Category Archives: Climate change and environment

GoLive Discussion Series – October 2016: “Environmental Sustainability: Past, Present and Future”

GoLive Indonesia proudly presents our monthly Discussion Series. This October, we will focus on environmental sustainability with speakers from University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.

Come along and see if you can tell the difference between palm oil and oil palm and the latest production application used by palm industries.

RSVP via this link .



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Filed under Climate change and environment, Discussion Series, Uncategorized

Natural Resources in Demand Symposium: Growth in Emerging Countries and Global Food Security

Professor Kym Anderson of University of Adelaide presented his work on global food security at Natural Resources in Demand Symposium: Global and Local Perspectives, 10th October 2012 at Waite campus, University of Adelaide.

Economic growth continues in large, natural resource-poor Asian countries may bring some implications for global food markets and food security, non-agricultural primary products markets and Australia-New Zealand and other natural resource-rich countries’ trade.China and India account for 40 % of the world’s population. Hence they may bring more implications for global food security than economic expansion of now-developed countries such as Japan.

Prof Anderson’s research uses a GTAP global economy-wide model to project the world economy from 2007 or pre-global financial crisis to 2030. Energy prices might remain high and volatile although there are potentials for finding alternative energy source. FAO and OECD argue agricultural prices will remain high and volatile. But this will depend on whether biofuel subsidies remain, etc.

The simulation predicts that world GDP will grow by 2.5%, population grows by 0.9%, and agricultural land decreases by 0.2%. Looking at regional shares of global GDP, contribution of high-income economies will be decreasing while developing countries will contribute more to the global income. But this is mostly a China’s story.

Many food-deficit countries worry about food self-sufficiency. A better indicator of access to food is real household food consumption per capita. However, food and energy security concerns may increase as Asian industrialisation proceeds. China especially may not allow food self-sufficiency to fall greatly. Agricultural rates of assistance are rising rapidly in China and India.


*This summary is written by Risti Permani.


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Filed under Agriculture, Climate change and environment, Conference, East Asia, Economic development, Food and agriculture, Trade

Natural Resources in Demand Symposium: China and India’s policy options

Dr Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research (IFPRI), presented his ideas about China and India’s policy options for their global food and nutrition security at Natural Resources in Demand Symposium: Global and Local Perspectives, 10th October 2012 at Waite campus, University of Adelaide.

China and India are facing increasing challenges to achieve food security. Globally, more than 50 countries have serious or alarming even extremely alarming levels of hunger despite impressive growth rates that many Asian countries, in particular India and China, are enjoying. In India, 225 million people or 19 % of total population are undernourished, whilst in China 130 million or 10 % of its population are undernourished. Interestingly, there is an increasing trend in share of population with overweight and obesity problems in both China and India.

Food security will be affected by various factors. First, countries experience positive population growth and shifting demographics. In China more than a half of its population live in urban areas whilst in India about a third living in urban areas. These countries have larger and wealthier population who will demand for more and better food due to growing middle class. Their dietary preference would also change, for example increase in meat consumption although culture matters. Unfortunately there is growing natural resource scarcities. Climate change impacts on agriculture.

China and India play large role in global food security. They have large share in global food consumption, although they also have large share in global food supply. They contribute to global production and stocks. Both countries experience positive growth in export and imports of food and raw agricultural trade. In 2011, China imported nearly 10 % of total imports of food and raw agricultural products. China and India also play an increasing role in global foreign direct investments (FDI). These FDIs help developing countries improve technology and provide cushion during the crisis.

There are various ways to improve China and India’s food security. First, they should expand agricultural productivity by increasing investment in agricultural resources and development and facilitate access to productive assets, inputs and services. Second, they should promote climate-smart agriculture by supporting triple win ie. adaptation, mitigation and productivity potential of agriculture. Third, they should increase market linkages by improving infrastructure, information technologies and vertical coordination. Fourth, they must invest in productive social protection programs by exploring new approaches eg. cross-sectoral to secure basic livelihoods and protect from risk.

China and India should promote mutually beneficial trade. This include policy to eliminate harmful trade restrictions, prevent resource exploitation and Dutch-disease effects on agriculture sector, and develop capacity of developing countries to export more agriculture and value-added products.

China and India should increase pro-poor FDI. This implies increased focus of FDI on agricultural and rural development, diversified and higher value added sectors and linking producers with markets eg. rural infrastructure. China and India should also explore new approaches for (public-private) partnerships. They should also promote corporate social responsibility.

