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?
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Posted 9:26 PM by Luigi
The Overstory is a free e-mail agroforestry journal for practitioners, researchers, professionals, and enthusiasts. One issue is sent every two weeks focusing on a concept in related to designing, developing, and learning more about agroforestry systems. Each edition includes project development strategies, brief book recommendations, species highlights, internet links to helpful information for agroforesters, and much more.
A full list of previous editions can be found here. There are a couple of entries by Randy Thaman of USP on traditional Pacific agroforestry, and also an interesting discussion of niche markets.
Posted 2:46 PM by Luigi
DSAP Kicks Off
Development of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP)
24-26 June 2003
The purpose of the project is to increase sustainable agricultural production of target farm families in participating countries. This will be accomplished by taking a participatory approach with farmers and rural communities for the identification and adoption or adaptation of technologies that solve the agricultural problems of farm families. The project builds on the foundation of PRAP 1 and PRAP 6 and attempts to address problems faced during implementation of those projects. However, this project is substantially different from the previous projects. In the atolls the approach will be problem identification and testing of technologies with farmers to improve the traditional tree crop-based multi-storey agricultural systems including better integration of livestock into this system. In the low lands, the emphasis will move from research to identification and promotion of promising technologies from a variety of sources that include: improved crop varieties, pest and disease management, land conservation and agroforestry technologies. Increasing the returns to labour will be an important criteria in selecting appropriate technologies. There will be a project component for production and use of a variety of extension communications that will strengthen the promotion effort within the countries and the potential to extend the benefits beyond the target countries through SPC. Finally this project will be an important component of the SPC Agriculture Programme through which it will have access to technical assistance and training opportunities in a wide range of areas that will enhance its effectiveness.
The project will work with the NARES, NGOs, farmer groups and the private sector in the use of participatory methods for the identification and adoption of sustainable agricultural technologies. As part of this strategy the project will enhance national capabilities in the production and use of a variety of extension communications approaches such as radio, posters, handbooks, pamphlets and video.
Funded by the EU, the project will be implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and have a duration of four years. It will cover the eight Pacific ACP countries of Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The OCTs of French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna will also participate in the project.
Dr Danny Hunter is the DSAP Project Manager (DannyH@spc.int).
Monday, June 09, 2003
Posted 4:17 PM by Luigi
Online Observatory of Information Society in Asia-Pacific
04/06/2003 (UNESCO New Delhi)
An online "Regional Observatory of the Information Society in Asia and the Pacific" (ROISAP), based on national observatories established by members of UNESCO's Asia and Pacific Information Network (APIN), was recently launched by the Ministry of Research and Technology of Indonesia and Widyatama University in Bandung, Indonesia.
The main goal of ROISAP is to raise awareness on the ethical, legal and societal challenges brought about by ICTs. As a public service readily accessible to all, it will provide updated information on the evolution of the information society at the national and regional levels, and to foster debates on the related issues.
"We strongly support this project, because information and knowledge is the most important factor of production and wealth creation" says Susanne Ornager from the UNESCO Office in New Delhi. "How well an individual, an organization, and an entire society can harness, access, share, and make use of available information and knowledge will ultimately decide their ability to generate economic growth and to enhance the quality–of-life for all".
The new regional Observatory complements UNESCO's "Observatory on the Information Society", an international gateway to web resources related to the development of the Information Society worldwide.
Sunday, June 08, 2003
Posted 2:28 PM by Luigi
NZ Releases Biotech Strategy
The following from Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA), and AgBiotechNet.
New Zealand has released its Biotechnology Strategy, the country's framework for "reaping the benefits of biotechnology in a responsible and sustainable way." This strategy is about developing the biotechnology sector with care," says Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson.
The Biotechnology Taskforce, set up under the Government's Growth and Innovation Framework, developed the strategy. The Taskforce highlighted important factors including a strong knowledge, skill and research base, investment and infrastructure focused on New Zealand's strengths and strong international research links.
"Biotechnology is an industry in itself, but it is much more than that. It generates knowledge, skills and technology that can contribute in numerous ways to achieving our economic, social and environmental aspirations," says Hodgson. "Wrestling with the opportunities and challenges presented by a fast-moving and complex sector is not easy, but standing still is not an option. That's why the strategy calls for action in three areas - growth, community engagement and effective regulation."
"Constructive community engagement and public confidence in effective regulation will underpin growth in biotechnology," Hodgson said. "This strategy represents a commitment by the Government to work with communities, researchers and industry so New Zealanders can benefit from developing and applying our world-class biological knowledge, skills and innovation."
The report is available online here.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
Posted 6:27 PM by Luigi
Forthcoming trip to Solomon Islands
The Solomon Island Planting Material Network (PMN) is hosting the 3rd national farmers conference for members from all over the country, and I've been invited to attend. The conference will be held in Tarakukure Secondary School, Choiseul Province, 23-27 June 2003. The theme will be "Working Together for Food Security". Representatives from local farmers organizations in Bougainville, PNG, Vanuatu and East Timor are being invited. It will be an opportunity for them to observe how PMN works with communities to preserve plant genetic resources and to share farming techniques, stories and their interest in gardening with other Melanesians.
Posted 6:21 PM by Luigi
If you're interested in storing seeds of native plants, this on-line manual from the Hawaii Conservation Alliance will be a very useful resource. Doesnt seem to link to IPGRI's Seed Storage Compendium, though it does mention it.
Monday, June 02, 2003
Posted 5:27 PM by Luigi
Sea Levels in the Pacific
The following websites deal with the issue of sea levels in the Pacific and their possible rise due to global warming:
National Tidal Facility
South Pacific Sea Level & Climate Monitoring (SPSLCMP)
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.