Dana Cordell Phosphorus scarcity

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  • Unlike water and energy, phosphorus scarcity is not on priority agenda within key discussions on global food security (eg. FAO, post-15)
  • While the price has gone down somewhat, it is still three-fold higher than the previous decade of around $50/tonne
  • DANA
  • Dana Cordell Phosphorus scarcity

    1. 1. INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES THINK. CHANGE. DO FUTURE PATHWAYS TO REDUCE FOOD SYSTEM VULNERABILITY TO A NEW GLOBAL THREAT
    2. 2. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 OVERVIEW: PATHWAYS TO PHOSPHORUS SECURITY  Significance of phosphorus in food security  5 dimensions of phosphorus scarcity  Phosphorus security: hard-landing vs soft landing  Long-term scenarios: sustainable phosphorus measures  Phosphorus vulnerability and adaptive strategies  Implications for development futures
    3. 3. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 LINKING PHOPHORUS SECURITY & FOOD SECURITY Phosphorus underpins all food systems energy? waste? accessibility? pollution? ethical ? geopolitical? future availability? FOOD SECURITY
    4. 4. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 BACKGROUND: THE CURRENT SITUATION > Phosphorus is essential to all living organisms, has no substitute in food production & cannot be ‘manufactured’ > There will always be a global demand for phosphorus > Chemical fertilizers (N,P,K) have contributed to feeding billions of people by boosting crop yields > Today, modern agriculture is almost totally dependent on phosphate rock to produce fertilizers to sustain high yields > Phosphate rock is a finite, non-renewable resource and the world’s high-quality reserves are becoming scarce
    5. 5. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 DEPENDENCE ON PHOSPHATE ROCK Future demand? • Population growth • Changing diets • P deficient soils • Biofuels • EV batteries? Cordell et al, 2009
    6. 6. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 BACKGROUND: THE CURRENT SITUATION 2008 price spike: US$50/tonne to US$430/tonne Food prices soar Oil prices soars Fertilizer (N, P, K) prices soars Food riots Fertilizer riots
    7. 7. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 Cordell & White (2011) 1. PHYSICAL SCARCITY: PEAK PHOSPHORUS • Like oil, phosphate rock will eventually reach a production peak due to energy and economic constraints – peak P this century, possibly 2035-2075 • New phosphate rock reserves: • quality is declining • access is more difficult • wastes increasing • Tonnes ‘in the ground’ is not the same as tonnes ‘on the field’ accessible to farmers Cordell et al, 2009; 2011 • energy increasing • costs increasing
    8. 8. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 2. MANAGERIAL SCARCITY: INEFFICIENT PHOSPHORUS USE IN THE GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM Cordell et al, 2009 80% P lost between mine and fork!
    9. 9. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 3. ECONOMIC SCARCITY: LACK OF ACCESS TO PHOSPHORUS > Farmers need both short- and long-term access to fertilizers > Up to a billion farmers lack purchasing power to access fertilizer markets REUTERS > ‘Silent’ demand from farmers with low purchasing power in sub-Saharan Africa, where soil fertility is low & food insecurity is high
    10. 10. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 4. INSTITUTIONAL SCARCITY: WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY? Lack of effective global phosphorus governance: >there are currently no international or national policies, guidelines or organisations responsible for ensuring long-term availability and accessibility of phosphorus for food production >Market system governing by default – alone not sufficient to ensure equitable, timely, sustainable >Whose responsibility is long-term phosphorus security? Governance of phosphorus is fragmented between many different sectors and stakeholders 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, 2012
