Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Sand, rarer than one thinks Newsletter

Peduzzi, Pascal
Publisher / Organisation
UNEP Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS)
sand, resource, global, international, illegal, beach
Conclusion: Sand and gravel represent the highest volume of raw material used on earth after water. Their use greatly exceeds natural renewal rates. Moreover, the amount being mined is increasing exponentially, mainly as a result of rapid economic growth in Asia (UNEP and CSIRO, 2011). Negative effects on the environment are unequivocal and are occurring around the world. The problem is now so serious that the existence of river ecosystems is threatened in a number of locations (Kondolf, 1997; Sreebha and Padmalal, 2011). Damage is more severe in small river catchments. The same applies to threats to benthic ecosystems from marine extraction (Krause et al., 2010; Desprez et al., 2010; Boyd et al., 2005). A large discrepancy exists between the magnitude of the problem and public awareness of it. The absence of global monitoring of aggregates extraction undoubtedly contributes to the gap in knowledge, which translates into a lack of action. As this issue is truly a major emerging one, there is a need for in-depth research. The implementation of a monitoring mechanism regarding global aggregate extractions and trade would shed light on the magnitude of this issue and bridge the current data and knowledge gap (Velegrakis et al., 2010). This would also raise this issue on the political agenda and perhaps lead to an international framework to improve extraction governance, as the current level of political concern clearly does not match the urgency of the situation.