Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Global Food and Water Crises

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Australia and the Global Food and Water Crisis

Food and water insecurity are among the most formidable challenges facing the world.  The potential for food or water crises to manifest between now and 2050 is high.  If such events were to occur, they would lead to rising poverty levels, slowing growth and development, and widespread instability and conflict.  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.

Future Directions International has numerous studies underway and believes Australia urgently requires a ‘21st Century’ National Food Policy. The impending global food and water crisis presents a number of challenges and opportunities for Australia.  As instability spreads as a result of food and water shortages, Australia must be well positioned to manage crises within its region and even within its own borders.  Instrumental changes to our food system are required to do this.

To ensure Australia’s food security to 2050 and to act as a global leader on the challenges facing the world, we must guarantee that our agricultural and food systems are productive and sustainable. Through the effective use of water, the regeneration of soils, sharing of research, greater investment and polices that allow for effective infrastructure and community involvement, the agricultural sector could generate huge growth and support the viability of our nation’s economy for future generations.  In particular, Northern and inland Australia will be a focus of this study as this region has the potential to capture vast additional revenues from agricultural exports for the benefit of future generations.

To understand the threats and opportunities posed to Australia between now and 2050 we must be aware of the specific threats of food and water shortages emerging in our Indian Ocean region.  Of particular concern is the prospect of conflict over shared water resources within the region

To this end, the research undertaken by Future Directions International in this area considers the following question:

How can Australia best display a global leadership role in improved and sustainable food productivity and landscape regeneration in the event of a global food and water crises?

The FDI Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme covers three primary areas of research:

  • Will there be a Global Food and Water Crisis between now and 2050, and if so, how should Australia react to such a crisis?
  • What is the food and water security situation in the Indian Ocean littoral between now and 2030?
  • Could rising demand for shared water resources cause conflict within trans boundary river basins in our region?

FDI’s research and analysis of individual countries and regions not only provides stimuli, but the institute actively seeks engagement with subject matter experts, hosts roundtables on the subject matters and provides key policymakers with relevant and timely outcomes.  The comprehensive research includes issues, such as demographic growth, access to food and water, farming and agricultural practices, governmental policies, and the impact of conflict on the population.

FDI is also involved in areas of research such as:

  • The Soils for Life initiative facilitated through Outcomes Australia.
  • Enhanced Agricultural and Trade partnerships between Australia and other States.

If you would like to receive regular analytical papers on food and water crises or would like to contribute an article for publication by FDI please contact:

Mervyn Piesse
Research Manager
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +61 (0)8 6389 0211

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