    11. 11. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 5. GEOPOLITICAL SCARCITY: REMAINING RESERVES Distribution of World Phosphate Rock Reserves Morocco: 70% share & occupies Western Sahara (contrary to UN resolutions) China: 27% of worlds reported reserves; imposed a 135% export tariff in 2008 All farmers need phosphorus, yet just 5 countries control around 85% of the worlds remaining phosphate rock reserves India, Australia, EU: all dependent on imports (vulnerable to price fluctuations and supply disruptions) US: previously world’s largest producer, consumer, importer, exporter. Now has ~ 25 years left of own reserves Data Visualization from Uniview visualization software by SCISS AB; Data sources: USGS (2011)
    12. 12. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 HARD LANDING VS SOFT LANDING > Business-as-usual future: – If we don’t change current phosphorus use trajectory, we are heading for a hard landing: increasing energy, costs and waste, volatile prices, geopolitical tensions, reduced farmer access to fertilizers and reduced crop yields and food insecurity > Sustainable future: – Phosphorus security ensures all farmers have short- and long-term access to sufficient phosphorus to grow enough crops to feed to world, while maintaining ecosystem integrity and societal functioning
    13. 13. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 PREFERRED FUTURE PHOSPHORUS SCENARIOS > Averting a crisis is possible, but no single solution! > Substantial investments required Cordell, Neset, White & Drangert (2009)
    14. 14. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 TOOLBOX OF SUSTAINABLE P SUPPLY & DEMAND MEASURES TOOLBOX OF SUSTAINABLE PHOSPHORUS SUPPLY- & DEMAND-SIDE MEASURES SUPPLY MEASURE (S) Sector Recycling (S1) New source (S2) MS2.1 – phosphate rock h Mining (M) MS1.1 – mine tailings Fertilizer (F) FS1.1 – phosphogypsum h AS1.1 – crop waste AS1.2 - (LS1, PS1, WS1) Livestock & Fisheries (L) LS1.1 – manure a,d LS1.2 – bone a LS1.3 – blood a LS1.4 – fish Reduce demand (D2) h b,d,e Agriculture (A) DEMAND MEASURE (D) Efficiency (D1) MD1.1 – reduce avoidable losses MD2.1 – (all other measures) FS2.1 – algae, seaweed FD1.1 – reduce avoidable losses FD2.1 - (AD2, LD2, PD2) AS2.1 – (FS2) AS2.2 – green manure a,b,f Food production (P) PS1.1 – food production waste PS1.2 – cooked food waste Wastewater & human excreta (W) WS1.1 – urine b,c,d,h WS1.2 – faeces c, h WS1.3 – greywater a WS1.4 – untreated wastewater a WS1.5 – treated effluent c WS1.6 – struvite a.b.f.h WS1.7 – biosolids d WS1.8 – sludge ash LS2.1 – phosphate rock h (supplements) AD1.1 – fertilizer placement AD1.2 – application time AD1.3 – application rate AD1.4 – soil testing AD1.5 – erosion reduction AD1.6 – microbial inoculants LD1.1 – fertilizer placement LD1.2 – application time LD1.3 – application rate LD1.4 – soil testing LD1.5 – erosion reduction LD1.6 – microbial inoculants LD1.7 - phytase enrichment LD1.8 – manure P reduction LD1.9 – wastewater management AD2.1 – plant selection AD2.2 – improved soil characteristics LD2.1 – plant selection LD2.2 – improved soil characteristics LD2.3 – animal selection LD2.4 – changing diets PS2.1 – phosphate rock h (additives) PD1.1 – reduce avoidable losses PD1.2 – producing food closer to demand PD1.3 – consumer food planning/preparation PD2.1 – reduce P-intensive diets PD2.2 – reduce per capita overconsumption PD2.3 – healthy bodies PD2.4 – minimize use of P additives N/A WD1.1 – repairing cracked pipes WD1.2 – minimizing sewer overflows WD1.3 – soil management WD1.4 – avoid dumping biosolids in water WD1.5 – reduce spreading biosolids on non-ag land N/A a,c Cordell & White (2013)
    15. 15. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 PHOSPHORUS VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT • What works in one region may be inappropriate and ineffective in another region. In what ways is India or sub-Saharan Africa or Australia most vulnerable to P scarcity? • Phosphorus vulnerability: the degree to which a given food system is susceptible to harm due to the dimensions of global phosphorus scarcity • How sensitive is the food system and what adaptive capacity exists? • Informs priority adaptive strategies to increase the resilience of a food system.
