Der Spiegel reports that, due to a boom in construction in Asia and Africa, people are stealing sand from beaches, leaving behind nothing more than "ugly, miles-long moonscapes where nothing can live anymore." Global demand for sand, about 40 billion tons per year, is a rate far higher than at which the resources can be renewed.
Diminutive Cape Verde, located around 600 kilometers (373 miles) west of Senegal, is comprised of nine inhabited islands in the Atlantic Ocean formed by volcanoes. It's a beguiling land, one where papayas, mangos and pineapples grow between canyons. The sun shines year-round, the waters of the Atlantic foam on its shores and rare turtles bury their eggs on beaches. Cape Verde is considered one of the safest and most stable regions in Africa. It would be a dream destination for tourists if it weren't for the fact that the Cape Verdeans are hard at work destroying their beaches.
Of course, there are still intact shorelines on Cape Verde -- places where luxury hotels serve guests from Italy, Germany and Portugal. But in other areas, the beaches are disappearing.
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