Independent inquiry to examine contemporary food security in Asia

October 22, 2014

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Second Murdoch Commission Co-Chairs Professor John Edwards and Professor Mely Caballero Anthony

Second Murdoch Commission Co-Chairs Professor John Edwards and Professor Mely Caballero Anthony

The Second Murdoch Commission on food security in the Asian region was launched by Murdoch’s Interim Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Taggart this week.

Entitled Food Security, Trade and Partnerships: Western Australia in regional food systems, the Commission brings together a range of global experts to examine how contemporary food security is embedded in increasingly interconnected food systems and what part is played by Western Australia in these systems.

“The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that one in eight people in the world are undernourished, which makes contemporary food security in Asia an issue of critical importance,” Professor Taggart said.

“The overall aim of the Commission is to produce an independent, evidence-based analysis of some of the key food security challenges in the region and to generate a set of applied policy recommendations addressing these challenges.”

The Commission will evaluate a range of themes including regional and global food security systems, farm production and food supply chains, trade and investment, agricultural research and development, and WA’s role in regional food systems.

Membership of the Commission comprises 12 leadings figures in the food security space with expertise in agriculture, economics, policy, government and business from Singapore, China, Vietnam, Japan, India and Australia. The Commission is Co-Chaired by Professor Mely Caballero Anthony and Professor John Edwards.

Dr Anthony is Associate Professor and Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajarantnam School of International studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her expertise lies in regionalism and regional security in the Asia-Pacific, multilateral security cooperation, politics and international relations in ASEAN, conflict management and prevention, and human security.

Professor John Edwards is an Emeritus Professor at Murdoch University, a former member of the University Senate and former Dean of the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Murdoch. He is currently working in China for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation as the Coordinator for the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD).

The Commissioners include:

  • Professor Paul S. Teng, Principal Officer, Senior Fellow (Food Security), Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Professor Kym Anderson, George Gollin Professor of Economics, foundation Executive Director of the Wine Economics Research Centre and Adelaide Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Dang Kim Son, Director General, Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), Vietnam
  • Dr Zhang Lubiao, Director General and Professor of the Department of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, People’s Republic of China
  • Dr Kazuhito Yamashita, Research Director, Canon Institute for Global Studies; Senior Fellow (Adjunct), Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), Japan
  • Dr Rajeev Malhotra, Executive Director, Centre for Development and Finance, OP Jindal Global University, India
  • Professor Richard Harper, Chair in Sustainable Water Management and Cluster Leader (Agriculture), School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University
  • Dr Chris Vas, Academic Director, Executive Education, Murdoch University
  • Mr Paul Neesham, Director, International and Institutional Banking, ANZ

The Commission has a Western Australian Expert Advisory Group to assist in its investigations. The Advisory Group is chaired by Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Professor of Science, Professor Lyn Beazley and is made up of leading figures involved in various aspects of food and agriculture in WA.

“With its focus on one of the most pressing regional and global challenges of the 21st century, the Second Murdoch Commission will no doubt make a significant contribution to the policy debates surrounding food security,” Professor Taggart said.

“Combining the University’s research strengths with the international expertise of the Commissioners, Murdoch is once again showing its commitment to regional engagement and its endeavour to apply scholarly research to significant real-world problems.”

The inaugural meeting of the Commission on October 21 marked the start of the 12-month program of works that culminates in a final evidence-based report and recommendations that will be released in late 2015.

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