FDI Research in 2019 and Intentions for 2020

12 December 2019 Major General John Hartley AO, (Retd), FDI Institute Director and CEO

Summary of 2019 Outcomes

This is the final publication for 2019.

I have done this in previous years, giving some idea of what we have achieved.  In late January 2020, I will publish another report, highlighting our intentions for that year.

FDI’s main areas of research, expressed in question format, were as follows:

  • Are we likely to have a global food and water crisis between now and 2050 and, if so, what will cause this to happen, how will it evolve, what impact might it have on Australia and what should we as a nation do about it?  Given the role of our Chairman, General Michael Jeffery, as National Soil Advocate, we will produce a twice yearly assessment of the state of the world’s food and water supply and demand and also the state of its soils.  We will also review in a number of countries this situation, especially in the South Pacific and in PNG, Timor Leste and Indonesia.
  • What geo-strategic impact will countries in the Indian Ocean region have on Australia over the next 25 years and how should we face the challenges and opportunities that might emerge?
  • What environmental and other challenges might Australia face in the development of northern Australia over the next 25 years and how might these challenges be met?

During the year, 315 articles were published, including 53 Strategic Analysis Paper, 226 Strategic Analysis items, 17 Feature Interviews and 16 Associate Papers.  On average papers were usually published three times a week.

Users to FDI’s website continued to increase with over 30,000 users doing so for nine months of the year.  September was the highest record ever with 45,440 people accessing the website.  Page views were also at an all- time record with 2,849,253 recorded in September.

Number of Users and Page Views for 2019 are shown below:

FDI also increased significantly its use of social media.  The five most viewed items for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are shown below:

Date publishedTypeTitle of Articleviews
31 January SAPWater Resources in Pakistan: Scarce, Polluted and Poorly Governed2,019
6 February SWAA Pakistani Delegation Visits Indian Dam Sites – Is this the Start of a Thaw in Indus Water Tensions?1,695
6 August FIDoug Pow: Dung Beetles, Eco-engineers 224
23 January SWAAs Agrarian Crisis Deepens, the Outcome of India’s General Election becomes less Certain218
5 February FIDavid Marsh – A Farmer’s Journey193
SAP – Strategic Analysis Paper
SWA – Strategic Weekly Analysis paper
FI – Feature Interview
SA – Strategic Alert

Date publishedTypeTitle of Articleviews
20 February SWAConflicts over Access to Land will Remain a Major Problem for the Nigerian Government3,714
5 June SWAEl Niño Conditions to Put Indonesian Government Regulations to the Test This Fire Season2,069
22 May SWALake Chad Crisis: Food Insecurity and Conflict are Creating a Feedback Loop of Destruction1,604
23 January SWAIndia’s Tejas and the Royal Malaysian Air Force: A Done Deal?1,391
2 May SAAustralia-Indonesia Relations: Rare Opportunity for a Bold, Fresh Start1,298

Date publishedTypeTitle of Articleviews
23 May FIDr Nicolas Taylor: Developing Salt-Tolerant Wheat2,079
28 November SAPChinese and Australian Interests in Timor-Leste: At Odds or Mutually Beneficial?1,284
23 January SWANo Incentive for Al-Shabaab to Stop Attacks in Kenya1,152
30 January SWAIndonesian Government Considering further Military Involvement in Papua1,117
23 January SAPClosing the Desalination Circle: Extracting Resources from Wastewater1,002

Facebook followers: 698 (+84)

Twitter followers: 690 (+75)

LinkedIn connections: 8537 (+3,654)

A total of 47 articles were republished in Australian and international magazines.

Staffing levels were constant with 11 volunteers from 4 universities serving in FDI, usually for one day in one semester.

Major events

I was invited to visit China by Huawei Australia and did so as a member of the Australia China Business Council.

I was also invited to attend a lunch with Prabowo Subianto, recently appointed to be Indonesia’s Minister of Defence.  This resulted in a letter being forwarded to a number of notable Australians, including the Governor General, Prime Minister, the Governor and Premier of WA and to several Australian government ministers.

I also wish to acknowledge the leadership of our Chairman, General Michael Jeffery who will stand down at our next Board meeting and become our Patron.

I also wish to thank our donors whose gracious donations have enabled us to continue to produce the product which is increasingly in demand.

Thank you all and I wish you a happy, safe and relaxed Christmas and I look forward to your support next year.

Any opinions or views expressed in this paper are those of the individual author, unless stated to be those of Future Directions International.

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