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Devoured: How sand mining devastated China’s largest freshwater lake

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Reuters

By Manas Sharma and Simon Scarr (Reuters) – Over two decades, dredging ships have sucked massive amounts of sand from the bed and shores of Poyang Lake in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi, drastically altering the ability of its ecosystem to function. Decades of mass urbanisation in China have fuelled demand for sand to make glass, concrete and other materials used in construction. The most desirable sand for industry comes from rivers and lakes rather than deserts and oceans. Much of the sand used to build the country’s megacities has come from Poyang, China’s largest freshwater lake. …

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