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3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit

March 10, 2012

On Tuesday, Feb 28th, Karl and I arrived to Sydney, Australia, for the 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit at University of Technology at Sydney. We were among ~100 delegates from across the globe attending the event. The conference picked up largely where our conference left off – summarizing the state of current knowledge and developing strategies for future. Wednesday morning began with a plenary of representatives from mining, agriculture, food, and sanitation sectors. While Andrew Drummond, Minemakers Inc, shared new technologies that will allow his company to mine phosphate offshore of Namibia, Mateete Bekunda, AGRIDEC Premier Seed Ltd, reminded us that there are still places in the world that have a dire necessity for fertilizer: in particular, sub-Saharan Africa. It was not clear if newly mined phosphates from Namibia would actually attenuate this need. The next two mornings featured a series of “Soapbox” talks where speakers were given 4 minutes to present their research or ideas. The brevity allowed us to taste a wide variety of subject matters and certainly fostered conversations later on during the conference. The afternoons of the conference were based largely around interactive working groups that provided feedback for a blueprint on phosphorus sustainability, an initiative led by Drs. Dana Cordell and Stuart White. We look forward to seeing the final version! Karl and I also launched Phosphorus, food and our future, the book from the 2nd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit. The conference ended with the announcement of the next event – the 4th Sustainable Phosphorus Summit in Montpellier, France.

Thanks to Dana, Stuart, and all at the Institute for Sustainable Futures and Global Phosphorus Research Initiative for a great event!

Sydney harbor at night. Photo by J. Corman.

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