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
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Monday, December 16, 2002
Posted 1:26 PM by Luigi
Samoans get a food booklet to help prepare for cyclones
Apia (PINA Nius Online, 15 December 2002)
How do you turn disasters into an opportunity to put development on the fast track? In Samoa a United Nations inter-agency theme group has launched a booklet on combating the impacts of cyclones on coastal and marine areas. It focuses on ways to ensure people have enough safe and nutritious food despite cyclones.
The booklet has been put together by the inter-agency theme group on Rural Development and Food Security. This group is one of the initiatives by the United Nations agencies in Samoa to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Weather experts have recently warned that Samoa is one of the countries facing an increased risk of a cyclone in the South Pacific hurricane season, which is just beginning. This is because of the El Nino weather phenomenon. During an El Nino period, countries at higher risk to tropical cyclones are those in the lower latitudes and in the central parts of the region. This means Samoa, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue and French Polynesia.
The United Nations agencies theme group said there is a need to enhance public awareness on factors such as how cyclones threaten food security and ways to mitigate this. The booklet looks at ways of handling land-based food crops before, during and after cyclones. It provides information on the effects of cyclones on coastal and marine areas and ways to minimise damage.
As well it introduces readers to concepts of long-term sustainable use and management practices of aquatic resources. These are necessary to lessen adverse impact on cyclones and enable faster recovery of affected areas.Increased resilience or faster recovery of damaged coastal and aquatic habitats, which are sources of fish and seafoods, would help access to safe and nutritious food.
The United Nations Development Programme's Apia office provided SAT$8000 (US$2500) towards the publication. UNDP Resident Representative Joyce Yu said: “The release of this booklet signals a continuing effort between the United Nations Country Team and in particular the Rural Development and Food Security Theme Group and also government in addressing disaster issues.”
Seumanutafa Malaki Iakopo, Samoa's Director of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, expressed appreciation and support. He noted that the island ecosystems are vulnerable to any cyclones. The information contained in the booklet will be widely used not only by the ministry but also the Samoan public, Seumanutafa said.
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