A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry, writes Nick Meynen. China alone is importing a billion tonnes of sand a year, and its increasing scarcity is leading to large scale illegal mining and deadly conflicts. With ever more sand fetched from riverbeds, shorelines and sandbanks, roads and bridges are being undermined and beaches eroded. And the world's sand wars are only set to worsen.
Meet the man securing justice for the Dongira tribe's sacred hills...in the first of her profiles of two of this year's winners, SOPHIE MORLIN-YRON interviews the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia
Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.'
As China pursues a startling array of energy, mining, logging, agricultural, transport and other infrastructure projects on virtually every continent, it is having an unprecedented impact on the planet, writes William Laurance. It's not that China is any worse than historic colonial powers - the difference is in the sheer scale and pace of environmental destruction, and the total lack of oversight under which Chinese mega-corporations operate.
Mining was imposed on the Salvadoran people as a dream industry to aid development, create jobs and yield taxes to pay for schools and hospitals, write Ricardo Navarro & Sam Cossar-Gilber. But the reality was a nightmare of polluted water, stolen farmland, corporate violence, and murder. After a long campaign, El Salvador has just become the first country to ban all metal mining.
Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar was meant to be an exemplar of 'corporate social responsibility' and environmental best practice. But the reality experienced by local communities is different, writes Yvonne Orengo, with uncompensated land seizures, food insecurity, deforestation and social deprivation. New concerns are emerging about the infringement of legal buffer zones and radiation exposure. Rio Tinto must be held responsible for its actions!
Venezuela is set to hand over 12% of the nation's territory in the upper reaches of the Amazon rainforest to mining corporations, writes Lucio Marcello, with 150 companies from 35 countries poised to devastate the army-controlled 'special economic zone'. But resistance is growing, and a counter-proposal aims to protect the area's precious biodiversity, indigenous cultures and water resources in a new South Orinoco Mega Reserve.
The South African government is currently embarking on streamlining decision-making processes in mining. To many this sounds like more top-down decision-making at the expense of those communities that will have to host mines and paves the way for more violent conflict, warns JASPER FINKELDEY
The UK Government is planning a coal-free energy future by 2025, writes Deniz Kemal. But it has failed to take the first step to make it happen: give clear guidance to local planners to block new coal mines on climate change grounds - like one application going to public inquiry this summer for a huge opencast mine on the Northumberland coast.
Ecuador's 'socialist' President Correa has unleashed a wave of repression at Andean communities seeking to protect their lands, forests and nature from open pit mining, writes Carlos Zorrilla. With most of biodiversity-rich Intag region conceded to international mining companies, the mood is one of rising fear and desperation in the countdown to next month's election.
The Alternative Indaba initiated by faith-based groups eight years ago is a forum to discuss alternatives to the mining rush that brought more doom than gloom over the African continent and beyond. JASPER FINKELDEY reports back from this month's forum which called for the mining industry to be made more accountable
Indigenous elders from the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people have put mining company Adani - and Australia's governments - on notice to quit the Carmichael mine project over native title claims. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports
In law, the Shuar Arutam People of Ecuador's Amazon control their ancestral forests. But the government has allocated more than 38% of their territory to large-scale mining, and a gigantic hydroelectric dam is about to be built. Peaceful resistance has been met with a violent military occupation against a People whose only demand, set out in this Open Letter, is peace and justice.
The opposition of Ecuador's Shuar People to large scale mining and hydroelectric development in their ancestral forests has triggered a full-scale military occupation of their lands in the Amazon cloud forest, writes Jake Ling, accompanied by a surge in state-sponsored murder and violence - for which Chinese and Canadian mining companies must share responsibility.