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
Interested in GIS?
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Posted 3:46 PM by Luigi
Botany of the Indopacific Region
The Leiden University branch of the National Herbarium of the Netherlands has a research group on Plants of the Indopacific (PITA). This brings together the research on the vascular plants of the Malesian region (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam) and adjacent Thailand and Indochina.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Posted 9:14 PM by Luigi
Extinction in New Zealand
A new take on ancient extinctions in New Zeland is discussed in Natural History Magazine here. Based on dates for Pacific rat fossils which are older by a thousand years than the first evidence of human habitation, some people now think that the some of the famous ancient extinctions of birds and other species in New Zeland were not caused by man after all.............
Posted 9:09 PM by Luigi
Where are the last wild places on earth?
37 "wilderness areas" are described in Conservation International's "Wilderness: Earth's Last Wild Places." They include New Guinea.
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
2. The Congo Forests of Central Africa
Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo
3. New Guinea
Papua or Irian Jaya (Indonesia), Papua New Guinea
Tropical Woodlands, Savannas and Grasslands
4. The Chaco
Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay
5. The Caatinga
6. Miombo-Mopane Woodlands and Grasslands
Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
7. The Serengeti
8. Cape York
9. Arnhem Land
11. The Pantanal
Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
12. The Llanos
13. Bañados Del Este
14. The Sundarbans
15. The Sudd
16. The Okavango
17. Baja Californian and Sonoran Deserts
Mexico, USA (Arizona, California)
18. The Greater Chihuahuan Desert
Mexico, USA (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas)
19. The Mojave Desert
USA (Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah)
20. The Colorado Plateau
USA (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah)
21. Costal Deserts of Peru and Chile
22. The Sahara/Sahel
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara
23. The Kalahari Desert
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
24. The Namib Desert
25. Arabian Deserts
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
26. Asian Deserts
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
27. Australian Deserts
28. The Northern Rocky Mountains
Canada, USA (Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming)
29. Pacific Northwest
Canada, USA (Alaska)
30. The Appalachians
Canada, USA (Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia)
31. Magellanic Subpolar Rainforests
32. European Mountains
Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia
High Latitude Wilderness Areas
34. The Boreal Forests
Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA (Alaska)
Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands (UK)
36. The Arctic Tundra
Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA (Alaska)
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Posted 5:24 PM by Luigi
Niue forest project a bust - A news report and comment
ALOFI, Niue (Pacnews, April 23) - Niue's big re-forestation project has collapsed. The New Zealand funded aid program was designed to plant thousands of hectares of pacific hardwood, which could be harvested in 40 years. But five years on, the trees are not growing well and landowners who leased land for the project have bowed out. They were being paid to keep tree lines clear. However with increased migration, there is no one to look after the trees. A consultant from New Zealand has been working with landowners and the government to tidy up the project but sources from Wellington say NZAid will not allocate any more funds for the failed reforestation project.
Comment from Dr Lex Thompson
Disappointing to read but never really a 'big' re-forestation project even by Pacific standards. Another all-to-common case of development before research, and the choice of inappropriate poorly adpated species, in this case mainly mahogany. More recent small-scale field trials on Niue by DAFF have shown that certain native species such as Syzygium inophylloides and Terminalia richii (re-introduced from Samoa through SPRIG after it had become extinct on Niue) grow better with good form and timber properties (and I reckon mixed plantings of these and other species would have been a success, at least technically). On my visit to Niue last year we were shown a hitherto unknown population of sandalwood/yasi and this would have been a more appropriate tree species to grow in commercial plantations given its good adaptation & high value, compatability with nature conservation, Niue's poor wharf facilities and dwindling population/labour force and domestic timber needs, etc.
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
Posted 2:28 PM by Luigi
A quick update on the week of meetings next month. It now looks like the PAPGREN meeting will be held on the 19th May, the day before and not after the Taro Genetic Resources Committee meeting. Also, Dr Grahame Jackson has kindly agreed to present his ideas about sweet potato genetic resources conservation and use in the Pacific at the PAPGREN meeting. We've been receiving the papers for the Taro Symposium and are busy editing as necessary.
It also looks like Dr Pons Batugal, the Coordinator of COGENT, the global coconut network, will be visiting the region (PNG and Fiji) in mid-June.
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Posted 4:30 PM by Luigi
This Conservation International website has information on biodiversity hotspots worldwide, including "Polynesia and Micronesia" and "New Caledonia" in the Pacific.
Monday, April 07, 2003
Posted 7:15 PM by Luigi
Environment and development in coastal regions and in small islands (CSI)
CSI is a UNESCO-sponsored global platform for environmentally sound, socially equitable, culturally respectful and economically viable development in coastal regions and small islands.
Sunday, April 06, 2003
Posted 2:19 PM by Luigi
The Pacific Science Exchange
The Pacific Science Exchange is an informal, facilitated service being tested over the next 3 months. This service: provides a focal point for people with science-related issues to get in contact with people who may be able to help - especially those issues that are related to communicating science to others; puts Pacific Island residents in touch with services and information relevant to their needs and interests; provides an electronic venue for people to share ideas, stories and information relating to science communication in the Pacific. The Science Exchange is hosted by the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the Australian National University in Canberra and supported by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in Samoa. It will be administered by a professional science communicator familiar with some of the science-issues confronting Pacific nations in the 21st Century and backed-up by an international network of scientists and science communicators. Any subject matter relating to science, medicine, engineering, technology, IT and the environment is welcome on the Science Exchange. Questions can be sent by e-mail to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an internet-based discussion board for Science Exchange participants who would like to post ideas, ask questions, look for people with similar interests or concerns, and put up contacts and links to information that may be of interest to other participants at: http://www.cpas.anu.edu.au/collaborations.htm
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.