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.
The mighty Asian Development Bank is celebrating its 50th birthday this week in Yokohama, Japan, writes Hemantha Withanage. But the victims of ADB's $3 billion coal funding have little to be glad of - whether local communities impacted by mines and power stations, or people everywhere suffering climate change. ADB must stop financing coal now!
Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers.
Modern practices mean that more than ever, people are disconnected from nature, writes Damitha Rajapakse. In Sri Lanka - a biodiversity hotspot which is full of endemic plants with unique properties - a conservation programme is under way to teach the new generation about the rich heritage of native fruits which surrounds them.
The EU's 'rapporteur state' on glyphosate, Germany, has recommended re-approval of the herbicide with its daily intake increased by 67%, write Drs Nancy Swanson and Mae Wan Ho. The verdict is based on a re-assessment carried out by Monsanto and a consortium of chemical companies, based on unpublished industry studies. It should be rejected outright.