A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands



This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.

The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.

SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).




PAPGREN coordination and support

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Thursday, October 31, 2002

    I'll be in Papua New Guinea next week for the national PGR stakeholder consultation, 5-6 November. Plans are coming along nicely for the Fiji workshop on 20-21 November. I had a chat with Tevita Kete today and we finalized the budget. All in all, a busy few weeks ahead, with the TaroGen and breadfruit meetings on the 28-27th.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Wednesday, October 30, 2002

    There was a short piece in the Fiji Times yesterday about a visit to Fiji by Dr Khairuddin Tahir of the Malaysia-based International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet). He said, among other things, that there was great potential in Fiji for organic production of tropical fruits. He met agriculture officials, farmers, processors and exporters. Fiji is apparently a member of TFNet.

    You can get more information from the TFNet website:

    What is TFNet?
    The International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) is an independent and self-financing global network set up under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It is both intergovernmental and interinstitutional in nature and reports its activities to the Sub-group on the Tropical Fruits of the FAO Intergovernmental Groups of Bananas and on Tropical Fruits.

    - To document and exchange of information on production, processing, marketing, consumption and international trade of tropical fruits.
    - To promote, co-ordinate and support research and development, and transfer of technologies in production and post-harvest handling including downstream processing for industrial use so as to increase productivity and value.
    - To facilitate the expansion of international trade of tropical fruits.
    - To enhance human resource development.
    - To organize generic market promotion in collaboration with exporters and importers and strengthening consumer knowledge of the nutritional value of tropical fruits.
    - To sensitize to and facilitate implementation of international and regional agreements on production, marketing, consumption and international trade of tropical fruits.
    - To promote technical and economic exchanges in the tropical fruits sector in pursuance of sustainable production, strengthening of domestic market, poverty eradication and food security.

    The website also includes a fruits compendium (with photos), discussion list and list of projects.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Tuesday, October 29, 2002

    A couple of worthwhile websites that I recently came across, both dealing with taxonomy:

    Data-mining life on earth is a short article with a lot of interesting links, describing how the Internet is being used by taxonomists to make their otherwise pretty miserable lives a bit easier :)

    Oldest Known Flowering Plants Identified By Genes talks about Amborella, a New Caledonia plant which is said to be the only survivor of the oldest lineage of plants.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    This week I'm preparing for the national PGR workshop in Papua New Guinea, being organized by Rosa Kambuou and Geoff Wiles in Lae, 5-6 November. I've been asked to present a brief introduction to PAPGREN, and also an overview of the international policy situation. So I've prepared an update on the status of the International Treaty on PGRFA (IT). I needed to know how many countries have actually ratified the IT, and was pointed to this website, which also has the text of the Treaty:


    It turns out that 8 countries have ratified the IT, and over 60 have signed it, meaning they have the intention of ratifying it. This seems to be a faster rate than was originally thought would be the case.

    Today Tom Osborn and I also had a meeting with two visitors from the Solomon Islands who are here in Suva on other business: Jimi Saelea (Director Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, dor@solomon.com.sb) and John Harunari (Director Extension and ex Chief Agricultural Training Officer, harunari@welkam.solomon.com.sb). We discussed holding a national PGR workshop in the Solomon Islands, following an initial regional survey. Jimi will probably be here again for the TaroGen Steering Committee meeting on 28 November, which will be followed the next day by a one-day workshop during which we hope to present to the Committee and a number of other participants a general update on the activities of PAPGREN and the Regional Germplasm Centre (RGC), but also focus specifically on breadfruit genetic resources conservation and use in the Pacific, a priority highlighted by the first PAPGREN meeting a year ago. Diane Ragone from the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii will be coming. She has assembled and is managing a large regional collection, and she'll be sharing her ideas on how this germplasm can best be used to serve the needs of the Pacific countries.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Monday, October 28, 2002

    With regard to the "Taro Leaf Blight Awareness-Raising and National Extension Strategy Workshop" held at Koronivia Research Station on 21 October 2002 (see post of 18 Oct. below for objectives), Dr Danny Hunter has just prepared the following report on the working group discussions:

    During the plenary discussion that followed the working groups the need for an overall Taro Coordinating Committee to guide activities was highlighted. Such a group would play a similar role to the Taro Improvement Coordinating Committees (TICCs) that operate in PNG and Samoa. It was decided that one of the first functions of this committee would be to consider the activities included in the draft Action Plan.

