Sand, a global sustainability challenge: UN report

Prelims level : Mains level : How Sand play important role in ecological balance.
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  • The riverbeds of Nagavali and Gostani, in Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The report notes that China and India head the list of critical hotspots for sand extraction impacts in rivers, lakes and on coastlines.


  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday released a report, Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources, that highlights a problem that has largely stayed under the radar: sand consumption globally has been increasing and we are extracting it at rates exceeding natural replenishment rates.
  • Sand and gravel, the report says, are the second largest natural resources extracted and traded by volume after water, but among the least regulated. We must acknowledge that this is “one of the major sustainability challenges of the century,” it says, and we must answer complex questions on how we reduce demand to responsible levels and stop environmentally damaging practices to protect sensitive ecosystems and meet biodiversity conservation goals.
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