Managing drought, fire, and flood risk to create climate resilient food systems


Australian Mission to the European Union

Time: Friday, 20. January 2023, 09:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Room: M1

Languages: English, German


This panel will focus on building a resilient food system through effectively managing the risk and adverse impacts of more frequent major climactic events. The lack of water and high temperatures experienced in Europe, parts of Africa, the Americas and Asia has reduced the yields of many staple crops this year. The panel will focus on the experience of Australia, Southern Europe and Africa. The discussion will highlight work being done by Australia on drought resilience plans, to maintain the agricultural viability of the land, by Europe regarding their management of wooded and agricultural areas to limit the damage caused by increasing wildfires and drought, and include an African delegate/s speaking on research and on ground initiatives to enhance agricultural production during adverse climactic conditions. The panel will discuss what learnings are transferable to better increase global agricultural production and resilience, despite these multiplying climactic events.

Podium Guests

Max Makuvise (Zimbabwe) is a cattleman with 25 years of experience in the industry. An accountant by training, he has embarked on many projects involving rural communities; genetic improvement; training; product supply and traceability, which has seen him partner with the donor community, Government and other private sector players. His quest? To empower rural livestock farmers and help them commercialise their operations through the ‘Conception to Consumption’ principle. Max is Resident Director for Shangani Holistic (Pvt) Ltd which has over 7000 cattle under holistic management with no internal fences and wildlife roaming freely on the Ranch. Shangani has a strong research arm on the Ranch and in Johannesburg that works on finding solutions for the ranch and smallholder farmers, as well as integrating cattle and wildlife management on the same property. In short “leaving the world a better place”. Max also has an interest in a traceability company E-Livestock Global that works with RFID tags and uses Blockchain technology.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister for Emergency Management
Murray Watt was elected as a Senator for Queensland in 2016. He is the Albanese Government’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management.
For over 20 years, Murray’s working life has been spent as an advocate for others, as a lawyer, a public servant and as Chief of Staff to former Premier Anna Bligh. Murray also served one term as a Queensland State MP and Assistant Minister in health and economic portfolios. Since his election in 2016, Murray played a key role in Senate Estimates and a range of Senate Committees including the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee. As a Senator and Shadow Minister, he led a number of Senate inquiries into issues including regional development, energy and resources, emergency management and health care.

Shirley Tarawali is Assistant Director General at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, Kenya) a CGIAR centre and is Chair of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock. Shirley’s portfolio includes representation, engagement within ILRI and beyond to support sustainable livestock contributions to the wider development agenda. She coordinated ILRI’s strategy process and led the inception and growth of ILRI’s portfolio on sustainable livestock advocacy and communications. Shirley has over 35 years’ experience implementing and leading livestock research for development, has authored or contributed to over 100 publications and holds a PhD in Plant Science from the University of London.


The CV will be available at a later date.


Rose O’Donovan has been Editor of AGRA FACTS & AGRA FOCUS since March 2010, having previously worked as Deputy Editor on the agricultural publications for nearly three years. Prior to working as a journalist, she dealt with international relations on the EU satellite navigation programme at the Galileo Joint Undertaking.
Following the completion of a Master of Science (MSc) at University College Cork (Ireland), Rose moved to Brussels in 2004 to work as an intern in the Cabinet of former European Parliament President, Pat Cox. She is also a reporter for the West Cork newspaper The Southern Star & a regular contributor to ‘CountryWide’ on Ireland’s RTÉ Radio 1. Hailing from a farming background in West Cork, Rose has a strong interest in the evolution of national & European farm policies.


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