    Raising Awareness about TLB: Information and Training Needs
    The activities discussed and outlined will include the preparation of extension media aimed at a variety of target audience from the general public to agricultural researchers and which can be used in a range of locations from centralized Ministry offices to the village/farm level. These media will include technical bulletins, rural radio, television, video, posters and leaflets. Additional workshops of a similar nature may be required for farmers. It is important that serious consideration is given to the content and technical language used in these media. Obviously, this will be dependent on the end user but ‘keeping it simple’ should be the basic principle. Some of the key information needs highlighted in this working group included:
    - Symptoms of disease, disease development. Final, worst stage examples of the disease, information to be disseminated through visuals.
    - Advertisements that highlight impact on people’s livelihoods, monetary and economic losses, macro and local, social effects on communities.
    - Impact of TLB in the field.

    Since awareness and information will target a diversity of audiences and address a range of sectors it will require efforts and collaboration by different stakeholders including MASLR (Research, Extension, Information & Communication, Quarantine), farmers, Health Ministry, Education Ministry, NGOs, SPC Land Resources and TaroGen.

    Developing a strategy to evaluate TLB-resistant in taro
    This group identified activities, constraints and assistance required to facilitate the evaluation of TLB-resistant taro in Fiji. Constraints identified included: no information on how resistant varieties would perform in Fiji, possibility of introducing new diseases and transferring taro beetle to new locations, acceptability of new varieties among farmers and lack of partners. Assistance required will include training in tissue culture, technical expertise to train local counterparts and for awareness-raising, monitoring and evaluation and post-entry quarantine costs. The adoption of a participatory plant breeding approach in Fiji was one of the important outcomes of this group.

    Multiplication and distribution of TLB-resistant taro
    This group identified activities relevant to support multiplication and distribution of TLB-resistant taro to farmers in Fiji. These activities ranged from lab-based multiplication to involvement of the private sector in commercial multiplication. The group identified areas of possible assistance to include upgrading tissue culture lab facilities and training in lab and field multiplication of taro. The group also stressed the importance of having a coordinating committee in place to supervise, monitor and direct such activities.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    I met Tim Clairs (Regional Coordinator – Biodiversity and International Waters, tim.clairs@undp.org) at the UNDP-GEF Regional Service Unit, KL, Malaysia on 25 October 2002. I briefed him on PAPGREN and he gave me a sense of UNDP-GEF's priorities in the Pacific. These are:

    (i) supporting biodiversity (including for agro-biodiversity) conservation capacity self-assessments by a number of countries
    (ii) applying a programmatic (as opposed to project) approach to biodiversity conservation in the Solomon Islands

    There should be scope for involvement of PAPGREN partners in these activities, and Tim and I promised to keep each other informed of developments.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Thursday, October 24, 2002

    I've been in Kuala Lumpur all week, attending the annual IPGRI-APO planning meeting. I'm back in the office next week, and will post a brief report on some of the outputs of the meeting most relevant to the Pacific.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Thursday, October 17, 2002

    The TaroGen project (Leader: Dr Danny Hunter, SPC; email dannyh@spc.int) is organizing a "Taro Leaf Blight Awareness-Raising and National Extension Strategy Workshop" next week at Koronivia Research Station, just outside Suva. Fiji. The objectives are:
    -To raise awareness about the potential impact of taro leaf blight if it was to arrive in Fiji
    -To outline the measures that TaroGen has taken to counteract this devastating disease
    -To inform MASLR and farmers about the availability of improved taro varieties with resistance to taro leaf blight
    -To assist MASLR formulate a strategy to counteract the potential impact of this disease.

    The TaroGen Steering Committee meeting is scheduled to take place 28 Nov., here at SPC, Fiji.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    I'll be in Kuala Lumpur next week for the annual planning meeting of the IPGRI Regional Office for Asia, Pacific and Oceania (IPGRI-APO), but before I go I just wanted to bring you up to date on developments on the national PGR stakeholder consultations. These workshops are an important component of the PAPGREN workplan agreed in Sept. 2001.

