A report on Sand and Sustainability released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is based on finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources. It is highlighting a major problem that has always stayed under the radar which is the sand consumption has been increasing globally and at rates exceeding natural replenishment rates we are extracting it. The China and India head the list of critical hotspots for sand extraction impacts in rivers, lakes and on coastlines as noted by the report.
The report says, after water, Sand and gravel are the second largest natural resources extracted and traded by volume, but among the least regulated. It is our responsibility to acknowledge that this is one of the major sustainability challenges of the century. The report says in order to stop environmentally damaging practices, we must answer complex questions on how we reduce demand to responsible levels so that we can protect sensitive ecosystems and meet biodiversity conservation goals.
By slow geological processes sand is created, and its distribution is not even. The desert sand which is available in plenty, is not at all suited for construction use because it is wind-smoothed, and therefore non-adherent.