Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests


World Soil Day: Caring for the Planet Starts from the Ground

Despite the essential role soil plays, there is a worldwide increase in soil degradation due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure, unsustainable agriculture, climate change and inadequate governance. Since 2012, World Soil Day has been held annually on 5 December to raise awareness and focus attention on the importance of the sustainable management of healthy soil resources. The theme for World Soil Day 2017 is “Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground” to bring attention to the importance of soil and the problem of soil degradation.

Climate Change and Violent Conflict in Kenyan Pastoral Lands: UN Sustainable Development Goals Present a Way Forward

Climate change contributes to rising tensions between pastoral communities in north-west Kenya. Adaptive measures that help achieve sustainable growth and development could reduce the potential for conflict. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals offer a foundation upon which to build a national response that is sensitive to the specific needs of pastoral communities.

Hanging by a Thread: Timor-Leste Government Losing Grip on Power

The ruling coalition in Timor-Leste is likely to dissolve if it is not able to secure the passage through parliament of its legislative programme. If that happens, a new coalition will have to be negotiated or another round of parliamentary elections held.

Yemen: Red Cross Purchases Fuel for Water but Only a Stop-Gap Solution

The International Committee of the Red Cross has committed to temporarily purchasing fuel to provide clean water to thousands of Yemenis in urgent need.

Airman on a Short Fuse? Indian Air Chief Speaks on Surgical Strikes on Pakistani Nuclear Sites

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa’s recent statement was primarily aimed at a domestic audience. It was, for the most part, viewed as such by Pakistan and is an example of the truism that, in the Subcontinent, appearing weak is more dangerous than actually being weak.

Investment in Orphan Crops: An Overlooked Piece of the Food Security Puzzle?

An increase in the research and development of underused food crops will benefit those already producing and consuming them. With the development of new markets, however, these benefits could be exported to a much larger share of the global population.

Pakistan and Home-Grown Terror: A No-Win Situation

Pakistan’s use of militant groups to achieve its goals in Afghanistan and India has served to degrade its relationship with the US, increase its dependence on China and place it in deeper trouble than ever before.

Indonesian Foreign Policy: Blind Spots, Stress Points and Potential Pitfalls

A growing Indonesia will be confronted by numerous challenges in the years ahead. Among those challenges are Indonesia’s leadership role in ASEAN, its position as a Muslim beacon of democracy and the need to reduce its dependence on China by broadening its economic relationships with other countries. The appeal of populist policies and phantom threats that distract officials from addressing deeper foreign policy issues must also be addressed.

Water Resource Development in Northern Australia

The development of northern Australia, as outlined in the Federal Government White Paper, Our North Our Future: Developing Northern Australia of 2015, will be heavily dependent on the delivery of an adequate water supply to food and agribusiness and other industries if goals are to be achieved. While physical challenges can be overcome with detailed water resource assessments economic, environmental and governance issues may delay and limit development objectives.

Lifting the Fukushima Exports Ban Won’t Save Japan’s Agribusinesses

Japan has called on certain South-East Asian countries to lift an import ban on agricultural products coming from areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, assuring the safety of food supplies. To boost agribusiness and exports, however, Japan needs to address wider structural flaws in its agricultural industry.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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