• David Baldridge

Build Your Own Island

Sail Boat in Tropics

Water covers more than 70% of the Earth's surface; most of it, oceans. These oceans are used by humanity for a number of things: fishing, trading, and oil exploration, for example.

However, with these underwater riches comes conflict between nations for the control of the seas.

In recent times, countries, particularly in South East Asia, have taken to land reclamation in order to strengthen their control over the seas. This consists of dumping large quantities of sand into the water in order to create new islands. On the whole, this is a very negative and harmful thing. Not only does it add to the geopolitical tension in the region, but it also damages the environment by destroying underwater ecosystems.

This practice has faced legal challenges from the United Nations in the past. No one country is to blame: China, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore have all done it. There are some good uses for land reclamation: in the Netherlands it has allowed for a peaceful expansion of living space.

But its exploitation for political purposes in South East Asia does nothing good for the region or the planet.