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 21, 2004

    Global Crop Diversity Trust to conserve crop diversity

    This just in from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. SPC is working closely with countries in the Pacific through the Pacific Agricultural Plant Genetic Reosurces Network (PAPGREN) to develop regional strategies for the key regional crops for support by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

    21 October 2004 - The Global Crop Diversity Trust, an initiative to conserve in perpetuity the Earth's most crucial agricultural biodiversity, entered into force today as an independent international organization.

    The Trust crossed a major milestone when Sweden signed the agreement establishing it. This brings the number of signatories to 12 from 5 world regions, thus exceeding the criteria for recognition under international law. Sweden joins Cape Verde, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Mali, Morocco, Samoa, Syria, Tonga, and Togo as Trust signatories.

    Along with its signature, Sweden pledged 50 million kroners, about $7 million, to the Trust. The Trust's newest donor joins more than a dozen others, including Ethiopia, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, which recently pledged $50 000. This money will go toward building a $260 million Trust endowment, the proceeds of which will be used to fund the most threatened and valuable collections of crop diversity.

    The launch of the Trust comes as plant diversity suffers record losses in both farmers' fields and the wild. Extreme hunger and poverty also contribute to diminished plant diversity in many parts of the world. Even the genebanks that are intended to be safe havens for crop diversity are under increasing threat from underfunding.

    "Rich and poor nations alike are signing on to support the Trust," said Geoff Hawtin, the Trust's Executive Secretary. "This shows that they recognize the urgency of protecting crop diversity collections for all countries, whatever their level of development or region of the world."

    "Ethiopia is very rich in agricultural biodiversity but extremely poor in financial resources," said Dr. Tewolde, Director General of the country's Environmental Protection Authority and a member of the Trust's Interim executive board. "The future for Ethiopians -- along with the rest of humanity -- cannot be secure unless the future of agriculture is secured. Therefore, we welcome the opportunity to help save the world's crop diversity collections."

    "Sweden highly values agricultural diversity," said Mats Ã…berg, Deputy Director at the Department of Global Development in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The Nordic Genebank, of which we are part, has taken strong measures to protect our region's diversity, and has extended cooperation to collections in southern Africa as well as to our Baltic neighbours. But we know it is not yet enough. Humanity's agricultural heritage must be protected wherever it is found."

    The goal of the Trust is to provide a secure and sustainable source of funding for the world's most important crop diversity collections. There are more than 1 400 crop diversity collections in more than 100 countries around the world. These collections are the best source of the raw material farmers and breeders need to develop hardy, dependable, productive and nutritious crops. They contain traits that will allow crops to cope with climate change, pests and disease, as well as to increase crop yields to feed the ever-growing human population.

    The proceeds of the Trust, ultimately about $12 million per year, will support basic conservation costs in national and international collections of crop diversity. The Trust will also provide funding to rescue and salvage collections currently at risk, and build capacity in developing countries to manage such collections.

    "The majority of the world's crop collections are operating on extremely tight budgets," said Hawtin. "Many developing countries find it difficult to keep the electricity running, let alone support the activities needed to ensure the safe long-term conservation of the crop diversity they hold. Yet this diversity is critical in the fight against hunger," Hawtin added.

    Some have dubbed Ethiopia "a living seed basket" for its almost bewildering variety of wild and domesticated varieties of seeds and grains. Ethiopia is a primary gene centre for field crops such as niger seed (Guzotia abyssinica), tef (Eragrostis tef) and Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata) and a secondary gene centre for crops such as durum wheat, barley, sorghum, finger millet, linseed, sesame, safflower, faba bean, field pea, chickpea, lentil, cowpea, fenugreek and grasspea. Today, Ethiopia has 4.5 million people who are facing food shortage. In 2002, Ethiopia struggled with the worst famine since 1984 with some 15 million people facing starvation.

    To date the Global Crop Diversity Trust has raised about $51 million towards its goal with another $60 million under discussion. In addition to Ethiopia and Sweden, donors include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, the United States of America, Switzerland, the Grains Research and Development Council of Australia, Syngenta, Pioneer/Dupont, the Gatsby Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Syngenta Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the World Bank, and the Future Harvest Centres.

    "FAO welcomes the establishment of the Global Crop Diversity Trust so soon after the coming into force of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture," said Louise Fresco, Assistant Director-General of the FAO Agriculture Department. "The Trust will help ensure that one of the key objectives of the Treaty -- the safe conservation of crop diversity -- becomes a reality."

    "IPGRI is proud of the role it has played in bringing this historic initiative into being," added Emile Frison, Director-General of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). "We look forward to continuing to provide important technical support to the Trust as it undertakes its critical task of underwriting the costs of conserving the world's most important food crops."

    The effort to establish the Global Crop Diversity Trust was a joint initiative of FAO and IPGRI on behalf of the Future Harvest Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Trust is an element in the funding strategy of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which became law on 29 June 2004.

    Related links

    Global Crop Diversity Trust

    International Plant Genetic Resources Institute

    The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

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