Close message

Geography / Year 9 / Geographical Knowledge and Understanding / Unit 1: Biomes and food security

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063)

Elaborations
  • exploring environmental challenges to food production from land degradation (soil erosion, salinity, desertification), industrial pollution, water scarcity and climate change
  • identifying the impacts on food production from competing land uses (for example, sacred sites, urban and industrial uses, mining, production of food crops for biofuels, production of food crops for livestock, and recreation (such as golf courses))
  • evaluating whether some ways of increasing food production could threaten sustainability
  • investigating the impacts of alterations of biomes on the productivity and availability of staple resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (for example, murnong or yam daisy in Victoria)
General capabilities
  • Numeracy Numeracy
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Environmental management,  Water resources,  Climate change,  Soil degradation,  Water quality

Video

Maasai fighting drought

It was considered the worst drought on record. This news report from 2000 shows how Kenya's semi-nomadic herders, the Maasai, responded to a particularly long drought. In addition to compromising their wellbeing, the drought began to alter the fabric of Maasai society.

Video

East Timor in the grip of drought

The El Nino climatic cycle affects near neighbours East Timor (Timor Leste) and Australia. East Timorese farmers are as familiar with drought as their Australian counterparts but serious economic and social challenges heighten its impact. Watch this 2002 clip to see how the effects of drought are felt throughout East Timor.

Video

Peak phosphorus

Did you know all living things need phosphorus to survive? This is why phosphorus is mined and sold as fertilisers to help grow crops. What will happen to crop yields when we run out of phosphorus? What are some of the solutions Dr Dana Cordell has to combat the issue of diminishing phosphorus supplies?

Video

Northern food bowl: on or off the table?

It's been suggested that the high rainfall regions of northern Australia may be the food bowls of the future. This clip from 2013 challenges that idea, with critics casting doubt on the viability of northern irrigation projects. What makes them so sure, and are they right? Watch the clip to find out more.

Video

Down on the mussel farm in Tasmania

Australia's largest and deepest mussel farm is located in the pristine waters on Tasmania's east coast. Watch this clip to find out about blue-lipped mussels growing in Spring Bay Seafoods' 1,700 hectare farm and the aquatic environment that supports them. This is a farm quite unlike most farms you may be familiar with.

Video

Aquaculture fishes for the future

We all have the ability to make choices. When it comes to the food we choose to eat, some of our decisions could lead to large changes in food production. Choosing farmed fish supports the aquaculture industry. While this industry is not without its own environmental issues, can it contribute to sustainable fish stocks?

Video

Treating your soil like dirt

Does the overuse of chemicals threaten our agricultural soils? Listen to views of biological farming advocates such as Dr Maarten Stapper. Find out why they believe that an active, healthy soil is vital to ensuring sustainable and productive crops.

Audio

Hidden cost of migrating to the city

Urbanisation is fuelling China's strong economic growth. With millions of people migrating away from rural areas, the nation's cities are expanding rapidly, in some cases at the expense of farmland. At what point will China's urbanisation threaten its food security?

Video

Breeding tolerance

Breeding plants that will grow faster or produce more food is not a new idea. But using gene technology to 'future proof' food crops against expected environmental change is cutting edge. Whilst the science looks promising, some believe that the desire to protect and patent the technology may defeat its underlying purpose.

Image

Earthshots: satellite images of environmental change - Lake Chad, Africa

This resource is a series of satellite images of Lake Chad in Africa, showing its decline due to prolonged drought and increased water use from 1963 to 2003, accompanied by a text explanation, including a brief history of the lake. The text describes the geographical features of the freshwater lake, the effect of the region's ...

Online

Food for thought: learn resources for English

This is a rich resource for teachers about the role of small farmers in the global food system. The resource includes two sets of lesson plans, one designed for the primary level and the other for secondary. Each set of lesson plans includes three downloadable documents: a teacher guide, activity sheets for students and ...

Online

The power of food

This is a compilation of three teaching sequences about food security. It includes sections on countries and their levels of food security and insecurity, hunger worldwide, programs working to improve food security, and approaches to food security. It introduces this important global issue and provides source material, ...

Online

The Murray-Darling Basin: an introduction

This lesson sequence is designed to introduce students to key aspects of the Murray-Darling Basin including the environment, geography, economy, people, history, water cycle and water management challenges. The lesson sequence includes a teacher PowerPoint presentation, separate teacher notes and a student worksheet. This ...

Online

Salinity and the Murray-Darling Basin

This lesson sequence examines salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin: the source of the salt, why it is a problem, how it is monitored and current management strategies. It includes a teacher PowerPoint presentation, separate teacher notes and a student worksheet. This lesson sequence is one in a series exploring aspects ...

Online

Locks, Weirs and Dams

This lesson sequence examines structures that are used by water resource managers in the Murray-Darling Basin including dams, locks, weirs, barrages, fishways, channels and levee banks and explores the positive and negative effects of river regulation. It includes a teacher PowerPoint presentation, separate teacher notes ...

Interactive

Kitchen gardens – sustainability action process (Years 7–10)

This resource guides students through an extended school-based or local investigation focussed on kitchen gardens using the five-step sustainability action process. The resource supports the investigation of a real-world issue or problem. Students develop and implement a chosen sustainability action and then evaluate and ...

Video

Food production in the Murray-Darling Basin

This thirteen and a half minute video highlights the importance of food and fibre production in the Murray Darling Basin. It explores the perspective of the farm families involved in both irrigated and dryland farming and explains how their products are distributed to local, national and global markets. This video also ...

Video

Water reservoirs as climate change adaptation

This is a video about water availability for people living in the Peruvian Andes. It includes vision and information about water scarcity in this region and details of a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations funded project involving the creation of a sustainable water management program. The program involves ...

Text

Food security and global farming

The expected growth in world population from 6.8 billion in 2010 to over 9 billion by 2050, the demand for food will increase by around 70 per cent. This collection of articles from the CSIRO describes some of the research that is underway to improve the world's agriculture sector to address this growing demand. The web ...

Video

Murrumbidgee irrigation: water sustainability

The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) is a highly productive region of NSW that produces food and fibre. Farming enterprises of the region depend on water allocations. This clip from late in 2012 presents the possibility of threats to those allocations as a result of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Hear industry experts ...