Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Strategic Analysis Paper

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.

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.

Implications of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Congress: Part Two: Some Consequences of China’s New Foreign Policy

In this, the concluding part of his examination of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Research Analyst Lindsay Hughes examines Beijing’s message and some of its international ramifications. Apart from examining some of China’s international policies that stem from that Congress, he also looks at some of the effects of the Belt and Road Initiative on the international community and, more specifically, India.

Implications of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Congress: Part One: Xi Consolidates Power

The recently-concluded Congress of the Chinese Communist Party saw President Xi consolidate his power and set China on a revised and ambitious path, one perceived as more becoming of a superpower. Such a move also presents risks for the region and for China itself.

China’s Quest for Nutritional Security

Nutrition is an important, but underappreciated, component of Chinese food security. A greater appreciation of the role that access to nutritious food plays in economic productivity could help to reduce the economic burden of an ageing population.

The Southern African Development Community: Solid Achievements and Future Challenges

The SADC is an important regional forum. While the implementation of a regional Free Trade Agreement was a major achievement for the SADC, further progress towards economic integration is slow. In the future, the SADC will also be confronted by such challenges as overlapping national memberships and, in a number of its member states, poor human rights records and the potential for further instability.

Hydraulic Fracturing – Does Fracking have a Place in Australia’s Energy Future?

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, is the process of pumping a fluid mixture into the earth to fracture impermeable rock to access gas resources. The process can provide an abundant source of natural gas for domestic and export markets, but it faces strong community opposition over environmental and social concerns. Nevertheless, as energy prices rise there are compelling reasons for it to be considered as a contributor to Australia’s energy future.

Governance in South Asia Part II: Provincial Co-Operation and Water Security

Provincial water disputes often arise within South Asian countries, weakening water security. Political, social and administrative systems within these countries are often not well equipped to manage and prevent issues surrounding water. Strengthening these systems will help to strengthen regional water security.

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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