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Mike Young

Professor
Global Food & Resources
University of Adelaide
Australia

Biography

Mike Young holds a Research Chair in Water and Environmental Policy at the University of Adelaide, was the Founding Executive Director of its Environment Institute, is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. A specialist in water policy reform, Mike has developed proposals for the transformation of water rights in the western USA and for the introduction of groundwater sharing systems in California. As a result of an Australian Government endowment, each year Harvard University appoints one person to the Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard University. Mike held this Chair during the 2013/14 academic year. While in this position, he taught a course on transformational policy reform and, with Christine Esau edited an Earthscan iting a book on the same subject. In the past, Mike has led teams that have developed frameworks for the introduction of a greenhouse gas emissions trading system in Australia; fishery management in NSW; biodiversity conservation on private land; and for rangeland management in NSW, SA and the NT. For three years, he worked on the integration of agricultural and environmental policies with OECD. He also played a key role in establishing Australia’s National Land and Water Resources Audit. Mike is a current member of the Global Water Partnership's Technical Committee and is a recent member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security. In 2010/11 he lead the water component of a UNEP study on opportunities to pursue green growth strategies throughout the world. He was a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. In 2006, Mike was awarded Australia’s premier water research prize – the Land and Water Australia Eureka Award for Water Research. The award recognizes the significant contribution of his research with the late Jim McColl to the development of improved water entitlement, allocation and trading systems in Australia. Mike is best known for his contribution to the development of natural resource and environmental policies. In recent times, his research has focused on the use and design of market-based instruments with attention to water. He has played a critical role in the consideration of options for the Murray Darling Basin. Internationally, he is known for his capacity to integrate biophysical and economic information to produce innovative policy proposals that catalyze change. Prof Young is a Research Fellow with Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and an Honorary Professor with the University College London. In 2012 spent several months in the United Kingdom working on water policy options for the Department of Environment, Food and Regional Affairs. This included consideration of ways to significantly reform water abstraction licensing and pricing arrangements. In 2013, he spent several months with the OECD’s Environment Directorate working on a draft framework for the design of water abstraction regimes and options for the management of water scarcity challenges in the Netherlands. Prior to joining the University of Adelaide, Mike spent 30 years with CSIRO where amongst other things he established their Policy and Economic Research Unit with offices in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. In 2003, Mike was awarded a Centenary Medal “for outstanding service through environmental economics”. In 2009, he was named South Australian of the Year in the Environment Category. Examples of policy proposals that have been adopted by government and resulting directly from research that he has led include · The total reform of water pastoral land leasing arrangements in Australia’s Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales; · The reform of kangaroo harvesting licensing arrangements in New South Wales; · The conversion of fishery licenses into shares in New South Wales; · The shift in the focus of biodiversity protection policies in Australia to ones that involve the provision of incentives for the conservation of biodiversity on private land; · The unbundling of Australia’s water licences and the resultant development of an efficient trading system; · The Australian Government decision to transfer responsibility for the administration of the Murray Darling Basin’s water resources to an independent expertise-based authority. His full curriculum vitae lists over 240 publications. He has been Associate Editor of Ecological Economics and is a member of twelve editorial boards. He holds degrees in economics and agricultural science.

Research Interest

Food & Resources  

Global Experts from Australia

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