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.

Successful Food Security Action Needs Private Sector Support

Background An action plan on food price volatility and food security was agreed at the recent meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers in Paris on 22-23 June 2011. The 56 point action plan will be submitted to the G20 leaders’ summit in November 2011. Comment At the G20 Summit, the agriculture ministers stressed that strong global...

The Influence of Governance on Global Agricultural Land Availability

Download PDF This paper began as a roundtable discussion hosted by Future Directions International on the subject of ‘Land Limitations.’ The roundtable, the third in a series of roundtables, was attended by several eminent Western Australian academics and thinkers*. The discussion highlighted a number of challenges to the availability of land that needed to be...

Draft Agreement Promises Positive Outlook for Bangladesh Water Security

Background High-level talks between India and Bangladesh in June this year herald a timely agreement on the subject of sharing water from the Teesta River. The agreement represents an important gain for Bangladeshi water security and sets a positive precedent for future water-sharing arrangements. Comment India and Bangladesh have been trying to resolve the question...

Indonesian Beef Price Rises, while Export Ban gives Northern Australian Farmers Power to Negotiate

Background The ban on cattle exports to Indonesia will hit the Indonesian hip pocket and highlights the insecure state of Indonesia’s beef industry. Almost all of the beef Indonesia imports comes from Australia. The export ban will hasten Indonesia’s desire to obtain self-sufficiency, to such an extent that when the ban is lifted there may...

Action Call on Pending Global Water Crisis

Background A new panel is being established to address a serious void in leadership on global water issues. Twenty former heads of government from around the world met in Quebec City, Canada, on 31 May to consider the world water crisis. While several recommendations were adopted, implementation may be hampered because of the absence from...

E.Coli Outbreak Undermines European Food Security

Background The recent E.Coli outbreak across Europe, which has resulted in as many as 22 deaths, illustrates some of the many challenges to food security in a globalised world. Food security is not just an issue of quantity and availability but also of quality. It is a problem that is also faced by the developed...

Fear for Riots after New Food Price Highs

Background On 19 May 2011, the Chicago Board of Trade indicated that wheat futures rose to US$8.17 per bushel – a 91 per cent increase in less than a year. It is feared that riots in developing countries will be a consequence of the rising food prices. This is not necessarily the end of the...

Tanzanian Food and Water Security Outlook

                                        Download PDF          Key Points       The major constraint facing the agricultural sector is falling labour and land productivity. The reduced availability of arable land is mainly due to the effects of climate change, as well as the increasing size of the population. Water security is a main concern, leading to great domestic, economic...

Mining Undermines South African SKA Bid

Background The South African Government’s bid to build the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope could be undermined by the effects of a mining technique known as “fracking”. These concerns play into the hands of Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett as he travels to Europe this week to promote WA’s bid for the project,...

Chinese Admit Three Gorges Dam Failures

Background                                            The Chinese Government has issued a statement admitting that the $23 billion Three Gorges hydro electric dam project is leading to deterioration in the ecology of the region and is vulnerable to geological disasters. The managers of the dam are confronted with conflicting demands for the water, while trying to return profits to their...

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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