    This is the current plan:
    1. We hope to hold an initial consultation for the government sector only in Fiji on 19-20 November. The venue will be Koronivia or nearby. This will require preliminary, ground-preparing visits to some of the invitees from ministries other than agriculture, which Tevita Kete and I hope to do this week. There will then be a wider national consultation at a later date, but the national committee considered that it was important to bring the government sector together first.
    2. Rosa Kambuou is planning a national consultation in Lae for 5-6 Nov. We also discussed the programme last week and she'll come back to me with a final version hopefully very soon.
    3. We hope to carry out an initial genetic diversity/erosion assessment in different regions within the Solomon Islands with Tony Jansen and the Kastom Gaden Association in the next few weeks as input to a national consultation in Honiara later this year.
    4. I'm planning a visit to Samoa later this year to jump-start preparations for the national consultation there.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    My colleague Tom Osborne and I were at the First Steering Committee Meeting of BAPNET in the Philippines last week. BAPNET is the Banana Asia-Pacific Network, and the secretariat is provided by the International Network on Banana and Plantain's (INIBAP) office for Asia-Pacific at Los Banos in the Philippines (contact: Dr Gus Molina, INIBAP Regional Coordinator, email a.molina@cgiar.org). There were representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Sri Lanka as well as from the Taiwan Banana Research Institute and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, representing the Pacific countries. Country reports on banana research were presented, and then some ideas for projects were developed based on the BAPNET logical framework agreed last year, including on conservation and use of genetic resources. There was also a technical presentation on the Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS) by Suzanne Sharrock (s.sharrock@cgiar.org) of INIBAP-HQ. I gave a talk on how Geographic Information Systems can be used to analyze and add value to germplasm data, and Suzanne presented the results of some analysis of Musa germplasm data.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    PRESS RELEASE - just in

    Regional NGOs Sign Historic Agreement

    Leaders of Pacific regional Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) will sign a historic agreement at the Tradewinds Floating Restaurant in Suva, Fiji Islands on October 18, 2002. Representatives of regional NGOs have been working together over the past year to develop a Clearing House Framework for Regional NGO Capacity Building. This process will culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will be the basis for future cooperation in the area of Pacific NGO capacity building in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of programs.

    Capacity building is broadly defined as the strengthening of NGOs so that they are able to carry out their intended work. This includes the strengthening of financial and management systems, the development of personnel and the ability to achieve financial independence.

    The regional NGOs involved have asked the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) to act as a clearing house for information about capacity building projects in the Pacific region. This clearing house role will include the distribution of information through PIANGO’s existing newsletters, mailing lists and website, as well as the establishment of a new inventory of projects which will be made available in print and on the internet.

    Over 50 guests will attend the MOU signing ceremony, including representatives from government, diplomatic missions, funding agencies, local NGOs and the media.

    Technical assistance and funding for this process have been provided by: Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development (CCFD), France (http://www.ccfd.asso.fr); the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada (http://acdi-cida.gc.ca/) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Fiji (http://www.undp.org.fj/) through the CIDA-UNDP Pacific NGO Capacity Building Initiative; New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) (http://www.nzaid.govt.nz/).

    Participating Non-Governmental Organisations
    -Disabled Peoples International Oceania Subregion
    -Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre
    -Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific International
    -Greenpeace Pacific
    -Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Women
    -Pacific Concerns Resource Centre
    -Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation
    -Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations
    -Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association
    -Pacific Island Museum Association
    -South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Trade Unions
    -World Wide Fund for Nature Pacific.

    For further information, please contact:
    Henry Vira
    PIANGO Secretary General
    P.O. Box 164
    Port Vila, Vanuatu
    Tel: +678 25607
    Fax: +678 25609
    E-mail: piango@vanuatu.com.vu
    Website: http://www.piango.org

    The Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) is a regional network of 22 NGO focal points or coordinating bodies known as National Liaison Units (NLUs). PIANGO was formally established in 1991 to assist NGOs in the Pacific to initiate action, give voice to their concerns and work collaboratively with other development actors for just and sustainable human development. PIANGO’s primary role is to be a catalyst for collective action, to facilitate and support coalitions and alliances on issues of common concern, and to strengthen the influence and impact of NGO efforts in the region.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Christina Tuitubou is our librarian here at SPC. Recently she has pointed us to the following websites of interest to the Pacific:

    Australian Development Gateway
    “A new website designed to enable people in developing countries to easily access electronic information produced by Australian organisations that is relevant to development. It currently covers four sectors: agriculture, education, health and ICTS. Further sectors will be added in 2003, commencing with governance.”

