Sand stories

The internet is a wonderful means of keeping up-to-date on global issues, and, as this past week the cohort has been looking at social media, it is through its use that I often discover supportive information.

I want to start to get under the skin of the sand crisis and the Twitter feed of one of the people who inadvertently helped to spark my Harena Now lightbulb moment provides a wonderful way to keep learning.

Vince Beiser has shared in the past two weeks three articles that have provided further in-depth reading about how sand mining and its effects are viewed in some of the places this industry is active.

One related to the government of Antigua and Barbuda stating that the continuation of sand mining ‘will not cause adverse effects to the environment’ in Barbuda. Apparently claims have been made that Barbuda will vanish beneath the sea if sand mining continues but the government is determined to continue mining locally to ensure a larger runway and a new pier for cargo and cruise ships can be built. Without researching this in detail, I can not say if sand mining is effecting this area in particular, but given the evidence of other locations I would surmise it might. What did seem clear is that profit is yet again driving relentless sand mining, although the Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst is quoted as saying: “…we just have to be more intelligent with the places where we mine the sand so that we don’t do significant harm to the environment, …”.

I have also discovered The Conversation and its September article on this topic. Written by academics, the article, The world is facing a global sand crisis, addresses a number of complex issues and ends with the suggestion that: “As long as national regulations are lightly enforced, harmful effects will continue to occur. We believe that the international community needs to develop a global strategy for sand governance, along with global and regional sand budgets. It is time to treat sand like a resource, on a par with clean air, biodiversity and other natural endowments that nations seek to manage for the future“.

Below is an image, taken from the above article, that shows how sand mining can impact on an area.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.43.19

Through news stories and academic articles, I aim to underpin my response to this issue. But I am also contacting as many people as possible who have an interest in this issue to discover if there could be any synergy between our work, or if they are willing to share advice as the topic gains pace.

Each time I read a new comment, post or article, it becomes more apparent that this environmental subject is beginning to gain the traction it needs in the minds of the public to garner change for the better.




Antigua Newsroom. ‘Barbuda Sand Mining Important To Economy, Hurst Says’. Available at: [accessed October 16, 2017]

The Conversation. ‘The world is facing a global sand crisis’. Available at: [accessed October 16, 2017]

Vince Beiser’s Twitter feed. Available via: [accessed October 16, 2017]