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According to the mitigation of environmental damage,

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According to Ashraf
et al., (2011), sand mining is the process of extracting
sand from the site where the material is located. Sand mining is done to
fulfill the demands of several projects such as the construction of
infrastructures, creation of artificial islands and to mitigate flooding in
coastal areas. Countries that are involved in sand mining are developed and
developing countries like the Philippine, China, Malaysia, India, Italy, etc.,
as found in the book of Padmalal
and Maya (2014). Projects involving the extraction of
sand (Ashraf
et al., 2011) are essential in improving the economy of
the area. However, sand mining has an impact towards the environment. The
process has been directly linked to the disruption of ecosystem cycles that are
found alongside sand mining sites. Ecosystems are disrupted through a series of
effects such as destruction of bird habitat, slower growth rate of vegetation
and the change of water qualities. Basing on the study of Sreebha
and Padmalal., (2011), bodies of water are more likely to
experience the negative effects of sand mining. One of the problems that can be
derived from sand mining is sedimentation. As stated by Loughman
and Welsh (2010), sedimentation results to a decreased
water quality and altered water properties. The elevated rate of sedimentation
occurs when the land disruption through mining increases. Eventually, the number
of organisms that is situated on high turbidity levels experiences a decline.

Locally, Philippines have been involved
with the mining business (Verbrugge,
2015), both in illegal and legal terms. Both legal and
illegal mining businesses have distinct impacts on the surrounding environment
but legal firms have higher regulations and restrictions than illegal processes
that lead to the mitigation of environmental damage, depending on the area of
the business covered. In the case of sand mining businesses, the Philippines is
also involved in the sand trade, specifically with black sand extraction, as
discussed by Chaussard
and Kerosky (2016). Black sand is mined to obtain magnetite,
a material found in black sand beaches and used for industrial purposes. Most
sand mining companies worldwide have mining permits but in the Philippines,
mining operations are illegal. The negative effects being mentioned in the
report was land subsidence, which deteriorates shoreline ecosystems and
increases the risk of exposure on typhoon-related threats.

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            In
the study of Chapman
et al., (2014), freshwater fish that are found alongside
river sand mining sites are studied. Sand mining has a negative effect on
fishes and all parameters that were considered in the study were affected that
include feeding behavior, spawn rate and species diversification. The study
tested sediment-catching devices and found out that properly installed
sediment-control fences were efficient (73-80%) than sediment traps and basins
(40-52%). The study implied that there is a need to study sediment-control
devices due to low scores on tested parameters but additional studies are
needed due to the lack of information towards mitigation of the effects of sand
mining.

            Another
study of de
Leeuw et al., (2010) studies the impacts of sand mining in
Poyang Lake, found in China. The study analyzed the extraction of sand in sand
mining companies in Poyang Lake through satellite imagery and found out that
the rate of sand extraction was 236 million m3 per year. In
environmental context, the presence of sand mining in China had resulted in
sedimentation (9.7 x 106 m3 per year) which impacts the biodiversity
of Poyang Lake. The study suggests that it has been caused by the increased
demand of sand that resulted from the increasing GDP of China. It was predicted
that the demand of sand in China will increase from 2 to 4 m3 per year.

            Bayram
and Onsoy (2015) studied the effects of sand and gravel
mining of surface water in Giresun Province, found in Turkey. The water
indicators that were analyzed are turbidity, electrical conductivity, dissolved
oxygen, pH, suspended sediment concentration, water hardness and the amount of
trace metals. It was different from the study of Chapman
et al., (2014) since some parameters reported no
difference in relation electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, water
hardness and the amount of trace metals. However, both studies reported the change
of turbidity and suspended sediment concentration which are all effects of
sedimentation.

            In Pereira
(2012), the report discusses the effects of sand mining
towards water. The effects that are present are dredging of the water table and
increased erosion rates which results in the loss of marine habitat and the
despeciation of marine ecosystems. The rapid expansion of sand mining is due to
the increased demand, also found in de
Leeuw et al., (2010). In economical context alone, China is
the top importer of sand with a trade value of 6.7 billion US dollars and
Germany being the top exporter which allocates a budget of 2.7 billion US
dollars. In total, global importation and exportation trade values are 40.3
billion US dollars and 31.2 billion US dollars respectively. The high demand
for sand is proportional to increased destruction caused by sand mining firms.

            Due
to the negative impacts brought by sand mining, the effects can be regulated
through proper law implementation. In the Philippines, (Raymundo,
2014) mining laws have been passed by the government which
revolves along the main law (The Philippine Mining Act of 1995) that controls
all mining operations and provides restriction to certain places and methods to
promote environmental safety. The prevalence of illegal and improper sand
mining in the Philippines can be controlled by stricter laws and increasing job
opportunities to diminish illegal and small-scale mining businesses. Another
mitigation processes that will decrease environmental harm (sedimentation)
dealt by sand mining (Hegde,
2010) are the construction of artificial reef systems,
seawalls and zoning of the affected areas are essential in coastal sand mining
locations. In freshwater ecosystems, (Wang
2014) sediment-control dams can be utilized to decrease the
amount of sedimentation in bodies of water.

            The sand mining industry possesses
positive implications with regards to economical prowess of a country but the
demand of sand inhibits negative impacts towards ecosystems. Sedimentation
caused by mining is one of the contributors of damages inside marine ecosystems
and the effect is worsened by the increasing number of mining operations,
whether illegal and legal. Although sand mining presents several problems,
establishing a balance on sand extraction and proper implementation of laws and
regulations are needed to improve economic and environmental statuses. 

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