Sand Wars
Sand Wars
Sand Wars
Sand Wars
Green Planet Films

Sand Wars

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Sand Wars presents a sobering look at how economic, ecologic, and social forces are combining to put a serious dent in the underappreciated resource that is sand.
- Pamela J. Hines, Science Magazine May 2014

A timely expośe of a pressing environmental problem. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- F. Gardner, Video Librarian July 2014

Sand Wars is a surprising investigation into one of the most consumed natural resources on the planet. Due to the high demand for sand, the planet’s reserves are being threatened. Three-quarters of the world’s beaches are in decline and bound to disappear as victims of erosion, or of sand smuggling.

Triggered by building construction, smuggling bands, or “sand mafias,” plunder beaches and rivers for this highly prized commodity. Sand has quietly infiltrated every corner of our world. Melted and transformed into glass, it sits on every shelf. It is also the source of silicon dioxide, a mineral found in our wines, cleaning products and detergents, paper, dehydrated foods, toothpaste, cosmetics and an astounding variety of other products we use on a daily basis.

Houses, skyscrapers, bridges, airports, and sidewalks are all partially comprised of sand. It is an elementary particle that is the foundation of our modern development. Sand is seen as a free material, a staple of holidays spent on the shore, in unlimited supply. But is this omnipresent material inexhaustible? Can the available quantity match an ever-increasing demand that is constantly fed by the need for human lodging and expansion? What will be the consequences of sand extraction on the environment and life on the planet? Sand Wars will take us around the world to witness this new gold rush firsthand.

Film Locations

France, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Morocco, Singapore, USA (FL, NC, CA), United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

Written and directed by Denis Delestrac.

Produced by Guillaume Rappeneau, Laurent Mini, Karim Samaï and Nathalie Barton.

2013  |  52 minutes  |  Closed Captioned


 

SAND WARS inspires 15-page report by the 

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Sand, rarer than one thinks
Thematic focus: Ecosystem management, Environmental governance, Resource efficiency

Sand and gravel are mined world-wide and account for the largest volume of solid material extracted globally. Formed by erosive processes over thousands of years, they are now being extracted at a rate far greater than their renewal. Furthermore, the volume being extracted is having a major impact on rivers, deltas and coastal and marine ecosystems, results in loss of land through river or coastal erosion, lowering of the water table and decreases in the amount of sediment supply. Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.

Author's note: "The idea for this publication came from the film documentary “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition,” (Sand Wars) directed by Denis Delestrac and broadcast on Arte channel on May 28, 2013."