Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sand mining destroying environment says Indonesia

Indonesia's recent ban of sand exports to Singapore has caused quite a stir. Indonesian rights and environmental groups are now calling the government to maintain the sand ban because sand mining is destroying the environment. From Yahoo News:
"Indonesia gets the bad end of the deal (on the trade) ... our environment is destroyed. We demand Singapore pay for the environmental rehabilitation," Hermanjaya, from Ocean Watch, told AFP Wednesday.

He said sand mining in several areas, especially in the Riau islands, caused the extinction of several fish species, destruction of coral reefs and the disappearance of a number of small islands.

The environmental group said it was also worried about "news of Singapore's lobby efforts to renew their borders based on their (newly) reclaimed land."

"Singapore should sit down with Indonesia to clearly determine the border, which is still unclear," said Hermanjaya.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said the ban was imposed "to prevent further deterioration."

"The sand mining has created severe environmental damage to Indonesia, specially in the Sebayik and Nipah (islands)," he told AFP.

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