Sand: the new gold

sand-denis-delestrac
“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” Award-Winning Filmmaker: Denis Delestrac. ©-2013

Excerpts;

Il s’agit de la ressource naturelle la plus utilisée dans le monde.Au Cambodge, son extraction a provoqué une catastrophe environnementale…

Translation:
This is one of the most consumed natural resources in the world. In cambodia, its mining as lead to an environmental catastrophe, while in Singapore sand has contributed to 24% of the island’s expansion.

Read Full Article; “Le sable, nouvel or jaune – Razzia sur le sable”; Les Echos (02-2018)

Built on Sand: Singapore and the New State of Risk; Harvard Design Magazine, (09-07-2015)
The island’s expansion has been a colossal undertaking. It is not merely a matter of coastal reclamation: Singapore is growing vertically as well as horizontally. This means that the nation’s market needs fine river sand—used for beaches and concrete—as well as coarse sea sand to create new ground…

Sand Storm: $750 Million Worth of The Material is Unaccounted For in Cambodia; RFA (11-02-2016)
Nearly 50 civil society organizations called for the Cambodian government to join some other Southeast Asian nations and ban or severely restrict exports of sand to Singapore after it was revealed that nearly $750 million worth of the building material has disappeared from the country…

Singapore’s data mirrors UN’s on Cambodia’s sand export numbers; The Phon Penh Post (10-19-2016)
Singaporean customs data on sand imports from Cambodia show near identical figures to those recorded by the UN, which last month were dismissed by a top official amid a reporting discrepancy in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The UN data showed $752 million in imports of sand from Cambodia since 2007, despite Cambodia reporting only about $5 million in exports to Singapore…

Cambodia digs into sand mining industry as beaches vanish, Reuters (11-05-2016)
Cambodian officials have promised to investigate problems in the sand mining business following complaints from fishermen that dredgers have been stealing the shore beneath their boats on an industrial scale…The ministry’s move came after the release of U.N. trade data compiled by campaigners this week, showing Singapore has imported more than 72 million tons of Cambodian sand since 2007…

Cambodia’s villagers lose ground – literally – to Singapore’s expansion; CSM (10-21-2016)
Singapore is buying tens of millions of tons of sand for its land reclamation projects. Their dredging is destroying Cambodia’s coastal mangrove forests, and fishermen’s livelihoods with them. But the villagers are pushing back…

Such Quantities of Sand, The Economist (07-27-2015)

Singapore Extends Its Coastlines With Illegally Dredged Sand, RT News Video (02-09-2011)

Global Witness, Shifting Sands, Singapore
Shifting Sand: how Singapore’s demand for Cambodian sand threatens ecosystems and undermines good governance

Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered species; Science (03-01-2018)
Across Asia, rampant extraction of sand for construction is eroding coastlines and scouring waterways. t’s a global concern, but especially acute in Asia, where all trends show that urbanization and the region’s big construction boom are going to continue for many years…

Sand Is in Such High Demand, People Are Stealing Tons of It, By Dave Roos; HowStuffWorks (03-06-2017)
As strange as it may sound, sand is one of the world’s hottest commodities. The global construction boom has created an insatiable appetite for sand, the chief ingredient for making concrete. The problem is that sand isn’t as abundant as it used to be. And when high demand and high value meets scarcity, you open the doors to smuggling…

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, By John R. Platt, TakePart (09-21-2016)
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste…

Tragedy of The Commons: Corrosive Growth of the Illegal Sand Mining Mafia; The Citizen (01-04-2016
Not many people may know that illegal sand mining is a nationwide phenomena in India, and with spurt in housing and infrastructure projects, the illegal sand mining is thriving beyond the ambit of formal economy and law and order. Sand is everywhere and so is the sand mafia…

Sand Thieves Are Eroding World’s Beaches For Castles Of Cash, by Martine Valo, Le Monde (09-2013)
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…

The Economist explains: Why there is a shortage of sand; The Economist (04-24-2017)
It may be plentiful, but so is the demand for it…

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
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.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about sand mining. “Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
“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…”
As of 2011-2012, when investigative filmmaker Denis Delestrac and team, were collecting and unveiling sand mining datas and information from the professionals involved, “…the sand business was estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!”—Denis Delestrac (©-2013)

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care


BE THE CHANGE:

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


Illegal beach and dune sand mining operations, near Tangier, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Tags:

Sand Mining

You can make a difference and help save our beaches

Learn simple things that you can do to help protect beaches starting with simply educating others about the beach thereby helping us celebrate the beauty of the world’s beaches.


Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


  • Sand Mining Resources

  • More / Sand Mining

    Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about

    May 26th, 2019

    The world’s largest and perhaps most destructive mining industry is rarely discussed. Approximately 85 percent of all material mined from the earth is a simple and widely available resource: sand. Because it is so cheap and readily available, it is mined by everyone from guy with a shovel, to multi-million dollar machine operations.

    Read More

    Against the grain: anger grows at spike in ‘sand graffiti’ by tourists in Japan

    May 20th, 2019

    Local authorities in Japan have drawn a line in the sand amid anger over a rise in graffiti by foreign tourists disfiguring its pristine coastal dunes.

    Read More

    Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance, UN

    May 8th, 2019

    With the global demand for sand and gravel standing at 40 to 50 billion tonnes per year, a new report by UN Environment reveals that aggregate extraction in rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence.

    Read More

    South Florida beach town getting emergency sand infusion

    April 24th, 2019

    Sand-starved Dania Beach is getting an emergency infusion of that gritty stuff that gets washed away every year. Sand by the truckload is being brought in and deposited on the northern half of the beach near the pier.

    Read More

    Coastal Conservation Plan Sparks Fight Over Sand

    March 26th, 2019

    Beach communities that rely on dredging to replenish protective dunes object to expanded federal protections. Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call sand mining.

    Read More

    Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

    February 27th, 2019

    After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself.

    Read More

    Private companies can no longer mine beaches in India

    February 21st, 2019

    Private beach sand miners can no longer mine the coasts of India, as per a Gazette notification by the Union Ministry of Mines which has just been made public.

    Read More

    Sand mining in a dune system, Chile

    February 19th, 2019

    This is a normal situation here in this side of the world: when the legal go beyond the logic…

    Read More

    Archive / Sand Mining