Published on 30 Apr 2024

Earth Day Interview with Asst Prof Edward Park on Sand Mining

In light of the Earth Day commemoration programme (18 April 2024), Asst Prof Edward Park from NIE was engaged by the Environmental Education Team at Millenia Institute for a dialogue on Singapore’s impact and significance in influencing sand mining in countries in the region. Today, Singapore is the world’s foremost importer of sand, and its model of growth continues to depend on sand imported from its neighbours in Southeast Asia.

However, there is a need to scrutinize the sand supply chain due to widespread illegal sand mining. Asst Prof Park highlighted the deleterious environmental impacts of sand mining on rivers and coasts as well as the communities and ecosystems around them. For instance, the extraction of sand disturbs the river bed and reduces the sunlight penetrating into the water. This affects photosynthesis and reduces the production of oxygen needed by aquatic life.

What can youths do about this? Asst Prof Park emphasised the importance for continued education and advocacy towards environmental issues in Southeast Asia. This forms the foundation to seed into present and future generations consciousness and conscience to ensure decisions in daily life contribute to a sustainable future.