    16. 16. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 CAUSAL LINKS & PHOSPHORUS VULNERABILITY Cordell & Neset (forthcoming)
    17. 17. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 PHOSPHORUS VULNERABILITY: AUSTRALIA: •Net food exporter, but net P importer (5th largest) •Naturally P-deficient soils •Invested in P-intensive agricultural exports (beef, live animals, wheat, dairy) •Declining investment in agricultural R&D Cordell et al (2013)
    18. 18. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 POTENTIAL ADAPTIVE PATHWAYS TO BUFFER FARMS AGAINST VULNERABLE FERTILISER PRICE INCREASES > Potential adaptive pathways to increase the resilience of the food system (e.g. investing in phosphorus recycling from excreta and food waste or improved farm practices such as soil testing) were then mapped and trade-offs explored Cordell et al (2013) > National stakeholders identified multiple pathways that could lead to phosphorus vulnerability in the Australian food system by exploring what if? scenarios (perturbations in the system).
    19. 19. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 IMPLICATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT FUTURES? > If current trajectory not altered: impending phosphorus scarcity is likely to have serious consequences for food security: reduce agricultural productivity and smallholder farmer access to fertilizers and food particularly in developing countries > Current P-use patterns not just ‘compromising environmental sustainability’ >> compromising fundamental ability to produce food in future > Vulnerability and adaptability to phosphorus scarcity is context-specific, no single solution to phosphorus security > Future-oriented and systems frameworks can guide identification of priorities to increase resilience of food systems (conversely, not doing so can result in perverse outcomes, investment in ineffective/insufficient sustainable phosphorus strategies) > Integrate phosphorus security into development goals and agenda
    20. 20. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 GLOBAL PHOSPHORUS RESEARCH INITIATIVE THANK YOU! For more information visit: www.phosphorusfutures.net or www.isf.uts.edu.au or email: Dana.Cordell@uts.edu.au tina.neset@liu.se
    21. 21. © Cordell & Neset, 2013 RESOURCES Cordell, D. & White, S. (2013) Sustainable Phosphorus Measures: Strategies and Technologies for Achieving Phosphorus Security. Agronomy, 2013, 3(1), p.86-116. Cordell, D., Drangert, J-O. and White, S. (2009), The story of phosphorus: Global food security and food for thought. Global Environmental Change, 19(2) p.292-305. Cordell, D. & White, S. (2011) Peak Phosphorus: clarifying the key issues of a vigorous debate about long-term phosphorus security. Sustainability, 3 (2011), ISSN 2071-1050. Cordell, D., Jackson, M. White, S. (2013), Phosphorus flows through the Australian food system: Identifying intervention points as a roadmap to phosphorus security, Environmental Science & Policy, 2(9) 87–102. Neset, TS & Cordell, D., (2012), Global phosphorus scarcity – identifying synergies for a sustainable future, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 92 (1), pp. 2-6. Cordell, D. (2010) The Story of Phosphorus: Sustainability implications of global phosphorus scarcity for food security. Doctoral thesis, Linköping University Press, pp.220. No. 509. ISBN 978917393-440-4, Linköping. Cordell, D., Neset, T. S. S., Drangert, J.-O. & White, S. (2009), Preferred future phosphorus scenarios: A framework for meeting long-term phosphorus needs for global food demand, In: Nutrient Recovery from Wastewater Streams Vancouver, 2009. (Eds) Mavinic, D., Ashley, K., Koch, F. IWA Publishing, London. Cordell, D., White, S. & Lindstrom, T. 2011, Peak phosphorus: the crunch time for humanity?, The Sustainability Review, 2(2), pp. 1-1. Cordell, D. Mikhailovich, N., Mohr, S., Jacobs, B. & White, S. (2013), Adapting to future phosphorus scarcity: investigating potential sustainable phosphorus measures and strategies, Draft Report, Phase II of the Australian Sustainable Phosphorus Futures project, prepared by Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australian Government, Canberra.

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