Policy Updates

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Australia to host major advocacy event promoting international agricultural researchon in August 2024

May 20, 2024 | Australia, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On May 20, 2024, the Crawford Fund launched the final program for its annual one-day Parliamentary seminar on agricultural research, titled Food and Nutrition Security: transformative partnerships, local leadership and co-design, to be held in Canberra on August 14, 2024.

Dr. Line Gordon, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and professor of sustainable food systems at Stockholm University, is a keynote speaker at the conference. Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Executive Managing Director of CGIAR will also be speaking on transformational outcomes.

The conference is a hybrid event.

Web Page - The Crawford Fund

Australian funds partnership platform to assist sustainable rice project developers

April 13, 2024 | Australia, Climate, Agriculture | Share this update

On April 13, 2024, Australia has announced it will invest a further AUD17 million(US$11 million) to extend the BPP through 2028.

Through the BPP, Australia funded a partnership with organization Gold Standard and the International Rice Research Institute to assist sustainable rice project developers. The hub assisted scaling carbon market access within Vietnam and in global markets. It aims to significantly reduce methane emissions and also to provide possibilities for more income for smallholder farmers.

The BPP promotes development by partnering with academia, not-for-profit organizations and businesses to create jobs and increase incomes. It also aims to empower women.

The four countries covered by the program are Vietnam, Samoa, Sri Lanka, and Fiji.

Web Page - Krishakjagat Web Page - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

IFAD President urges Australia to resume funding

March 6, 2024 | Australia, Agriculture, Climate | Share this update

On March, 6, 2024, IFAD President Dr. Alvao Lario visited Australia to seek funding for IFAD.

Australia withdrew from the organization in 2003, citing a lack of focus on the Asia-Pacific.

Speaking at the Australian National University, Lario emphasized the benefits of IFAD’s work in Austrlia, particularly as it relates to climate adaptation in the Pacific. He also spoke at a major Global Citizen NOW event in Melbourne.

Lario stressed that IFAD focuses on low-income, rural communities and mitigating the impact of climate change on them. He also visited the Solomon Islands and held discussions with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare before arriving in Australia.

Interview - ABC News

Papua New Guinean and Australian Prime Ministers hold dialogue on ODA

February 8, 2024 | Australia, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate, Education | Share this update

On February 8, 2024, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape visited Australia for the 5th Papua New Guinea – Australia Annual Leaders’ Dialogue to meet with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and discuss, amongst other topics, ODA issues.

Papua New Guinea is the largest recipient of Australian ODA. The two prime ministers discussed Papua New Guinea’s budget repair plans and fiscal situation, with Marape welcoming budget support from Australia to assist with budget shortfalls. Marape also addressed Australia’s parliament during his visit.

They noted the importance of continued support for agriculture to improve supply and quality, especially to provide continued support for women. Marape and Albanese also discussed Australia’s assistance to Papua New Guinea’s national road network and 30-year master plan for port rehabilitation.

The leaders pledged to act in response to Papua New Guinea’s need for more reliable green energy. Australia has provided US$150 million to upgrade and repair major energy assets, including refurbishing the Ramu 1 hydroelectric power station.

Marape also noted Australia’s assistance in completing new solar farms in Bougainville and West Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Separately, small energy projects in Papua New Guinea are being funded by Australia through the Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership. Australian ODA has also been provided to improve education and support health services aimed at tuberculosis and malaria, as well as MNCH.

Press release - Prime Minister of Australia

Australia appoints first female Chief Veterinary Officer

January 3, 2024 | Australia, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Global Health | Share this update

On January 3, 2024, Beth Cookson was appointed as Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer following her role as deputy Chief Veterinary Officer with a focus on tropical Australia.

Cookson's work included designing animal health surveillance in northern Australia and undertaking capacity building programs on biosecurity in neighboring low- and middle-income countries.

The Chief Veterinary Officer role has a major focus on antimicrobial resistance. Cookson indicated she would take on her role with a One Health mindset and will be involved with the World Organisation for Animal Health and the FAO on projects combating antimicrobial resistance.

News article - dvm360Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Australian research cooperation leads to 19 new crops in Timor Leste

December 6, 2023 | Australia, Nutrition, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On December 6, 2023, President of Timor-Leste José Ramos Horta attended an event to announce the release of new varieties of crops created using Australian research funding.

