- Consumer Information for SCP
- Sustainable Buildings and Construction
DATE: 13th October 2020
TIME: 15:00 CEST
What do governments, citizens and consumers need to know about sand and sustainability?
Why do we need to be talking about sand right now?
What are the economic and social challenges and opportunities around sustainable sand governance?
With the global demand for sand and gravel standing at 40 to 50 billion tonnes per year, aggregate extraction in rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence. Shifting consumption patterns, growing populations, increasing urbanization and infrastructure development have increased demand for sand three-fold over the last two decades. Further to this, damming and extraction have reduced sediment delivery from rivers to many coastal areas, leading to reduced deposits in river deltas and accelerated beach erosion.
Sand and gravel resources are the second-largest resource extracted and traded by volume after water. With sand extraction regulated differently around the world, important regions for biodiversity and ecosystems are made more vulnerable by challenges in the local implementation of these regulations. A growing trend of unsustainable and illegal extraction in marine, coastal and freshwater ecosystems makes this a sustainability challenge with a display of the various extraction impacts on terrestrial, riverine and marine environments.
Unsustainable sand extraction does not only impact the environment but can also have far-reaching social implications. Sand removal from beaches can jeopardize the development of the local tourism industry, while removing sand from rivers and mangrove forests leads to a decrease of crab populations—negatively affecting women whose livelihood depends on the collection of crabs.
To meet demand in a world of 10 billion people without harming the environment, effective policy, planning, regulation and management will be needed. The report Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for evironmental governance of global sand resources suggests a customization of existing standards and best practices to national circumstances. It also points towards investing in sand production and consumption measurement, monitoring and planning, and further suggests establishing dialogue between key players and stakeholders in the sand value chain based on transparency and accountability. (UNEP, 2019)
Join us on 13 October (3-4:30pm CET) for a discussion on the rising demand for sand and global calls for responsible mineral resource governance. The discussion will be moderated by Pascal Peduzzi, Director of the Global Resource Information Database (GRID), which transforms geospatial data into policy-relevant information and knowledge to support environmental decision making.
Built on Sand (99% Invisible, 2019)
Check out more of the webinar series
22 September 2020: Rebuilding better: South Africa's green and inclusive industrial policies
29 September 2020: Rebuilding Better: New materials and systems for resource efficient SMEs