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Resource scarcity under spotlight at Foreign Policy School

Friday 4 April 2014

Global resource scarcity under spotlight at Foreign Policy School

This year’s University of Otago Foreign Policy School will bring together an impressive line-up of national and international speakers to graple with the issue of global resource scarcity.

The Otago Foreign Policy School, which is in its 49th year, attracts academics, students, policymakers, diplomats and members of the public to discuss and debate pressing issues in international affairs. It is being held at St Margaret’s College on the University’s Dunedin campus from Friday 27 June until Sunday 29 June.

Titled “Global Resource Scarcity: Catalyst for Conflict or Collaboration?”, this year’s School will focus on themes including global phosphorus security, rare earth metals, the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing, the politics of scarcity, China’s quest for natural resources in the South Pacific, business risks and opportunities related to water scarcity, deep sea mining, informal mineral extraction and the post-2015 development agenda in relation to natural resource security.

The co-directors of the latest School are Drs Marcelle Dawson and Chris Rosin. Dr Dawson says that unequal access and distribution lie at the root of global resource scarcity. Moreover, “While resource shortages have indeed sparked international clashes, there is much evidence to suggest that collaboration, rather than conflict, can go a long way to address perceived resource scarcity. Resource abundant nations like New Zealand are well-positioned to make a valuable contribution to this debate.”

Dr Rosin adds, “The School provides a useful interactive forum in which scarcity can be re-thought as a point of leverage to encourage international collaboration and environmental benefits.”

Current speaker line-up:

o Dr Grant Blackwell (Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, New Zealand)

o Dr Philippa Brant (Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, Australia)

o Mr Elliot Brennan (Institute for Security and Development Policy, Sweden)

o Mr David Hebblethwaite (Water and Sanitation Programme, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC-SOPAC), Fiji)

o Associate Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt (Senior Fellow, Resource Management in Asia- Pacific Program (RMAP), Australian National University)

o Mr Andreas Lindström (Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden)

o Associate Professor Bob Lloyd (Department of Physics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

o Mr Iosefa Maiava (UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Pacific Operations Centre), Fiji)

o Mr Nick Main (Independent Consultant, New Zealand)

o Dr Lyla Mehta (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, via video conference)

o Dr Marama Muru-Lanning (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

o Clr Gretchen Robertson (Otago Regional Council, New Zealand)

o Dr David Tickner (Chief Adviser-Freshwater, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), United Kingdom)

o Professor Stuart White (Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Australia)

The School begins on Friday evening at 5pm with a cocktail function and opening by Mr John Allen (Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade), and finishes on Sunday around 4:30pm.

Visit the Otago Foreign Policy School website for more information about the School, past conferences, registration and fees:

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