Sand mining in China, E. Asia

An interesting report here from Business Insider.

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“… In India, the amount of construction sand used annually has more than tripled since 2000, and is still rising fast. There is so much demand for certain types of construction sand that Dubai, which sits on the edge of an enormous desert, imports sand from Australia….

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(Photo from the same BI article)

Closer to shore, in places such as coastal Cambodia, dredging threatens important mangrove forests, seagrass beds and endangered species like Irrawaddy and spinner dolphins, and the royal turtle. On land, sand miners have devoured whole swaths of beach, from Jamaica to Russia.

The most dramatic impact of ocean sand mining is surely felt in Indonesia, where sand miners have completely erased at least two dozen islands since 2005. The stuff of those islands mostly ended up in Singapore, which needs titanic amounts to continue its programme of artificially adding territory by reclaiming land from the sea. The city-state has created an extra 20 square miles in the past 40 years and is still adding more, making it by far the world’s largest sand importer. The demand has denuded beaches and river beds in neighbouring countries to such an extent that Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have all restricted or banned the export of sand to Singapore.”

This is a big problem indeed for non-archipelagic countries like China and India. They have limited access to the coastal areas, so they must get the sand from inland water like rivers and lakes.

In the PH, there have been many reports of black sand mining in Zambales, Ilocos provinces involving China dredgers and boats. The stolen sand may have been brought to the China mainland or its artificial islands in the SCS/WPS.

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