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.

Changes to International Defence Partnership Master Plan: Less Land and Smarter Use

Restricting the expansion of land for military exercises will enable and promote opportunities to enhance existing training areas and advances in virtual simulation technology in regional Queensland.

Carbon Sequestration – Why and How?

To meet the targets set by the Paris climate change conference, greenhouse gas may have to be actively removed from the atmosphere and stored indefinitely. Carbon capture and storage technology will also have a key role in reducing future greenhouse gas emissions. Storage deep underground, in the oceans and in the soil, are some of the possible options but there are technological, financial, environmental and time considerations.

New Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils – Closing the Gap between Soil Science and Farm Management

Recently the Federal Government announced that a new Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils will receive nearly $40 million over 10 years to help the agricultural community bridge the knowledge gap between soil science and farm management. The aim is to provide the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions on complex soil management issues.

Vegetation Patterns Changing in Australia’s North

The vegetation patterns in Australia’s north are changing as higher rainfall and improved growing conditions promote the growth of native woody species and introduced noxious weeds.

The Impact of Foreign Military Involvement on the Development of Northern Australia

Allowing foreign defence forces to access Australian military establishments and field training ranges is fundamental to maintaining regional security and long-standing strategic alliances. Military facilities can, however, be environmentally and culturally disruptive and can prevent land use for other purposes. The negative aspects of permanent, foreign military bases in Australia notwithstanding, they can be used strategically as a development tool for northern Australia.

Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia

The Federal Government recently established a Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia. This move will ensure a better-informed policy making and legislative process on matters relating to the development of northern Australia.

Developments in Desalination

The shortage of fresh water in the face of an increasing global population is becoming a serious issue but technological advancements in desalination could provide a significant boost to future supplies.

The Marrakech Climate Change Conference – What did it achieve?

This Strategic Analysis Paper discusses the aimed and actual achievements of the Marrakech Climate Change Conference held in November 2016. It highlights its role as the initial implementing forum for the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015. It also discusses the possible consequence of a draw-back from the Paris Agreement by United States President Donald Trump.

The Strategic Importance of Soil, Water and Food in the Early to Mid-21st Century

Julian Cribb, author of Surviving the 21st Century, The Coming Famine and seven other books, discusses how scarcities of fresh water and topsoil, combined with the impact of climate change on regional food production, highlight the growing strategic significance of these primary resources for human survival, health and wellbeing as potential drivers of conflict and mass migration to 2050 and beyond.

World Soil Day 2016 – “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life”

The importance to the global community of healthy soils is recognised each year through communication, events and activities to focus attention towards the restoration of degraded soils by increasing biodiversity, improving soil structure and enhancing fertility.

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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