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Event French–Australian forum on water and land management: “Food and water security shaping land-use futures”

This forum is the second joint event of the French-Australian Initiative on Water and Land Management[i]


In June 2011, scholars from Australia and France met in Montpellier to share their research activities and to develop a number of collaborative projects on water governance, urban water and groundwater management. Through the discussions, several issues of common interest were also identified for potential future investigation, including the:

  • Need to reconnect rural and urban areas to link food and water security, and to investigate notions of rural, urban and territorial identity, as well as their relationships to underlying issues of natural resources management
  • Comparison of coastal area development and management, and control of their evolution by human habitation and management between France and Australia
  • Need for comparison between procedural methods for managing tensions that occur among people or stakeholders of a territory, e.g. via alternative dispute resolution or participation
  • Place and perspectives for water markets, including deeper comparison between French & Australian experiences and possible futures.

In this second forum, it is the first and particularly critical of these issues on the links between water security, food security and land use, which is to be the main focus of the dialogue and collaborative activity.


Forum scope:

In 2013, the United Nations Year of Water Cooperation, the importance of water underlying multiple facets of sustainable development, including access to food and nutrition, has again been iterated[ii].  With increasing global demand for food and water and changes in modes of consumption, preservation of water quantity and quality, as well as ensuring adequate food production for the world's population, constitute two potentially conflicting objectives for land use and associated policies. Catchment protection areas generate rules that constrain possibilities for agriculture while food production and processing consume large quantities of water and are a potential source of pollution for water resources. This tension between both objectives is heightened by their interactions with other land development policies, including urbanisation, and by the fact that such policy-making authority does not necessarily fall under the same jurisdiction. Moreover, water flows, water transfers, food and associated markets generate a range of externalities, often leading to a loss of autonomy and security at a particular scale, but increased food and water security for others.

In this forum, we aim to share experiences from France, Australia and regions of mutual interest including (the Asia-Pacific and Africa) on these issues. State of the art reviews, case studies and on-going research will feed our discussion on topics such as:

  • Locally produced food and its diverse impacts on water resources and their management;
  • The role of water security as a driver for land use policies;
  • Suitable scales for food and water autonomy;
  • Evolution of needs for food and water management at local and regional scales
  • Reflecting water and food security challenges in agricultural, estuarine and urban land-use planning


Propositions for talks based on fieldwork studies, as well as those on policy analyses, future studies, simulation outcomes or more preliminary ideas are welcome. Presentations, speed talks and panels will be alternated through the forum in order to foster the discussion. A field trip associated with the forum will also be organised on either the 11th or 14th of June with further information being provided to forum participants at a later date.


Call for expressions of interest

To register your expression of interest in presenting or attending the forum, please send an email to and as soon as possible, at the latest by April 20. Please include:

  •  a title and short synopsis of your talk if you propose to give one (250 words or less);
  • a brief biography (250 words or less); and
  • up to five dot points on your current French-Australian collaboration interests (e.g. environmental sociology; comparative case analyses on estuarine management; African development policy; decision support tools for stakeholder conflict management; water information systems).

Presentations will be selected based on complementary French and Australian perspectives and in order to ensure a balanced program.


[i] Financial and in-kind support for the forum is gratefully acknowledged, including from: The French Embassy in Australia; l’Institut Français, the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences; IRSTEA, France; the ANU Water Initiative; and the ANU Centre for European Studies.


Contact information Olivier Barreteau IRSTEA - UMR G-EAU 361 rue Jean-François Breton BP5095 F-34196 Montpellier // Katherine Daniell (email: ;
Phone: +33 4 67 16 64 39
Event type Conference
File link n/a
Geographical coverage Australia
Address Australian National University, Canberra
Organizer French & Australian
Target audience International
Period [12/06/2013 - 13/06/2013]
Status Confirmed
Working language(s) ENGLISH