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?
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Posted 8:32 PM by Luigi
Macarthur Foundation Awards $2 Million Grant to USP
Grant Funds Will be Used to Promote Biodiversity Conservation in the Region
CHICAGO—The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a grant of $2 million to the University of the South Pacific (USP) for its Institute of Applied Sciences. The USP is a regional university serving 12 countries, with its main campus in Fiji.
"The South Pacific is one of the world’s richest repositories of endangered marine life, home to some 400 species of coral and 900 species of fish," said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation.
"The University of the South Pacific is one of the most important academic institutions in the region, leading efforts to conserve this abundant biodiversity. A proud partner in their work for over a decade, the MacArthur Foundation is delighted to announce this grant, which will help anchor USP’s conservation efforts for the future."
The University of the South Pacific will use the grant to establish an endowment to help fund postgraduate fellowships in conservation and taxonomy for Pacific Islanders, and to host outside experts for short-term visits. Grant funds will also be used to design a new herbarium facility, purchase equipment for monitoring the health of the region’s reefs, and fund efforts to explore extending Institute services.
"Pacific peoples are largely dependent on their biodiversity for their subsistence needs as well as for economic development," said Dr. William Aalbersberg, Director of the Institute. "The University strategy is to develop skills in taxonomy and conservation to help understand what these resources are and how they can be sustainably utilized, while at the same time working at the community level to build on traditional knowledge to develop resource management plans. This approach is showing initial success in raising community incomes and conserving biodiversity in Fiji.
The MacArthur Foundation grant will allow more talented Pacific islanders to be trained and to extend the geographical area of the work."
Each year, the Foundation makes a small number of large, institution-building grants to organizations that have previously received support from the Foundation and have reached a stage of institutional development where such an investment would be particularly timely.
Support for the Institute of Applied Sciences at USP helps advance the Foundation’s conservation and sustainable development priorities in the South Pacific, one of its nine focal regions. With the goal of preserving the Pacific’s rich marine sector, grantmaking in the region has been geared towards strengthening local management of marine resources and promoting sustainable fisheries.
The Foundation’s Conservation and Sustainable Development program focuses on preserving the biodiversity of living organisms and maintaining tropical ecosystems, which are home to some of the world’s most diverse natural communities and critically endangered species. The Foundation provides support to help create and manage parks and marine areas, increase the skills of local governmental and non-governmental institutions and individuals, and strengthen environmental law and policy.
In addition to traditional conservation focused on protected areas, the Foundation seeks to address both economic and conservation needs by promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and helping the local population manage the biodiversity on which they depend for their livelihoods.
About the Institute of Applied Sciences at University of the South Pacific (USP): The Institute is divided into five sections: analytical laboratory, environment, food, herbarium, and natural products. The Analytical Laboratory performs most chemical and microbiological analyses required in the region and received international accreditation in 2004. The Environment Unit performs Environmental Impact Assessments and has developed innovative participatory approaches to assist communities in resource management and has received major international awards in the last two years, the Equator Initiative Award and the Whitley People and the Environment Award. The Food Unit combines work in food analysis, food technology and food safety. The Herbarium manages over 70,000 plant voucher specimens and is developing as a center of excellence in taxonomy and conservation. The natural products work focuses on commercial use of regional biodiversity. The twelve countries that have campuses as part of the University of the South Pacific are: Cook Islands, Fuji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
About the Foundation: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with headquarters in Chicago, is a private, independent grant-making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. The Foundation makes grants through four programs. The Program on Human and Community Development supports organizations working primarily on national issues, including community development, regional policy, housing, public education, juvenile justice, and mental health policy. The Program on Global Security and Sustainability supports organizations engaged in international issues, including peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, population and reproductive health, and human rights. The General Program supports public interest media and the production of independent documentary films. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and the promise of continued creative work. With assets of more than $4 billion, the Foundation makes grants totaling approximately $185 million each year.
Contact: Jen Humke, The MacArthur Foundation Tel. 312/726-8000
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.