The Deadly Global War for Sand

Posted In Inform, Sand Mining
Mar
26

sand-miner-mumbai-india
Encounter with an illegal sand miner, Mumbai.
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand…” Captions and Photograph by “Sand Wars” Filmmaker: © Denis Delestrac

Excerpts;

The mafia, as people called them, had for years been robbing the village of a coveted natural resource, one of the most sought-after commodities of the 21st century: sand.

That’s right. Paleram Chauhan was killed over sand. And he wasn’t the first, or the last…”

Apart from water and air, humble sand is the natural resource most consumed by human beings. People use more than 40 billion tons of sand and gravel every year. There’s so much demand that riverbeds and beaches around the world are being stripped bare…

Read Full Article, WIRED

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Denis Delestrac
Sand: Most of us think of it as a complimentary ingredient of any beach vacation. Yet those seemingly insignificant grains of silica surround our daily lives.
Is sand an infinite resource? 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?
Based on encounters with sand smugglers, barefoot millionaires, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this investigation takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “SAND WARS” have begun…

Sand Thieves Are Eroding World’s Beaches For Castles Of Cash, by Martine Valo, Le Monde
The pillaging of sand is a growing practice in the world. This is because it represents 80% of the composition of concrete that it is the object of such greed…

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report
Sand and gravel are mined world-wide and account for the largest volume of solid material extracted globally. Formed by erosive processes over thousands of years (John, 2009), they are now being extracted at a rate far greater than their renewal. Furthermore, the volume being extracted is having a major impact on rivers, deltas and coastal and marine ecosystems (Figure 1), results in loss of land through river or coastal erosion, lowering of the water table and decreases in the amount of sediment supply. 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.


BE THE CHANGE:

PETITION: Take Action To End Global Beach Sand Mining, Coastal Care

beach-sand-mining-maroc
Illegal sand mining, coastal Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

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