Australia has an active role to play. It has long played an active role in advancing global food and nutrition security. Sir John Crawford served as an architect of the CGIAR and first-ever board chairman of IFPRI. Australia should exploit large knowledge-base and help build capacity, provide financial resources alongside lessons and advice, and overcome constraints of South-South and North-South.


This summary is written by Risti Permani

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Filed under Agriculture, Climate change and environment, Conference, East Asia, Economic development, Food and agriculture, Infrastructure, Investment

A reply to “BULOG: A good or confused choice”

Editor’s note: We have commitment to promote discussion on various topics on Indonesian development especially those that have been covered by our past articles. The following comment by YS Tey (John) on our previous post entitled “BULOG: A good or confused choice” is interesting and deserves more attention. We thank John for sharing his thoughts.

YS Tey (John)

A strong message from the recent Food Price Crisis was “business-as-usual” models are not sustainable in challenging environment. While the message did not provide an absolute answer to the model, it did suggest that a total reliance on a SINGLE POLICY is not likely to handle the complexity in food security.

Risti has debated two policy options: self-sufficiency and self-reliance. The former sounds objectively appealing. However, the latter is indeed more practically appropriate. In simple expression, that is to import food when world prices are cheaper than home production. Doing so will release domestic farmlands for other agricultural activities that have relative comparative advantage.

The question is what are these “other agricultural activities”? I do not have an answer to that. Indonesian economists obviously have to follow up. That should be done in the spectrum of general equilibrium in order to make justice for food security and relative comparative advantage.

Researchers should, however, be realistic. Statistical results that show relative comparative advantage could be meaningless if the implications do not match with the reality. E.g., wheat has lower production cost but it can only be grown at high latitudes in Indonesia. Here wheat is used as an example to highlight the extreme of economic analyses that ones may obsess with.

Careful consideration is indeed required! Pure economic studies always fall short of that. Could we call upon agriculturists and farmers to look at that complex issue? I bet these non-economists have better insights into what agricultural activities are doable and non-doable. By saying so, I do not disregard the importance of economists. Rather, multidisciplinary insights can definitely lead to better and practical policy options. Are economists willing to walk out and talk? Go ahead!

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Filed under Climate change and environment, Economic development, Food and agriculture, Indonesia, Review of article, Trade

If it’s not the economy, then what to do?

water pollution

Budi Akmal Djafar’s opinion piece in The Jakarta Post (Sept. 20) entitled “It’s [not] the economy stupid!” intrigued me. I like and support his overall idea that we should not only focus on the size of the pie (or box using his illustration) but also how to share the pie.

But being a mother of a five-year-old boy (and a baby) who is expanding his vocabulary at a pace much faster than the Chinese economy’s growth rate, the word “stupid” is a big no-no in our household.

Sure, as an economist, I know where the term originated from but mentioning that term has a big implication on how we should perceive the existing problems that Indonesia is facing now, as suggested by Budi’s piece.

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Filed under Climate change and environment, Income inequality, Indonesia, Poverty, Review of article

The Footprints of Anthropogenic Activities in Jakarta Bay Coastal Area


Evi Sofiyah, Discipline of Geography, Environment and Population, University of Adelaide

This article focuses on the deprived environmental quality of the Jakarta Bay coastal area as a result of anthropogenic activities. The anthropogenic activities in this case occur in both the inland and coastal areas. This article reports observational results concerning several natural and social features of Jakarta Bay coastal area. The features include physical and biological aspects, water quality, the demographic profile and related social issues. Besides the issue of environmental quality in general, this article also exposes the cause of the bay’s environmental quality deterioration.

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Filed under Climate change and environment, Economic development, Indonesia, Infrastructure

Transgenic Approaches for Better Foods in a Changing Climate


Aris Hairmansis,

Indonesian Centre for Rice Research & School of Agricultural Food and Wine, the University of Adelaide

In response to the growing population, food production must be continuously increased to meet the world demand. Unfortunately this must be achieved in a situation where agricultural land is continuously decreasing. Moreover, the effect of global climate change exacerbates the situation because we have to grow crops in harsher environments such as less water, increased temperature, and increased soil toxicity. To help alleviate this problem we need breakthrough technology to develop new plants which are better adapted to such harsh environments. One of the potential approaches to help improve crops is through genetic engineering or transgenic approaches.

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Filed under Climate change and environment, Economic development, Food and agriculture, Indonesia, Investment, PPIA academic discussion