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.

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.

Food Security Continues to Decline as Crises Mount

Food insecurity has risen for another consecutive year. Ongoing conflicts, climate change and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic make it likely that the situation will continue to deteriorate this year.

Nepal Faces an Unenviable Situation as COVID-19 Precautions Deal a Blow to Food Security

As migrant workers are forced home and incomes are lost, years of food security progress are being undone in Nepal.

Nile Water Sharing Agreement Remains Elusive, Despite Mutual Interest in Reaching One

Unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs within the next few weeks, it is likely that Ethiopia will start to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without a transboundary water sharing agreement. The lack of an agreement will make it difficult to govern the water resources of the Nile basin.

Water Sharing Tensions Between Iran and Afghanistan Still High as Droughts Ease

While Afghanistan’s destructive 2018-19 drought has now eased, Kabul remains unwilling to negotiate with Iran over water-sharing, to Tehran’s displeasure.

New Covid-19 Outbreak in Beijing Linked to Food Market

A cluster of Covid-19 cases at the Xinfadi wholesale food market in Beijing will place increased pressure on Chinese officials to impose more stringent regulations on wet markets.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Draws Attention to Vulnerabilities in the Global Food System

The global food supply system has performed better than first anticipated during the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of vulnerabilities have become obvious, however, mainly in the growing and processing stages of the industrial food supply chain. Reforms that value food and agriculture workers and increase competition in segments of the processing industry would make the food supply more resilient in times of crisis.

How Syria’s Economic Difficulties have Caused a Food Crisis

A complex economic crisis has taken hold in Syria, causing increased food insecurity and placing pressure on the Assad regime.

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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