Last week, the Prime Minister announced that a former Governor of Queensland and distinguished Australian diplomat, Hon. Penelope Wensley, AC, would be the next National Soils Advocate. In making the announcement, the Prime Minister also thanked General Jeffery – our founder, former Chairman and current Patron – for his tireless advocacy in promoting soil health across Australia and internationally.
After several weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, we are gradually emerging and relaxing our social distancing obligations. FDI will re-start its publication process from next week with the production of three papers per week. On Tuesday and Thursday, we will issue either a Strategic Analysis Paper, an Associate Paper or a Feature Interview. Our Wednesday edition will continue the Strategic Weekly Analysis that covers three items of immediate interest.
In 2020, FDI’s research will continue to focus on three areas: determining whether there will be a global food and water crisis between now and 2050; geostrategic developments, including opportunities and challenges for Australia, in the Indian Ocean region over the next 25 years; and what environmental and other challenges Australia might face in the development of northern Australia over the next 25 years and how these challenges might be met.
In 2019, FDI’s research will continue to focus on three areas: determining whether there will be a global food and water crisis between now and 2050; geostrategic developments, including opportunities and challenges for Australia, in the Indian Ocean region over the next 20 years; and identifying key developments in northern Australia over the next two decades, with an initial focus on landscape regeneration.
Japan’s political and military normalisation under the stewardship of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is well and truly underway. Japan is taking an increasingly proactive approach to the Indian Ocean Region, as is evident from its various regional endeavours. It is partnering with countries from around the Indian Ocean rim to build capacity and develop infrastructure, while growing local economies and raising living standards. Tokyo would appear to be taking an approach in which the offer of aid does not necessarily imply the eventual dependence of the recipient on the donor.
Across the Indo-Pacific Region, the year ahead has all the hallmarks of continuing geopolitical uncertainly and the likelihood of increasing concern over a number of non-traditional challenges that include changes in demographic trends, the impact of climate change, the ability to meet food and water demands, rising inequality and the impact on employment of increased automation.
Next week, FDI will publish a Landmark Study that examines the food and water security situation of the Middle East to 2030. This paper is a summary of the major conclusions reached in the study.
FDI’s research continues to evolve but remains focussed on three general topics: the Indian Ocean Region and the opportunities for Australia over the next 20 years; the possibility of a global food and water crisis and its impact on Australia between now and 2050; and the development of northern Australia, especially in relation to what needs to be done to improve the quality of its soils.
FDI, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with support from the Indian Ocean Rim Association Secretariat and the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, convened the second Indian Ocean Dialogue in Perth.