The supply of sand, a precious but little appreciated natural resource, is likely to pose “big problems” in the future, says a climatologist.
Will humanity soon run out of the second most important natural resource after water, which is sand? This is what the results of a videoconference discussion of experts on the subject recently organized by the British think-tank Chatham House in partnership with the World Sand Observatory suggest.
“We simply believe that sand is everywhere. We never thought we were running out of sand, but it starts in some places,” warned Pascal Peduzzi, a climatologist at the United Nations Environment Programme, who was quoted by CNBC, during the webinar.
“If we don’t look to the future, if we don’t anticipate, we’re going to have big problems with sand supply as well as land-use planning,” he explained, still quoted by the American chain.
Abundant but finite resource
Recognizing the existence of the problem and the lack of attention paid to it on a global scale, the specialist calls for a change of attitude towards this material.
Acknowledging the existence of the problem and the lack of attention paid to it on a global scale, the specialist calls for a change of attitude towards this material.
“Is it time to panic? Well, it certainly won’t help, but it’s time to take a look and change our perception of sand,” says Peduzzi.
Although “abundant” globally, sand is a “limited” resource, given the speed at which it is being consumed, which far outstrips the rate at which it is replenished, says the Chatham House site.
It is all the more so because industrialization, population growth and urbanization are only fuelling demand.