UNEP spotlights sand

Sand drying

Photo: Kristina Kallur OUAW

Sand is a hot topic! Yesterday UNEP, the United Nations Environment Program released a report about Sand. It spotlights sustainability challenges in sand use and extraction. Way to go UNPD!

Sand might seem to be ever-present but is in fact scarce. The report wants to start a global conversation on sand extraction. OUAW aim to do the very same, to initiate a conversation about challenges connected to sand. About its use, about sand extraction and foremost about sustainable alternatives.

Sand is a major component in building-constructions, in infrastructure and in land reclamation. Sand might seem to be ever-present but is in fact scarce. Why not use sand from the abundant sand dunes in sand deserts like the Sahara, you might think. At least I did when first hearing about the world running out of sand. Well, it turns out that desert sand grains are round, shaped by strong winds and time. In comparison sand from water deposits, in or around rivers and the sea, have an angular shape. And with today’s technique, it’s easier to construct and form with angular grains. Do you remember as a child how difficult it was to build high towers with round rocks or marbles compared to with building blocks or angular items? The basic idea is the same.

How can new or other technique buildings and infrastructure be made with new or other techniques and how can sand be extracted, used or reused in a sustainable way? There are so many smart, engaged and innovative minds out there on our globe. If the right ones meet disruptive and great ideas will follow. It’s all about connections and conversations.

Do you have ideas or interest in joining in a joint effort of arranging a sand conference? If yes, please connect!

https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/rising-demand-sand-calls-resource-governance

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