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Riddle of the sands: the truth behind stolen beaches and dredged islands

Repeating Islands

beachThe Guardian’s Neil Tweedie reports on how the insatiable demand of the global building boom has unleashed an illegal market in sand. He writes that “Gangs are now stealing pristine beaches to order and paradise islands are being dredged and sold to the construction industry.” This is a serious concern at the local and global levels. Here are a few excerpts:

Paradise is a beach, we are told. Pristine white or coral pink. We leaf through brochures in search of perfect sand. There is a Paradise Beach on Barbados, and in Croatia, and Thailand, and South Africa, too. In every tourist-hungry part of the globe, in fact. The naturalist Desmond Morris believes that, as descendants of water-loving apes, we are hard-wired to seek out these places, lulled by the rhythmic advance and retreat of the ocean as we soak up the sun, sand grains trickling through our workless fingers.

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