Sand mining, a global crisis affecting the environment on a serious level, you have probably never heard of

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A boat is stranded on the Poyang Lake in east China, site of one of the world’s biggest sand mines, Image: Xinhua/Barcroft Images

Unnerved by the damage to a waterway that provides water to 400 million people; Chinese authorities banned sand mining on the Yangtze in 2000. That sent the miners swarming to Poyang Lake.

Not only Lake Poyang, all around the world, riverbeds and beaches are being stripped bare and farmlands and forests torn up to get at the precious sand grains. It’s a worldwide crisis that nobody addresses as much as it should be.

The main driver of this crisis is our era’s unprecedented urban growth. Cities are expanding at a pace and on a scale far greater than at any time in human history. The number of people living in urban areas has more than quadrupled since 1950, to about 4 billion today, reported The Guardian. According to UN, more than half of the world’s people now live in cities – with another 2.5 billion to come in the next three decades.

The Guardian reports, “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.”

In the past few years, China has used more cement than the US used in the entire 20th century.

To read more click here.

Sourced from The Guardian, Featured image courtesy: caixin.com

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