World is running out of sand with Illegal mining on a high
The importance of sand in the developing world cannot be neglected. We need it to build the houses we live in, make glasses we drink from and to create computers we work on, and yet it is being extracted faster than it can be replaced, say researchers.
In a study published in the journal Nature, a group of scientists highlighted the urgent need for a global agenda for sand, which is our most overlooked natural resource.
Rapid urbanisation and global population growth have fuelled the demand for sand and gravel, with between 32 and 50 billion tons extracted globally each year.
A lack of oversight and monitoring is leading to unsustainable exploitation, planning, and trade. Removal of sand from rivers and beaches has far-reaching impacts on ecology, infrastructure, national economies and the livelihoods of the three billion people who live along the world’s river corridors.