Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Global Food and Water Crises

Australia’s greatest responsibility and opportunity in the 21st century is to help feed a hungry world. Mobilisation of political will and an overhaul of the existing global food systems are critical to avert crises.

Chinese Imports of US Farm Goods Remain Robust in the Face of Deteriorating Relations

The United States and China reaffirmed their commitment to the Phase One Trade Agreement last month. While Beijing is unlikely to reach the import commitments that it agreed to in that deal, it has increased the volume of US agricultural goods that it is importing. It remains to be seen whether that will be sufficient to save the agreement after the US presidential election in November.

Pakistani Food Security Still Precarious After Lockdown

Although Pakistan appears to be past the worst of the economic turmoil of lockdown, history points towards a food security situation that, unfortunately, is likely to worsen.

Zimbabwe’s Troubles Continue to Mount as Drought Hits Drinking Water

Drinking water shortages in urban areas are a symptom of a wider economic disaster unfolding in Zimbabwe.

China Struggles with Food Supply Following a Summer of Disaster

Xi Jinping exhorts citizens to avoid wasting food as supply falters and prices soar.

Iraqi Food Security at Risk in a Year of Mounting Disasters

There is likely to be a significant increase in poverty across Iraq as a result of a severe economic downturn brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, a decline in oil production and a sharp decrease in international oil prices. That is expected to contribute to a significant, and persistent, rise in food insecurity across the country.

Beirut Explosion Highlights the Critical State of Lebanese Food Security

The destruction of a major port and grain silo has drawn attention to Lebanon’s spiralling food insecurity situation.

Miners Come Under Pressure Over Allegations of Unsustainable Water Use in Chile

An analysis by the Chilean Government suggests that copper and lithium miners are overdrawing water from the Salar de Atacama, frustrating efforts to further develop the mining industry in the country. Desalination and changes to mining and processing methods could present a way forward.

India: Mumbai Water Supply Levels Decline for a Third Year

While the annual monsoon will replenish the urban water supply, persistently low year-to-year water levels ahead of the monsoon suggest that the city could face a severe water crisis at some point in the next few years.

Floods in China Threaten Supply Chains for Critical Goods

Some of the most severe floods in decades are likely to slow supply chains in China. That could disrupt the supply of personal protective equipment, which is necessary for combatting Covid-19.

Chinese Intentions Towards the Mekong River and Mainland South-East Asia

A recent scientific analysis has shown beyond reasonable doubt that Chinese dams are capable of lowering water levels in the lower Mekong River basin. It is now clear that Beijing could use its geographical position at the headwaters of the river to influence or coerce downstream riparians, to the detriment of the US and other countries that share its vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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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