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, December 17, 2003
Posted 11:44 PM by Luigi
A patent on Canarium?
According to the website of The Edmonds Institute, an Australian entrepreneur has patented nut oils from Canarium (called ngali nut in Solomon Islands). The patent claims the oils as a treatment for arthritis pain. Queenslander Peter Hull has been granted a United States patent on Canarium nut oil (#6,395,313, 28 May 2002) and has filed equivalent patent applications in Australia and Canada. In an application submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Hull has stated that he intends to pursue his claims in a total of 127 counties.
For more information, see http://www.edmonds-institute.org/mystery.html#anchor378784.
Posted 11:36 PM by Luigi
Biopolicy and Biopolitics in the Pacific Islands
Hard copies of "Biopolicy and Biopolitics in the Pacific Islands" by Lopeti Senituli of Tonga are available (please send your full mailing address) from The Edmonds Institute at:
The paper was delivered at the conference "Within and Beyond the Limits of Human Nature: A Working Conference on the Challenges of the New Human Genetic Technologies" held in Berlin, October 12-15, 2003.
The Edmonds Institute is a non-profit, public interest organization dedicated to education about environment, technology, and intellectual property rights. Their website is at http://www.edmonds-institute.org.
Posted 1:10 PM by Luigi
Guidelines for U.S. Germplasm Collectors
The United States State Department has posted on their web site "Information for U.S.
Government-Funded Researchers Collecting Genetic Resources Outside the United States."
The information incorporates material from the USDA/ARS Code of Conduct for Plant Collectors, and benefitted from the input of USDA/ARS's Plant Exchange Office.
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Posted 2:09 PM by Luigi
India to import kava?
From Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 11) - The Indian High Commissioner in Fiji says India is interested in making a long term commitment to the region.
Professor Ishwar Singh Chauhan said a team of experts will arrive next month to assess the aid needs of Pacific Island countries.
He says the focus will be on providing training opportunities and developing information technology.
Mr Chauhan said the aid team will also visit Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga and Tuvalu, and others may be added to the list.
He also said the possibility of exporting kava to India is being explored.
"We have been in touch with some very large pharmaceutical manufacturers in India, so we are already in touch with those manufacturers of pharmaceuticals who specialize in herbal drugs or herbal preparations and we are trying to explore the possibility of exporting kava to them."
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Posted 4:04 PM by Luigi
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER)
The purpose of the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER) is to compile and disseminate reference information on exotic plant species of known or potential threat to Pacific island ecosystems. Included are plant species that are threats to natural or semi-natural ecosystems of all types. Information is also included on species that are agricultural weeds or invaders of other highly disturbed sites.
PIER was originally requested by the Pacific Island Committee, Council of Western State Foresters, National Association of State Foresters. It is funded by USDA Forest Service International Program funds. Project direction is provided by the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry with the assistance of a number of cooperators.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Posted 1:10 PM by Luigi
AgNIC Traditional Pacific Island Crops Web site
Received the following email from Eileen Herring from University of Hawaii at Manoa Library describing her interesting new website.
I had the pleasure of introducing my new Web site at the 2003 PIALA
Conference in Pohnpei. I am developing this site with the support of the
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and the Agricultural Development in
the American Pacific (ADAP) Project. It is part of the U.S. National
Agricultural Library's AgNIC Alliance (see http://www.agnic.org for more
information on that).
While all of these organizations are partnering to make this Web site
possible, my intention is to design it for use by everyone on the Pacific.
This is why I am focussing on organizing and linking electronic full text
documents about twelve traditional Pacific island crops:
* Bananas and Plantains (Musa sp.)
* Betel Nut (Areca catechu)
* Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
* Cassava (Manihot esculenta)
* Coconut (Cocos nucifera)
* Kava (Piper methysticum)
* Noni (Morinda citrifolia)
* Pandanus (Pandanus sp. )
* Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
* Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
* Taro (Colocasia esculenta) and other Edible Aroids
* Yam (Dioscorea sp.)
In addition to identifying and organizing electronic resources, the AgNIC
Alliance partnership involves providing FREE reference service on these
crops to anyone who asks for it!
As with all these enormous tasks, this Web site is a work in progress.
In order to make it as useful as possible to Pacific Islanders, I need as
much feedback from the region as possible. Please take a moment to
look at the Web site and send me your suggestions, thoughts, criticisms,
and ideas about how to improve it.
The Web site address is:
and my email address is
Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be
Thank you and I hope you all have an wonderful holiday season.
Science & Technology Reference
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Posted 2:00 PM by Luigi
USP TO PROTECT PACIFIC TARO GENE POOL
The following item appeared in Pacific Islands Report (http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport) today. The taro collections referred to are the TaroGen and TANSAO core collections. What the piece does not say is that the genebank is an in vitro facility. Of course, taro collections are also maintained in field genebanks in various places in the region. The TANSAO collection, for example, is maintained at the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Training Centre on Santo. The other thing that is missing is that SPC's Regional Germplasm Centre also provided material of other crops, including yams, sweet pottao and cassava.
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 2) - The University of the South Pacific is contributing to food security in the region by storing a duplicate collection of Asian taro varieties.
They will be grown at the Regional Crops Gene Bank, opened recently at the university's School of Agriculture, at Alafua Campus, in Samoa.
The new Regional Crops Gene Bank at USP is one of only two organizations in the South Pacific region to store the Asian taro varieties collection.
The other organization storing the original collection is the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Suva.
Crop gene banks ensure the continuation of a plant if it becomes extinct in a particular country. Having two in the Pacific region is an insurance against one being destroyed.
December 2, 2003
Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.