This is an excerpt of an article posted on 8 February 2011 on Dredging Today.com.
Singapore, one of the world’s most prosperous and fastest growing economies, is being accused of expanding its coastline with illegally dredged sand from neighboring states.
Singapore has been importing sand for years and its territory has increased by over 20% in the last half century, but sand imports are now threatening the regional ecosystem and harming its economy.
Singapore is one of the smallest 20 nations in the world and it is growing fast in every way, too.
A key global shipping hub, its vast port complexes have been relentlessly expanding in the sea due to land reclamation.
Professor Chou Loke Ming from the Biological Science Center of the National Institute of Singapore says, “We have been taking sand from our hills and then, when there are no more hills left, we have been dredging sand from sea beds, and now most of it is been imported from neighboring countries.”
Singapore is today the world’s largest importer of sand, literally the foundation of the tiny state’s extraordinary economic growth.
But with other countries in the region, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, banning sand exports, reclaiming more land has become a difficult task for this tiny island city-state. At least legally – there are some accusations that sand smuggling is making up the shortfall.
To read on, click here.