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.

Indian Farmers Protest Against Market Liberalisation

Discussions between New Delhi and agricultural interest groups are unlikely to achieve consensus. The market reforms are likely to be implemented and will assist in improving food security outcomes.

Covid-19 Worsens Food Security in South-East Asia

While most of the South-East Asian region has managed to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus and prevent a public health crisis, the regional economic downturn has resulted in weaker food security and a rise in poverty.

Food and Water Security on the Agenda as Israeli Delegation Visits Sudan

Improved relations with the United States and Israel could help Sudan repair its economy and improve food and water security. As that will help it gain access to international finance and assist it in expressing its interests in regional water sharing negotiations.

Increased Risk of “Day Zero” Droughts due to Climate Change

While there is uncertainty about future climate conditions, it is probable that South Africa, Australia and other regions with similar climate conditions will experience severe droughts that could deplete water sources, mainly as a result of climate change.

Iran: A Passion for Large-Scale Water Projects is Unlikely to Alleviate Complex Water Problems

As Iran inaugurates the first stage of a major water transfer project this month, history shows that similar projects failed to alleviate water insecurity as they did not address the root causes of water scarcity.

China Continues to Confront Steep Environmental Challenges

Beijing recognises that there are growing concerns within China about environmental conditions, especially in relation to air, water and soil pollution. In recent years it has introduced new laws and set a range of goals to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Chinese officials admit that while environmental conditions have improved in recent years, they fall short of public expectations. Beijing is expected to announce new environmental goals in the upcoming 14th Five-Year Plan. If they are as poorly implemented as those in the previous plan, they are also likely to fall short of public expectations.

Food Security in Peril as Crises Continue to Mount

Covid-19, severe weather events and pest outbreaks have meant that food security will continue to decline in the near future, with aid agencies increasingly unable to help.

Bangladesh a Winner in India-China Rivalry but Water Dispute Settlement is Still a Long Way Off

Although India is keen to grant concessions to Bangladesh to keep it from China’s sphere of influence, domestic politics have prevented New Delhi from solving the long-standing water-sharing dispute with Dhaka.

Too Many Eggs in the Dragon’s Basket? Part One: Australia’s Reliance on Exports to China

China is manifestly Australia’s principal two-way trading partner. Australian exports of goods and services to China were worth $153 billion and constituted 32.6 per cent of all exports. Over the past six months, the Chinese Government has either denied, or given indication of restricting, a range of Australian exports, including barley, meat, wine, cotton and services. Given that alternative or substitute markets either do not exist, or take time and market development to form, a strategic reappraisal of Australia’s export base is required.

Syrian Food Security in Decline as Wheat Shortages Loom

Unprecedented challenges to Syria’s food security may worsen as the government struggles to procure wheat.

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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