Imagine that you have been hired as an arbitrator in a legal dispute between the government of Tanzania, a U.S.-based petroleum company, and an environmental advocacy organization (e.g., Greenpeace, Earth System Governance Project, United Nations Environment Programme, etc.). At dispute is the financial and moral obligation of the petroleum company to terminate coastal oil exploration that is polluting the local fishing waters in the Indian Ocean. The Tanzanian government benefits financially from the exploration, with the promise of great riches if vast oil reserves are discovered. As a poor, third-world country, Tanzania desperately needs these revenues to provide basic subsistence (food, medicine, shelter) to its citizens. Legally, the petroleum country has broken no domestic or international laws; the environmental advocacy group, however, has made legal claims to the contrary, suggesting that the petroleum company, at the least, has violated international law by risking the economic livelihoods of local fishermen in Tanzania and in the neighboring countries of Kenya, Somalia, and Mozambique. The advocacy group further claims that the petroleum company has violated the basic principles of “Earth stewardship” by delaying humanity’s movement away from dependence on fossil fuels.
Construct an essay that responds to the following:
Briefly outline both the valid and questionable positions of each party, and suggest ways that each party might find common ground in a mutually acceptable resolution to this dispute.
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