Melissa Marschke and Jean-François Rousseau address the impact of sand mining on environment and livelihoods in Cambodia and take a look at labor in the sand sector.
Official sand statistics are difficult to access, including the volume of sand being extracted from riverbeds or the volume of sand being used internally. While the Cambodian government does give out permits for sand mining, it is unclear how permits are awarded, monitored, or enforced. Unmanaged sand mining has serious ecological consequences, in terms of river bank erosion, sediment load changes impacting fish species, and habitat disruption.
Even as a few jobs are created, many other livelihoods are negatively affected by sand mining, including urban morning glory farmers and fishers. Enhancing sand governance is critical for Cambodia’s sand industry and overall development.
Working towards sound sand governance is critical for Cambodia’s sand industry and overall development.
This article is also published in German: Sandindustrie in Kambodscha: Auswirkungen auf nationale Entwicklung, Umwelt und Existenzgrundlagen