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Sand is the single most mined commodity. Used to make concrete, its extraction eclipses other metals and minerals by a huge margin. Yet while it is abundant, it is not infinite. Fears that some sand deposits are being overused, combined with increasing evidence that the dredging of rivers and seafloors causes vast damage to ecosystems and coastal communities, bring the sustainability of this vital material into question

Dossier: carbon offsetting

The IPCC embraced the notion of carbon offset schemes in the landmark Paris Agreement, but projects have faced criticism that they lack effectiveness and transparency. Mark Rowe investigates the world of carbon offsetting to determine the role it really plays on the path towards net zero
The shortlist for the 2020 Wellcome Photography Prize has been announced, with a series of photographs depicting the annual floods in Lagos among the candidates
A report by Global Witness has revealed that conflict gold could be entering the products of major household brands
Millions have been displaced due to severe floods in central and southern China
A portable DNA assay could revolutionise the way border officials examine suspected wildlife products, and the methods conservationists use to identify wildlife samples in the field
A handy gathering of facts about carbon emissions with graphs by Our World in Data
For July's Discovering Britain viewpoint Rory Walsh hears about a Cornish beach with a secret
Community trekking is the latest development to emerge from the evolution of responsible tourism. The people of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia have faith it will provide the sacred landscape with a blessed future
Researchers have revealed just how many polluting microfibres are released into the oceans when we wash our clothes
Scientists are using sophisticated data modelling to predict how cities will develop. How will our urban futures look if we embrace sustainability over fossil-fuelled development?
Control and relief action in Eastern Africa and the Greater Horn of Africa steps up to face the double threat of desert locusts and the Covid-19 pandemic
Rosemary Brown is a freelance journalist. In 2014, she followed in the footsteps of American journalist and adventurer Nellie Bly, who carried out a record-breaking 72-day trip around the world in 1889. A book about Rosemary's trip is due out next year
Increasing reports of seized jaguar fangs and skin suggest that demand for jaguar parts has grown in the past decade, particularly in China. As relations between Latin America and Asia strengthen, criminologists and conservationists are concerned that a formal market for trafficked jaguar parts could reverse critical conservation progress
Forced isolation has given many of us the chance to better appreciate the nature that lives closest to us. Butterflies are one such visitor – but while easy to admire, they’re not so easy to photograph says Keith Wilson

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