    “Papuaweb is a collaborative project (launched 8 Aug 2002)
    between the two universities in the Indonesian province of Papua – Universitas Negeri Papua (State University of Papua) in Manokwari and Cenderawasih State University (The Bird of Paradise State University) in Jayapura - and the Australian National University. The website is at an early stage of development, but has already assembled a wide variety of research materials about Papua, including a bibliography of recent publications related to Papua, a world wide web virtual library, annotated bibliographies and a digital library. The website will provide free and unrestricted access to these research resources.”

    KIT Web Special: Gender and Natural Resource Management:
    -Case studies: papers written by practitioners and experts from the South.
    -Bibliography: selected, recent references of printed and online fulltext publications retreived from the catalogue of KIT Library and the Internet, respectively.
    -Tools & methods: practical instruments, manuals, guides.
    -Links : links to relevant organizations and wesbites.
    -News & events: presents news items and announcements of conferences, courses and other events.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    This happened a couple of weeks ago but I'm still working on the final reports:

    Representatives of 4 regional agencies in the Pacific (USP, SPC, ForSec, WWF) met at SPC, Suva, Fiji on 3 October 2002 to enhance each other’s awareness of their activities on Intellectual Property Rights, and thus contribute to improved regional coordination and a more coherent and effective message and advice being passed on to PICs. This was a follow-up to a meeting of Directors of ForSec, SPREP and SPC on 2 October 2002 at the Forum Secretariat. Each organization summarized their IPR activities, and this was followed by wide-ranging discussions and a mapping exercise which highlighted overlaps and gaps. The discussion was assisted by a legal expert, Mr Clark Peteru. The meeting decided that clarification was needed for the inclusion of genetic resources for food and agriculture within the IP frameworks under development for biodiversity and traditional knowledge. It was recommended that a CROP Working Group on IPR be established to monitor international initiatives on IPR, coordinate IPR activities among CROP organizations, and ensure harmonised and coordinated approach to assist member countries to implement IP frameworks.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    During 2-6 September 2002, I attended a Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources Information Networking in the APO Region organized by IPGRI’s Regional Office for Asia, Pacific and Oceania (APO). The meeting was hosted by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) and held at its International Technical Cooperation Center (ITCC), in Suwon. Since the RDA, with six major national agricultural institutions, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences of Seoul National University, are all located there, Suwon is considered the centre of agricultural sciences in the ROK. The workshop brought together PGR information scientists in the region to develop a strategy for information networking.

    Other participants came from IPGRI (HQ, plus the APO and CWANA regional offices), ICRISAT, 7 Asian countries (Korea, China, Japan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Philippines), and Australia. All made presentations about PGR documentation and information activities in their respective institutions, countries or regions. Mine, which benefitted from input by my SPC colleagues Mary Taylor, Danny Hunter and Tom Osborn, is available on demand, and looked at the ongoing information activities of the RGC, TaroGen and SPRIG projects, as well as planned PAPGREN activities. These presentations were followed by demonstrations and discussions of various PGR-related software being developed by different institutions, including for genebank management, planning germplasm regeneration activities, managing country-level information and analyzing spatial data. Finally, there was detailed discussion of an “Internet PGR portal” project, whose objective would be providing a platform for PGR professionals in the APO region to exchange, share and discuss PGR information, along the lines of the EURISCO project in Europe, but with the emphasis on linking people rather than just data. Some of the necessary functionalities (and the software needed to provide them), were discussed, including navigation, searching, communication (email, chat, mailing lists, newsletter, weblogs, Q&A) and FAQs. The importance of low entry and transaction costs was emphasized (low bandwidth demand, minimum of proprietary standards, mirror sites).

