Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Singapore Expands At Other Nations Environmental Expense.

Singapore has been reclaiming land from the sea since the mid-1960s, and it's still growing.

But the Singapore government doesn't disclose any information whatsoever on where exactly they get their material, i.e. sand from. It's strictly classified and Singaporean themselves don't really care anyway, as long as they are kept happy with more and more land.

Image: excelingeography.blogspot.com
Reporters from the Associated Press recently tried to track down some of these supply lines. They ended up in Cambodia's Tatai River, where they found “an industrial nightmare” in the middle of “a tropical idyll.”

Lush jungle hills give way to a flotilla of dredgers operating 24 hours a day, scooping up sand and piling it onto ocean-bound barges. The churned-up waters and fuel discharges, villagers say, have decimated the fish so vital to their livelihoods. Riverbanks are beginning to collapse, and the din and pollution are killing a promising ecotourism industry.

The environmental degradation caused by these illegal dredging operations can explain why Singapore is reluctant to reveal its sources. As the founder of the Kiasu-ism dogma, it does not want to be seen as taking advantage of its poorer neighbors or counter its image as a leader in sustainable development.

A few years ago, Indonesia banned sand exports to Singapore. A decade earlier, Malaysia imposed a similar ban, and last year, it was Vietnam's turn. Singapore, in utter disregard for environmental concern, would do anything to get sand from these countries, even if it means purchasing sand via unscrupulous means. And then there's the ever impoverished, ever secretive police state of Myanmar, which might become a major supplier.

Should Singapore continue with the expansion? Well, eat Mother Nature at your own peril.

info: http://pruned.blogspot.com/2011/09/mapping-dark-geography-of-sand.html

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