Food for thought: The governance of garden networks for building local food security and community-based disaster resilience

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Howes, Michael

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Ferreira, Jo-Anne

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Food supply chains reach across the globe and rely on complex and interdependent infrastructures. The vast majority of Australia’s food supply infrastructure is privately owned and operated for commercial purposes. The complex network of producers, processors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of food depend upon the ability to move freight long distances. This is utterly dependent not only on the vast network of transport infrastructure but also on uninterrupted access to cheap oil. Food supply chain interruptions due to severe weather events have become an emergent issue in terms of understanding our vulnerability to food insecurity. The Australian government recognises that economic costs of climate change will come from floods, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events. Supermarkets are the main distribution points for emergency re-supply, however, they are not immune to the impacts of these weather events. Complicating things further, the growth in urban populations globally is identified as a key trend in urban disaster risk management. South-East Queensland has one of the most rapidly growing urban populations in Australia. The vast majority of this urban population will continue to source its food from supermarkets in times of crisis. The synergies between all these influences may expose our collective vulnerability to unexpected food insecurity. Policies that engage with interconnected systems are caught up in the ambiguity of their causal webs, therefore mistakes are very costly.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Griffith School of Environment

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Food supply chains

Climate change

Australia food supply

Urban population growth

Disaster risk management

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