HomeIAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservationvol. 26 no. 1 (2019)

Black Sand Mining in Selected Communities in Northern Luzon: Its Aftermath

Luzviminda Padios-relon



Sand mining is undeniably an economic activity in many countries across the globe. Although sand mining is legal in many countries, the industry is still subject to illegal extraction and trade, causing animosities among the people in the communities due to evident and life-threatening environmental impacts. This study was conducted in the coastal barangays of Ilocos Sur where agriculture and fishing are the major sources of income. It aimed to look into the effects and impacts of black sand mining activities in both residents and the environment. It utilized questionnaire, in-depth interview and unstructured observation in data gathering. It was disclosed that majority of the respondents had witnessed the economic, health, and environmental effects of black sand mining. This has caused adverse effects like the transformation of riverbeds into large and deep pits, displacement of residents due to threats of soil erosion and flooding during rainy season, gradual loss of the limited fertile lands for agricultural activities, loss of fisheries productivity and coastal ecosystem. It can be concluded that residents located in both remote and adjacent communities near the Poblacion are indeed vulnerable to environmental exploitation to poor, non-strict implementation and irregular monitoring of environmental policies. The local government units tend to support mining activities for economic reasons or financial gains.