UEPG observes the reports of unsustainable extraction of sand in some parts of the world with concern and contributed with comments, good practice examples and amendments to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report but some parts remain misleading:

  • Sand is only a smaller part of the total demand for aggregates. Aggregates are crushed rock, gravel, sand, marine aggregates, recycled aggregates and manufactured aggregates. UEPG publishes every year the production figures online: http://www.uepg.eu/statistics/estimates-of-production-data
  • The situation in the European Union and its associated partners (e.g. EFTA – Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) is fundamentally different with strict EU and national legislation in place. UEPG supports the principle of sustainable development and UNEP in the undertaking to enhance sustainable production of aggregates.
  • UEPG has a Task Force on better implementation and regulatory enforcement to monitor the application EU legislation.
  • The European Commission has several mechanism to ensure the protection of environment such as the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR), funding of innovative environmental projects (LIFE & Horizon 2020) and promotes the partnership with industry (EU Business&Biodiversity Platform). UEPG is supporting all these mechanisms and is also an active Member of the European Commission Coordination Group on Biodiversity and Nature (CGBN).
  • UEPG promotes the spread of good practice examples and offers UNEP its expertise and knowledge on sustainable production of aggregates.


The report is now available online: http://www.unepgrid.ch/sand/