Effect of sand mining on biodiversity.
Bombay Natural History Society and Awaaz Foundation, India
Date and Time
17 October 2014 13:15 - 14:45
Sand mining is a neglected but serious environmental hazard affecting beaches, creeks and rivers all over the world. Rampant sand mining destroys environment and bio diversity, affects water security and causes land erosion. Developing countries like India, Cambodia and other Asian countries consider sand as a free and abundant natural resource which is practically inexhaustible. Sand is necessary for construction and drives the construction boom on which rapid development is dependent; often mafias form around the illegal sand mining trade. In this unregulated activity, violence against opposition is prevalent and environmental damage is discounted. Sand is commonly mined from river-beds and river banks, in creeks, beaches and on the sea bed. These locations are particularly sensitive to environmental damage and support highly bio diverse environmental including wetlands, sand dunes, coral reefs and beaches. Both marine and terrestrial flora and fauna suffer and mining also affects recreational, fishing and agricultural activities. Important Bird Areas are also affected by sand mining, destroying the natural habitat on which migratory and other birds are dependent. The adverse effects are further aggravated since most major cities and/or recreational areas are located on water-fronts, already under threat from global events such as climate change. Awaaz Foundation (India) and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS India) took up the issue of coastal sand mining in CoP11 for the first time in any international forum and have made representations to the CBD to include sand mining in its formal Agenda. This side event in CoP12 will bring to the forefront the issue of the adverse effects of sand mining on biodiversity all over the world including in the US, Cambodia, India and several other countries, particularly in Important Bird Areas.