    A logical framework for this portal project was developed by the participants, and training and infrastructure needs identified. A project proposal will be developed by IPGRI in the first instance, but the idea is that the PGR community in the region will then contribute to, and manage, the portal, without any one institution or country owning or dominating it. The project may well prove a useful opportunity of strengthening the communication capacity of some key countries in the Pacific. While the project is being developed, a mailing list has been set up by Dr Peter Lawrence (peter.lawrence@dpi.qld.gov.au). of the Department of Primary Industries, Queensland, Australia at the request of the meeting. To subscribe to the APO-PGR mailing list, send an email message as follows:

    To: listserv@lists.dpi.qld.gov.au
    From: inserted automatically
    Subject: leave blank

    In the main body of the message write:
    subscribe aussie-beef-net YourFirstName YourLastName

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    I started working here in June. This is the update on PAPGREN activities I sent out in late July.

    For those of you whom I haven’t yet met, my name is Luigi Guarino and I started work as SPC’s Plant Genetic Resources Adviser about 3 weeks ago. My task is to support the coordination of the Pacific Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN) - and the implementation of its Action Plan - established during the September 2001 meeting in Suva which most of you attended.

    I hope you’ll agree that exchange of information is a vital function of a network, and I would therefore suggest that I send you updates on PAPGREN activities every month or so by email, this being the first. What do you think? Would that be useful? If you have any news that you’d like communicated to the other network members, you can just use “reply to all” on this email, or send it to me and I’ll collate the information and send it on to all members at the end of every month (or indeed more frequently if there’s a lot going on!).

    Let me quickly summarize some of the things that have been going on over the past few weeks that are relevant to PAPGREN:

    1. We’ve prepared a draft text for a public awareness pamphlet describing PAPGREN. I am attaching it here. I would be grateful for any comments you may have on this. We would like to include contact details for all member countries, so please let me know how you would like your country contact to appear.

    2. We’ve also started to discuss with Tevita Kete, Tony Jansen and Rosa Kambuou the organization of the National PGR Stakeholder Workshops that are called for in the Action Plan. I am therefore also attaching a draft document setting out the objectives and strategy of such meetings. I would welcome comments on this too. We need to start thinking concretely about organizing these meetings, in order to get clear ideas of national priorities, capacities, and needs. We are in touch with FAO to see to what extent these workshops and other network activities could contribute to the process of monitoring implementation of the Global Plan of Action and revision of the State of the World’s PGR.

    3. We’ve done some thinking about the PAPGREN web pages. Basically, the idea would be to have information by crop, but also country pages. These could contain brief summaries of the PGR situation in the country, for example information on collections maintained, in situ conservation activities etc. This is something that could be discussed further at the national workshops, but if you have any specific ideas or suggestion, do please send them to me.

    4. I’ve started contacting genebanks around the world (national, regional and international) for information on their holdings of germplasm from the Pacific countries. I’ve had a number of replies, for example from INIBAP, AVRDC and the US germplasm system, and hope to put the information together very soon for you to have a look at. Maybe I could also mention in this connection that just before coming to SPC I also spent some time at INIBAP participating in a GIS workshop during which we did some spatial analysis of data on PNG material in the Musa Germplasm Information System.

    5. I’ve started assembling a bibliography and list of Internet references on PGR conservation in the Pacific. This is still fairly raw at the moment but contains citations to over 300 references for the period 1989-2001. I still need to organize it in an easy-to-use way. Would it be useful to do something similar at the national level for gray literature?

    6. Those of you who were also at the regional on-farm meeting in Suva in May, held just before the TaroGen annual meeting, will have received a brief summary of the deliberations, prepared by Mary Taylor and myself. I’ll attach it here again just in case. I’m working on a project concept note based on the meeting discussions, which will hopefully include linkages with initiatives such as Kastom Gaden Association’s Farmer First project, on which we’ve been exchanging correspondence over the past couple of weeks with Tony Jansen and Grahame Jackson.

    7. We’ve been in touch with Michael Halewood, who is the policy specialist at IPGRI in Rome, in connection with a possible study about the flow of PGR between the network participating countries, and in and out of the region generally, as a complement to the review paper that is also being prepared by a regional policy expert. This is still in the early stages so I’ll keep you posted on how things develop.

    8. Discussions have continued with regard to the Biodiversity and Conservation course at the University of the South Pacific. SPC staff will provide training sessions in conservation and use of agro-biodiversity when the course starts in the next semester.