The population of Timor-Leste has suffered from nutrition deficits due to geographic and seasonal conditions making agricultural yields unreliable. New crop varieties, including hybrid corn, common and winged beans, and red rice, were developed in conjunction with the ACIAR. The crops have already been adopted widely by smallholder farmers in Timor-Leste.

Under the Seeds for Life program, conducted over 16 years by ACIAR, a national seed system in Timor-Leste was established and 2,600 people were trained. Those trained included civil servants, farmers, and NGO staff. The program has enabled access to 19 improved varieties of high yielding seed to grow for food.

Web Page - ACIAR

Australia embraces Emirates’ Declaration, commits to new scientific cooperation agreement with Pacific

December 2, 2023 | Australia, Agriculture, Climate, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On December 2, 2023, Australia endorsed a scale-up of resilience and adaptation activities in agriculture and committed to the Emirates’ Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action at COP28, which would integrate food policy into national climate plans by 2025.

The declaration is intended to maximize environmental and climate benefits from food systems and agriculture. Over 130 world leaders endorsed the declaration.

Australia’s national CSIRO also signed a memorandum of understanding with the SPREP to cooperate on research programs in the Pacific. SPREP has a focus on ocean and island ecosystems, climate change resilience and pollution control.

The memorandum is intended to assist evidence-based science cooperation focused on climate impact risk and vulnerability, fisheries, and climate change science.

Press release - Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and ForestryPress release - CSIRO

Australia and US commit to addressing climate crisis, clean energy supply, and food security.

October 30, 2023 | Australia, US, Agricultural R&D, Climate, Agriculture | Share this update

On October 30, 2023, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden issued a joint statement on development cooperation following a state meeting in Washington DC, US.

The statement detailed a plan to cooperate on clean energy supply chains and seek advice on clean energy cooperation and industry development from both the public and private sector. It also included plans for the development of an Indo-Pacific Zero Transition Bond, to generate funding for SMEs focused on clean energy transition.

Albanese and Biden noted the assurance that the GCF, as well as other multilateral funding agencies' resources, will remain accessible to the vulnerable states most affected by climate change, particularly small island states.

The statement noted that the US and Australia would additionally assist in the financing of submarine cable connections for Pacific Island countries.

Both countries announced plans to assist ASEAN initiatives to develop sustainable and resilient agri-food systems, including through the strengthening of regional agricultural R&D.

Government document - US Embassy in Canberra

Australia, Indonesia announce agricultural adaptation program

September 8, 2023 | Australia, Agriculture | Share this update

On September 8, 2023, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that Australia will invest in the ASEANCGIAR Innovate for Food Regional Program.

The joint research between Australia and ASEAN aims to develop new technologies and agricultural practices in support of regional food security. The program is slated to promote ASEAN collaboration on challenges including climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, and urbanization. Albanese noted that the program is in its initial phase to determine its scope.

Australia also committed to expanding its Meryl Williams Fellowships for women in agricultural science. This would allow 20 fellows from Timor-Leste and other ASEAN member states to study the agricultural sciences in Australia.

Albanese was in Jakarta for the ASEAN-Australia summit and the 18th East Asia Summit. The ASEAN-Australia meeting discussed how to alleviate regional food security pressures, which included the need for both fair and open rules-based trade to support food supply chains.

Press release - Prime Minister of AustraliaWeb Page - ACIAR

Australia outlines regional rabies control initiatives

July 6, 2023 | Australia, Agriculture, Global Health | Share this update

On July 6, 2023, World Zoonoses Day, Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Mark Shipp summarized efforts by Australia to help control rabies in its near region.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has been working with Timor-Leste to maintain its rabies free status after rabies infections had emerged in parts of Indonesia’s West Timor. The Department has also provided four-year funding towards a regional rabies control initiative, focused on supporting the Indonesian government's rabies vaccination campaign for dogs on Bali.

Shipp also noted Australia's Pacific Engagement Program for Animal Health, which works closely with partner countries in the Pacific to assist them to maintain their rabies free status. He also reaffirmed Australia's supprot for the joint mission of the FAO, UNEP, WHO, and the World Organisation for Animal Health to eliminate global dog transmission of rabies by 2030.

News article - Mirage News






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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