The Calheta Beach is a beach located near the town Calheta, on the island of Madeira, Portugal.
Calheta beach is one of the few sandy beaches of Madeira, with sand imported from North Africa. However, these sand-imports were quite controversial, as the sand was taken from Western Sahara, a Non-Self Governing Territory which has been largely occupied by Morocco since 1975. The imports are considered to be a violation of international law, as the consent of the people of the territory is required in the exploitation of the territory’s resources.
The Madeira officials have neglected to consult the Saharawi people on the sand purchases and instead opted to engage in business with Morocco. The latest confirmed shipments from occupied Western Sahara to Calheta took place in 2010.