segunda-feira, 1 de novembro de 2021



A organização, com sede em Londres, coordenada por Kiran Pereira, autora do livro “Sand Stories: Surprising Truths about the Global Sand Crisis and the Quest for Sustainable Solutions”, é reconhecida em muitos países da Europa por trabalhar para criar consciência sobre a necessidade urgente de gerenciar o consumo de areia como recurso, com o objetivo de preencher a lacuna entre ciência, política e indústria, identificando e promovendo soluções potenciais para a iminente crise da areia. 

Em seu site, foi publicado em 29/10/2021 o artigo de minha autoria “The global estimated value of illegal sand extraction” onde faço a divulgação do artigo que foi publicado na Revista Brasileira de Ciências Policiais RBCP-ANP, em setembro de 2021, “A EXTRAÇÃO ILEGAL DE AREIA: o faturamento no Brasil e no mundo”


Luis Fernando Ramadon is a Federal Police Specialist in Brazil. He has a Master’s degree in Management and Regulation of Water Resources – (PROFÁGUA/UERJ) and a Postgraduate degree in Environmental Law

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Mining is an economic activity that aims to extract non-renewable natural resources. As you know, the activity is highly impactful, and it radically changes the environment in which it is established. However, it supplies raw materials to all other sectors of the economy and the foundations for its development are the public interest and public utility.

There is no society without mining and that is why the sector seeks to obtain sustainable solutions for its development. Of all the mining activities, one of the most harmful is the extraction of sand. Sand mining in rivers and lakes causes the occurrence of pollution and it also causes changes in watercourses, increased siltation, soil erosion and destruction of conservation areas.

The problem has become so serious that in March 2014, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) published the study ‘Sand, rarer than you think - Sand, rarer than one thinks’, presenting sand extraction as a problem to be faced, as it represents the largest volume of solid material exploited globally.

I completed a Professional Master’s Degree in Water Resources Management and Regulation at the State University of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil (PROFÁGUA-UERJ) between 2018 and 2020. The topic of my dissertation was the estimated value of illegal sand extraction. In September 2021, the article ‘ILLEGAL SAND EXTRACTION: revenue in Brazil and in the world’ about this study was published in the journal ‘Revista Brasileira de Ciências Policiais’, of the National Police Academy.

My study on the global estimated value of illegal sand extraction found that it ranged between US$199.88 billion and US$ 349.98 billion each year. These vast sums seemed to be on par with other global crimes and it allowed for a direct comparison with the ranking produced by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), which is a non-profit advisory organization that produces high-quality analysis of illicit financial flows across the planet.

GFI, in 2017, produced its second-ranking of top global crimes, launching the Transnational Crime and the Developing World report, with the objective of evaluating the general size of the criminal markets and the turnover of transnational crimes distributed in twelve categories: drugs, human beings, wildlife, pirated goods, fraud and counterfeit coins, human organs, small arms, diamonds and other gems, oil, timber, fish, art and cultural goods, and gold.

The data on environmental crimes mentioned in the GFI report was based on a UNEP-INTERPOL rapid response assessment report titled ‘The Rise of Environmental Crime – A Growing Threat To Natural Resources Peace, Development And Security’. However, both the studies on illegal trade and mining of minerals only consider the extraction of gold, diamond and of precious stones, and do not include the illegal extraction of sand. Thus, observing the data from the UNEP-INTERPOL Report: The Rise of Environmental Crime, the GFI table was updated and adapted by inserting the values calculated in my studies of global illegal sand extraction.

The result of this juxtaposition places the crime of illegal sand extraction, among the top three with the highest Estimated Annual Value in the world, with values between US $ 199.98 billion and US $ 349.98 billion. The most valuable illicit trade was the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, estimated at a value of US$923 billion to $1.13 trillion annually. In second place is Drug Trafficking, estimated to be worth between US $ 426 billion and US $ 652 billion annually.

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