Murdoch Commission

Background

From the outset, the Commission was keen to develop a nuanced strategy that acknowledges the challenges associated with food security for each country, whilst registering avenues by which regional collaboration could help cultivate stable and resilient food systems in Asia. Against diverse national backgrounds of limited resources – including land, labour and capital, national economic and political concerns, and increasingly unstable weather conditions brought on by climate change – a central concern for the SMC was to investigate how developing multilateral and interdisciplinary regional frameworks and partnerships might help address food security challenges.

The Commission’s geographical focus was the Association of South East Asian Nations and plus six (ASEAN+6) group of nations. Australia, as a member of this grouping, has a significant role to play in addressing regional food security, by virtue of its role as an exporter of high-quality agricultural commodities and through its significant scientific and technical capacities in the agri-food sector and related areas such as food safety and biosecurity. Western Australia’s significant capacities in these areas are also an important part of the regional food security story.

A distinctive feature of the Commission’s work was a futures study entitled Food Security in Asia in 2035. The scenario study assisted Commission members to explore the foreseeable drivers of food security in the region leading up to 2035, which subsequently informed the development of its report and its recommendations.

The ASEAN+6 group of nations includes: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.