Phosphorus, food and 'messy' problems: A systemic inquiry into the management of a critical global resource

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Show simple item record Cordell, DJ
dc.contributor.editor David Cook 2012-02-02T11:06:24Z 2008-01
dc.identifier.citation ANZSYS 2008, 2008, pp. 1 - 15
dc.identifier.isbn 9780729806688
dc.identifier.other E1 en_US
dc.description.abstract This paper presents a process of systemic inquiry into the roles, relationships and perceptions in the management of phosphorus resources in the context of global food security. Phosphorus, like water, energy and nitrogen, is critical for food production. All modern food production and consumption systems are dependent on continual inputs of phosphate fertilizers derived from phosphate rock. Yet phosphate rock is a finite resource under the control of only a handful of countries - mainly China, Morocco and the US. Production of current global phosphate reserves could peak in 30 years, within decades of peak oil. Given this situation it is surprising that phosphorus is not considered a priority in the dominant discourses on global food security or global environmental change. Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology offers a framework to guide an inquiry or 'learning process' into the nature of the problem situation and system failure, incorporating results of an analysis of stakeholder interviews, a substance flows analysis and an institutional analysis. The soft systems inquiry reveals that not only is there no stakeholder consensus on the nature of the problem, there are no international institutional arrangements, much less an international organisation, responsible for monitoring and facilitating the long-term sustainability of phosphorus resources for food production. Further, without such an actor and associated institutional arrangements, there is no 'feedback loop' that can correct the system. Given the critical nature of phosphorus to all modern economies, this is a concerning finding and warrants further analysis, deliberation and enabling of change.
dc.publisher SECAU - Security Research Centre
dc.title Phosphorus, food and 'messy' problems: A systemic inquiry into the management of a critical global resource
dc.type Conference Proceeding
dc.parent ANZSYS 2008
dc.journal.number en_US
dc.publocation Edith Cowan University, Perth en_US
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 15 en_US DVCRch.Institute for Sustainable Futures en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.conference ANZSYS Australia New Zealand Systems Society Conference
dc.for 0502 Environmental Science and Management
dc.personcode 000915
dc.percentage 100 en_US Environmental Science and Management en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition en_US
dc.custom ANZSYS Australia New Zealand Systems Society Conference en_US 20081201 en_US 2008-12-01
dc.location.activity Edith Cowan University en_US
dc.description.keywords Phosphorus; global food security; soft systems methodology; stakeholder analysis; institutional analysis en_US
dc.description.keywords Phosphorus
dc.description.keywords global food security
dc.description.keywords soft systems methodology
dc.description.keywords stakeholder analysis
dc.description.keywords institutional analysis
pubs.embargo.period Not known
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/DVC (Research)
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/DVC (Research)/Institute For Sustainable Futures
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Strength - Sustainable Futures
utslib.copyright.status Open Access 2015-04-15 12:23:47.074767+10
utslib.collection.history General (ID: 2)

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