Photo by Anggri Pernanda from Flickr.

Many of the big challenges humanity faces today – especially when we talk about environmental problems – can only be understood from a global perspective. This is definitely the case with sand. According to a report from the UN, sand is the second most exploited natural resource in the world after water. About 40-50 billion metric tons of it are used every year.

Indonesia, as an archipelago, has an abundance of sand. These sand deposits vary in quality and are used to create industrial products like concrete, asphalt or glass. It is also used in construction and reclamation projects, such as the controversial Jakarta Bay project, where sand is laid as a foundation for further development. Indonesia’s sand is even being exported to places like Singapore.

But sand mining operations can also wreak havoc. Done without care, sand mining can cause coastal areas or even whole islands to disappear. Some fishing communities in Indonesia, for example, are at risk of losing their livelihoods as well as their cultures when sand mining operations are literally erasing their lands.

In this episode of Talking Indonesia, Tito Ambyo from RMIT University talks to Febriana Firdaus, who is the managing editor of a global journalism organisation Environmental Reporting Collective and Krisna Pradipta, Digital Content Producer from Tempo Magazine. Febriana and Krisna have been a part of a global collaborative journalism project that looks at sand mining around the world called Beneath The Sands which uses a range of journalistic storytelling formats to convey the impacts of sand mining.

In 2023, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Tito Ambyo from RMIT, Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University and Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


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