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

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dc.contributor.author Cordell, Dana en_US
dc.contributor.editor David Cook en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-02T11:06:24Z
dc.date.available 2012-02-02T11:06:24Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_US
dc.identifier 2008000747 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Cordell Dana 2008, 'Phosphorus, food and 'messy' problems: A systemic inquiry into the management of a critical global resource', , SECAU - Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, , pp. 1-15. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 9780729806688 en_US
dc.identifier.other E1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/16086
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. en_US
dc.language en_US
dc.publisher SECAU - Security Research Centre en_US
dc.relation.isbasedon http://phosphorusfutures.net/files/DCordell_2008_P-Food_Messy%20Problems.pdf en_US
dc.title Phosphorus, food and 'messy' problems: A systemic inquiry into the management of a critical global resource en_US
dc.parent ANZSYS 2008 en_US
dc.journal.volume en_US
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
dc.cauo.name DVCRch.Institute for Sustainable Futures en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 050200 en_US
dc.personcode 000915 en_US
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name 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
dc.date.activity 20081201 en_US
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.staffid en_US
dc.staffid 000915 en_US


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