see Fred Pearce's excellent article: "Phosphate: A Critical Resource Misused and Now Running Low." (  July 7, 2011)

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