    9. We’ve had visits from Siosiua Halavatau, Chief of Extension in Tonga, and a UPOV fact-finding mission to Fiji.

    10. The 11th COGENT steering committee meeting has just been held in Bangkok, Thailand. As far as PGR goes, the action plan agreed at the meeting included continuing the movement of accession to the International Coconut Genebank, increasing submissions on characterization for the Coconut Genetic Resources Database, and development of a regional germplasm catalogue with photos.

    I think that’s about it for now from my side. But what’s been happening at your end? Do let us know so that we can share it within our network and build up our knowledge of each other’s activities and of what’s happening in PGR in the region as a whole.

    Please do get in touch if you think any of the people working on PGR issues here at SPC can assist your national programme in any way. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    My name is Luigi Guarino, and I am Plant Genetic Resources Adviser at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), in Suva, Fiji. My job is to assist in the coordination of PAPGREN, the Pacific Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Network. This weblog will record the activities of PAPGREN.

    Plant genetic resources (PGR) are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. The development of a regional network for the conservation and use of agricultural PGR – PAPGREN – will help to improve the management of these valuable resources in the Pacific. By strengthening national programmes and stimulating collaboration among them, it will contribute to the better use of PGR for sustainable development. Network partners recognize that the management and enhancement of PGR have been in the hands of farm families and communities from the beginning of agriculture, and that their efforts must be supported and strengthened. However, they are also committed to complementing these efforts through the long-term maintenance of national and regional ex situ germplasm collections.

    The concept of a PGR network in the Pacific was endorsed by the Directors of Agriculture of the PICs in May 2001. A Pacific Agricultural PGR Action Plan was developed by PAPGREN partners at a regional workshop in September 2001 for implementation by national organizations, the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and the Agriculture Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). IPGRI has a long history of supporting crop and regional networking in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world. SPC maintains a Regional Germplasm Centre in Suva, Fiji, which has an active role in the conservation and exchange of a variety of crops, including taro, yams, sweet potato, bananas and coconuts. IPGRI and SPC are collaborating in supporting network co-ordination.

    Organizations currently collaborating with PAPGREN and its members include:

    -Pacific Forum Secretariat
    -South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
    -University of the South Pacific (USP)
    -South Pacific Yam Network (SPYN)
    -Taro Network for South East Asian and Oceania (TANSAO)
    -International Network for Banana and Plantain (INIBAP)
    -Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT)
    -The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd (Hort+Research)
    -Queensland Department of Primary Industry
    -Queensland University of Technology
    -University of Queensland
    -University of Hawaii
    -Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD)
    -World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

    Financial support for PAPGREN and the implementation of the Pacific Agricultural PGR Action Plan is being provided by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the New Zealand Overseas Development Administration (NZODA).

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment


    October 2002

    November 2002

    December 2002

    January 2003

    February 2003

    March 2003

    April 2003

    May 2003

    June 2003

    July 2003

    August 2003

    September 2003

    October 2003

    November 2003

    December 2003

    January 2004

    February 2004

    March 2004

    April 2004

    May 2004

    June 2004

    July 2004

    August 2004

    September 2004

    October 2004

    November 2004

    December 2004

    January 2005

    February 2005

    March 2005

    April 2005

    May 2005

    June 2005

    July 2005

    August 2005

    September 2005

    October 2005

    November 2005

    December 2005

    January 2006

    February 2006

    March 2006

    April 2006

    May 2006

    June 2006

    July 2006

    August 2006

    September 2006

    October 2006

    November 2006

    December 2006

    January 2007

    February 2007

    March 2007

    April 2007

    May 2007

    June 2007

    July 2007

    August 2007

    September 2007

    October 2007

    November 2007

    December 2007

    January 2008

    February 2008

    March 2008

    April 2008

    May 2008

    June 2008

    July 2008

    August 2008

    September 2008

    October 2008

    November 2008

    December 2008

    January 2009

    February 2009

    March 2009

    April 2009

    May 2009

    June 2009

    July 2009

    August 2009

    September 2009

    October 2009

    November 2009

    January 2010

    RSS Feed
    Alternative feed
    Contact Tevita


    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


    Locations of visitors to this page