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Monday, April 9 • 10:00am - 10:15am
SYMPOSIA-02: The Global Sand Crisis Through the Lens of the Telecoupling Framework

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AUTHORS: Aurora Torres*, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg; Jodi S. Brandt, Boise State University; Kristen Lear, University of Georgia; Jianguo Liu, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Overexploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, and promoting violent conflict. Although previous studies have explored human-nature interactions and generated useful insights in the context of sand mining, they are largely disintegrated. Here we apply the telecoupling framework to begin disentangling this complex and understudied issue. We combine a global perspective of the collateral effects and feedbacks of sand mining and trade across diverse systems with two study cases to better understand cross-scale dynamics and how an effective global sand governance system can be crafted. We chose two study cases of coupled human and natural systems in Asia: (1) Singapore and sand suppliers; and (2) Poyang Lake and Chinese mega-cities. Singapore is the leader of global sand imports, which has triggered geopolitical tensions and environmental degradation in the region. On the other hand, the Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in China and has become its largest source of sand, as a result of a sand mining ban along the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The application of the telecoupling framework suggests that the approach has the potential to help holistically understand and integrate human-nature interactions emerging from sand exploitation in fast-growing regions. Finally, we offer suggestions for operationalizing the telecoupling framework for sand supply and demand and discuss the need for an effective governance of our planet’s resources.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:00am - 10:15am CDT
LaSalle 5 (7th Floor)

Attendees (6)