In its latest assessment of 40 companies and 250 mine sites, the Responsible Mining Foundation highlights a striking disconnect between corporate commitments and mine site action on critically important ESG issues.
IDS GeoRadar launches Ai.DA, the AI based Software Monitoring Tool for an intelligent Support to Radar Data Interpretation
Pioneering the introduction of Artificial Intelligence in slope stability monitoring, Ai.DA exploits AI with smart radar data processing to support geotechnical professionals in decision-making.
Sweco to conduct Sustainability Transport Study and Project Management for Ghent-Dampoort in Belgium
Sweco has been commissioned by De Werkvennootschap to plan and design the tunnel under Ghent-Dampoort, including redevelopment of the station environment and the extension of several tram connections. The contract value is EUR 14.3 million.
Our use of Sand brings us “up against the Wall”, says UNEP Report
Cover of the report: Sand and Sustainability: 10 strategic recommendations to avert a crisis (Image: UNEP)
50 billion tons: enough to build a wall 27 metres wide and 27 metres high around planet Earth. This is the volume of sand and gravel used each year, making it the second most used resource worldwide after water. Given our dependency on it, sand must be recognised as a strategic resource and its extraction and use needs to be rethought, finds a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
- Strategic recognition for sand and actions across sectors needed, report urges
- Sand is the world’s second most exploited resource and must be wisely managed
- Legal changes, recycled building material, crushed rock and ‘ore-sand’ from mining, among solutions.
The report, Sand and Sustainability: 10 strategic recommendations to avert a crisis, released today by UNEP’s GRID-Geneva team, provides the necessary guidance gathered from world experts to switch to improved practices for the resource’s extraction and management.
Extracting sand where it plays an active role, such as rivers, and coastal or marine ecosystems, can lead to erosion, salination of aquifers, loss of protection against storm surges and impacts on biodiversity, which pose a threat to livelihoods through, among other things, water supply, food production, fisheries, or to the tourism industry.
According to the report’s authors, sand must be recognised as a strategic resource, not only as a material for construction, but also for its multiple roles in the environment. They stress that governments, industries and consumers should price sand in a way that recognises its true social and environmental value. For example, keeping sand on coasts may be the most cost-effective strategy for adapting to climate change due to how it protects against storm surges and impacts from sea level rise - such services should be factored into its value.
An international standard on how sand is extracted from the marine environment should also be developed, the report proposes. This could bring about dramatic improvements as most marine dredging is done through public tenders open to international companies. Meanwhile, the report recommends that the extraction of sand from beaches be banned due to its importance for coastal resilience, the environment and the economy.
“To achieve sustainable development, we need to drastically change the way we produce, build and consume products, infrastructures and services. Our sand resources are not infinite, and we need to use them wisely. If we can get a grip on how to manage the most extracted solid material in the world, we can avert a crisis and move toward a circular economy,” said Pascal Peduzzi, Director of GRID-Geneva at UNEP and overall programme coordinator for this report.
Infrastructure, homes, food and nature at stake
Sand is critical to economic development, needed to produce concrete and build vital infrastructure ranging from homes and roads to hospitals. By providing habitats and breeding grounds for diverse flora and fauna, sand also plays a vital function in supporting biodiversity, including marine plants that act as carbon sinks or filter water. The resource will be crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. However, it is being used faster than it can be naturally replenished, so its responsible management is crucial.
A circular economy is within reach
The authors note that solutions exist for moving towards a circular economy for sand, including banning the landfilling of mineral waste and encouraging sand to be reused in public procurement contracts are among the policy measures cited. Crushed rock or recycled construction and demolition material, as well as ‘ore-sand’ from mine tailings are among the viable alternatives to sand that should also be incentivised, the report details.
They add that new institutional and legal structures are needed for sand to be more effectively governed and best practices shared and implemented. Sand resources must furthermore be mapped, monitored and reported on, the report recommends. Meanwhile, all stakeholders must be involved in decisions related to the management of sand to allow for place-based approaches and avoid one-size-fits-all solutions, the paper stresses.
The report follows a resolution on Mineral resource governance adopted at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) that called for actions on sustainable sand management. This mandate was confirmed at UNEA-5 in 2022 in the new resolution titled Environmental aspects of minerals and metals management, adopted by all member states.
Source: UN Environment Programme
Approximately 500 km north of the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, a new recreation area is currently being established by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), at the Red Sea as part of the “Red Sea Islands Project” that will combine nature, culture and adventure.
Inspections of Flexible Protection Systems against Natural Hazards – Using and passing on Special Knowledge
Inspections of flexible protection systems against natural hazards are becoming increasingly important. Geobrugg passes on its knowledge in socalled CONSIS courses to keep the function of structures...
As a result of demographic trends and the huge challenge that climate change has brought to society many of the companies involved in the geotechnical engineering, tunnel construction and mineral ex...
Wired rock-pressure measuring systems are not rated as suitable for the long-term monitoring of abandoned salt mines as they are expensive, technically complex and lacking in functional reliability....
28.11.2023 - 30.11.2023
12.12.2023 - 13.12.2023
14.12.2023 - 15.12.2023
14.12.2023 - 15.12.2023
World’s longest Railway Tunnel Project – supported by innovative Conveyor Digitalisation and reliable Engineering
17. October 2022 (1952 Clicks)
The consortium BTC Brennero Tunnel Construction and the Hosch Group jointly delivered on a world-class tunnelling project by combining excellent engineering with the innovative remote monitoring system Hoschiris Discover.
02. April 2019 (12932 Clicks)
Das Buch 6 der Reihe „Dokumentation der technischen Entwicklung bei der RAG“ stellt die Entwicklung der Management- und Bildungssysteme für technische Prozesse, also z.B. zur Effizienzsteigerung, zum Arbeits-, Gesundheits- und Umweltschutz sowie zur Ausbildung und beruflichen Fortbildung, bei der RAG dar.
27.11.2023 (216 Clicks)
01.11.2023 (161 Clicks)