Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report GEA-March Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigative documentary takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: Learn More, Coastal Care. Illegal beach and dune sand mining operations, near Tangier, Morocco. Sand Mining , Sand Mining Resources.
Sign the petition to end global sand mining. The usefulness of sand depends on the science of each tiny little grain. We went on a sand scavenger hunt to collect some samples, look at them under a microscope, and try to figure out why sand scarcity is such a problem. Following Hurricane Harvey, the sand mining industry that has boomed along the San Jacinto River has come under fierce criticism. More and more Ugandan children drop out of school, lured into sand mining on the banks of River Nile in Busaana Sub-county, and joining what seems a lucrative venture to earn a living.
About 6 per cent of city is reclaimed land, and while extending the shoreline of a land-starved society seems ever more attractive, critics say it would not solve housing issues. At the same time, conservation groups such as WWF and Greenpeace say reclamation is environmentally catastrophic. In , the British business bank Barclays amended the popular adage that 'pride comes before a fall' with a study that shows that ' high-rises come before a fall ' - demonstrating that there is a strong chance of financial crashes following a boom in the construction of skyscrapers.
If you look past the palaces in Dubai and its sinking oil, water and construction sand reserves, then the question is not whether but when the desert will blast Dubai's bling into decor more suitable for an apocalyptic film. Nearly 6, km to the South East of Dubai is Singapore, which stockpiles sand.
It imports massive amounts of this resource and keeps it as a reserve, comparable to a strategic stock of oil. Initially, this was easy. Its neighbours sold it their sand. But in , Malaysia officially stopped selling sand to Singapore. Indonesia and Cambodia stopped in , and Vietnam in The entire international sand business became a political mine field.
Populations tend to dislike the idea of selling pieces of their country for the purpose of expanding another country, especially if violence against them and their environment is involved. In some cases, the export went underground.
But in , Malaysia officially stopped selling sand to Singapore. In some countries, the use of primary material is only allowed after the demolition waste is used up. Its neighbours sold it their sand. But a circular economy also needs energy. The sand series is part of Nick's new book the title of which translates to:
The non-governmental organisation Global Witness found that in Cambodia - the most corrupt country in South East Asia according to anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International - contracts worth millions were still ongoing, with officials involved. In practice, companies dig sand in vulnerable natural areas and local fishermen lose their key capital: Investigative reporting has shown that this happened in Vietnam , also as a result of the illegal export of sand to Singapore. The sand mafia also swept 24 Indonesian islands off the map to sell the sand in Singapore.
This caused a dispute over the exact location of the international border between Singapore and Indonesia. Singapore's sand story has occasionally made it to the news, but today it becomes ever more obvious that the scarcity of sand across the world is spreading and affecting all of us. The growing sand shortage is putting sand in the machine called 'industrial civilisation', and leading to deadly conflicts.
Sumaira Abdulali, 55, is now a public figure in India. The media call her the 'Minister of Noise' because of her activism against noise pollution in Mumbai. But she first became famous for her fight against the sand mafia. In , she noticed that the beach near her house in Alibaug, near Mumbai, was shrinking.
She heard trucks at night that she suspected were carting the sand away, and decided to take action. She called the police, took her car and drove to where the road ended at the beach. As she waited in her car for the police to arrive, the men present at the mining site pulled her out and assaulted her. She survived the beatings, but needed to be hospitalised. As she was beaten, one of the miners asked: Two years later, Abdulali started a lawsuit against the sand mafia in Maharashtra. In , the Bombay High Court banned sand mining: With more than 20 million inhabitants, Mumbai is also one of the 10 largest cities in the world - with a huge appetite for sand by its construction industry.
Despite that, the ban on sand mining remained in force until protective measures were turned into laws, which did not happen until Abdulali sums up the effects of sand extraction in India: Once Abdulali made a surreal video of a train crossing the Vaitarna railway bridge while machines were extracting sand from the riverbed. That bridge is in Virar, north of Mumbai, and the city's sole link to North India.
Last August, when the Mahad bridge , across the Savitri river, on the Mumbai-Goa highway collapsed, killing at least 28 people, several activists including Abdulali blamed the incident on sand mining on the riverbed.
Around that time, railway officials also admitted that they were concerned that the Vaitarna bridge's foundation had been weakened by illegal sand mining on the riverbed. A senior Western Railways officer told The Hindu newspaper:.
Due to the illegal sand mining, the flow of the Vaitarna has been altered, which is a dangerous sign for the bridge's health. In , Abdulali took a journalist and photographer on a field visit to Raigad - the Maharashtra district where the Mahad bridge is located - where sand extraction was in progress despite the ban. They pretended to be looking to buy land, but then filmed illegal and industrial exploitation of sand.
Their return to Mumbai did not go well. Their car was attacked and they were forced into a car chase on a dirt track, with two cars trying to push them into a ravine. Abdulali said that on the main road, a truck was also waiting to crash into them, but it also missed. I wanted to report an attempted murder attack, but they wanted to give me a speeding ticket! Once again, a powerful local politician controlled the illegal trade in sand.
The Bombay High court later severely criticised the police for the attack on Abdulali and her companions. Abdulali's story is unfortunately not an isolated case. In India, anti-sand mining activists are often physically attacked and even killed. Earlier this year, journalist Sandhya Ravishankar, who wrote a four-part series on illegal sand mining along Tamil Nadu's southern beaches, which was published in the online magazine The Wire , said that she had been receiving death threats and was facing online abuse, which she blamed on a sand-mining company that she had named in her reports.
She filed a complaint in connection with the threats and harassment with the Chennai police in March. Abdulali says that the people in control of the business usually make sure that they also get into the local village council, or at even higher political levels. For instance, the father of one of the men who beat her up in became a minister of state in Maharashtra. He claims he is out of the sand business now, but still owns the largest sand storage site. He has shifted his business interests to the next goldmine: Abdulali said that recycling construction material would help reduce the demand for new sand.
Lovely day yesterday BUY. Clovelly from the back of the beach BUY. North Bondi golds, earlier today BUY.
A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry roads and bridges are being undermined and beaches eroded. A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry. Illegal beach sand mining, near Tangier, Morocco.
Bondi yesterday - another busy one! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
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