07 May 2019

Venue: International Environment House II (7-9 ch. de Balexert)

Organization: UNEP Global Resource Information Database Geneva, Geneva Environment Network

The launch of a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme, exploring sustainability challenges in sand extraction and consumption, took place at the International Environment House on Tuesday 7 May 2019, in an event organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network.

Growing populations, shifting consumption patterns, urbanization and other factors mean that demand for sand has increased three-fold over the last two decades. Global annual demand for sand and gravel stands at 40-50 billion tonnes, making them the second largest resource extracted and traded by volume after water. The extraction of sand and gravel from the seabed has led to pollution, flooding, the lowering of water aquifers, beach erosion and more frequent droughts. Unsustainable sand extraction also has social consequences, as it can hamper tourism and other livelihoods.

This report points to more effective management and regulation as demand for sand continues to grow. It comes weeks after the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a new resolution on mineral resource governance.


Bruno POZZI, Director, Europe Office, UN Environment Programme
Joyce MSUYA, acting Executive Director, UN Environment Programme

Presentation of the Report
Pascal PEDUZZI, Director, UN Environment Programme / GRID-Geneva

Short Film Screening “Sand mining threatens ways of life, from Cambodia to Nigeria”

Discussing the Report
Laura PLATCHKOV, Policy Advisor, International Affairs, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Louise GALLAGHER, Principal Investigator, University of Geneva & GRID-Geneva



The event was live on Facebook.