Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Northern Australia & Land Care

Northern Australia, that region of Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn, provides a wealth of economic opportunities for our nation. This region is also strategically important for the vital role it plays in border protection and as an interface for broader engagement with neighbouring states.

Measuring Soil Carbon and Soil Carbon Change

There are compelling reasons to find ways to regularly and accurately measure soil carbon deep into the root zone across the full extent of cropping and pastoral lands, however, currently this remains a technological aspiration. The barriers to achieving a cost-effective solution are challenging but hopefully not insurmountable. There has been a strong commitment globally to carbon accounting and if these schemes are to be broadly successful, agriculture must be able to take advantage of, and contribute to, the economic and environmental benefits.

Zero Carbon Tourism: Opportunities for Northern Australia

Domestic and international tourists to northern Australia are showing considerable interest in community efforts to address global warming, particularly when they provide an opportunity to make a practical contribution to these projects. This may well be an environmental and economic opportunity to be further developed.

Australia’s Liquefied Natural Gas – Export Wealth and Domestic Crisis

Australia is a major player in the production and export of liquefied natural gas. So why is the country facing gas shortages and a looming domestic energy crisis?

Natural Intelligence Farming: Ian and Dianne Haggerty

Ian and Dianne Haggerty, co-founders of Bio-Integrity Growers Australia and the Prospect Pastoral Company, discuss Natural Intelligence Farming, the harnessing of the dynamic, natural relationships that exists between all the organisms in the ecosystem and the environment itself, particularly the soil. It is a new and innovative approach to modern farming that is well position to capture premium markets while delivering enormous health, social and environmental benefits. They go on to discuss the industry infrastructure needed to deliver a high-quality food and fibre products to a discerning market.

Responding to Australia’s Biosecurity in the Face of Climate Change

As global temperatures rise, the risks to Australia’s biosecurity and our natural and agricultural environment are consequently increasing. Though existing policies and processes are sufficient to meet operational needs, robust response strategies for future and unknown threats must be developed. These strategies must include government at all levels, the private sector and allow for practical community involvement.

Activated Biochar to Enhance Soil Productivity and Mitigate Global Warming

The addition of activated biochar to soil will significantly enhance plant growth and crop yields and may assist in the reduction of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Living Soils: The Role of Microorganisms in Soil Health

The wealth of biodiversity below ground is vast and unappreciated: millions of microorganisms live and reproduce in a few grams of topsoil and these organisms are critical to soil health and fertility. Soil biological fertility is, however, the least well-understood soil fertility component. Soil microorganisms also play essential roles in the nutrient cycles that are fundamental to life on the planet. A better understanding of soil microbiology is essential if agricultural production is to sustainably meet the needs of a growing world population.

Not to be Left in the Wake: Harnessing Tidal Power

As an alternative to burning fossil fuels for energy production, natural processes such as ocean energy should be considered and developed as viable alternatives.

The Management of Soil Nutrients: Chemical Fertilisers or Not?

Large-scale industrial farming with a heavy reliance on chemical fertilisers is enabling agricultural to produce food on the scale necessary to feed the growing world population. It is also, however, degrading soil quality and the ever-increasing use of chemicals to support grossly over-harvested mono-cultures will never lead to environmental sustainability. Organic nutrient management has many environmental advantages but it currently has a productivity cost. What is the future of global agriculture?

The Role of Carbon in Promoting Healthy Soils

As the effects of land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change become increasingly severe, soils have become one of the most vulnerable resources in the world. Soils, among other properties, are a major carbon reservoir containing more carbon than the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined. When managed wisely, it has the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon, thus promoting soil health, assisting food security and contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

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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