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.

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...

A Step Towards An Eco-Friendly Lifestyle In Tanzania

Background Tanzania is currently looking at developing a group of eco-villages with the financial support of the European Commission. Eco-villages are communities designed with the aim of promoting ecological, social and economic sustainability. To support the country’s efforts, the Commission launched the Global Climate Change Alliance in Tanzania on 26 October 2010. Tom Vens, the...

The Future Prospects for Global Arable Land

      Download PDF                                             Key Points Population growth and changing consumption habits will create a considerable degree of additional demand which will in turn place pressure on arable land resources. Arable land scarcity is the result of a range of human and climatic factors including degradation, climate change, soil constraints, urban encroachment and unequal land...

The Rundown on Rainmaking

  Summary Australia’s susceptibility to drought has affected its farming capacity in the past and continues to do so now. This is despite the extensive research on weather modification and the development of technology designed to ameliorate water shortages. Artificial rainmaking has the potential to form a significant component of water resource management. Worldwide, scientists...

Water Surplus Countries

Summary The information collated by organisations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast grave situations for future water supply. By 2050, it is predicted that 15 per cent of the world’s countries will be experiencing water deficiency, most of which...

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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