July 1, 2014
We are pleased to welcome Dr Colin Chartres, who has today joined the Crawford Fund as Director of Training and Master Classes.
Colin is a soil scientist by training, who has more recently focused on broader issues of water, natural resource management and food security. He started his career in the private sector as a soil scientist working in several tropical countries, then moved to the University of New South Wales. Subsequently, he worked for CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the BRS. He was then appointed as the Chief Science Adviser to the National Water Commission and latterly has been the Director General of the International Water Management Institute one of the 15 CGIAR centres. Colin also holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Canberra and has become familiar with agriculture supply chain issues via membership of Unilever’s Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board.
Recently, through his work at IWMI, he has been a strong advocate of ensuring food security for the world’s poor via evidence based water and food policy and practices and has published and presented to widespread international audiences on these key issues.
“I’m excited about the opportunities that the Master Classes bring to put Australian know-how to effective use in our developing country neighbours,” said Colin. “It’s critical for Australia to ramp up its international engagement in agriculture in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to not only support marketing our high quality agricultural products, but also to facilitate knowledge exchange and build linkages with a new generation of developing country agricultural and natural resource management policy makers, scientists, managers and farmers.”
Colin is also passionate about using Australian expertise to increase agricultural production to satisfy the calorie and nutrition needs of growing populations via sustainable intensification of agriculture.
“I’m concerned about the significant issue of water scarcity on food production systems, how this will be further affected by climate change and by competition from biofuels, and growing urbanisation and industrialization. These pressures mean that more science is needed to help us deal with water scarcity and food security issues.”
“It’s very much in Australia’s interest as a developed nation to help the region deal successfully with these critical issues for humanity.”
Eric Craswell, who preceded Colin for six years at the Crawford Fund, will be serving on the Fund’s ACT Committee.