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?



    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Pacific islands look to coconut oil as energy saviour


    PORT LOUIS (AFP) Jan 18, 2005

    Struggling with rising oil prices, Pacific island nations are increasingly looking to coconut oil, long a basic foodstuff and massage lubricant, as an economically and ecologically sound petroleum alternative.

    Pacific island officials gathered here last week for a UN conference on small islands extolled the virtues of the lowly coconut in reducing dependence on imported gasoline and potentially boosting ailing local economies.

    Coconut oil is seen as an inexpensive and efficient renewable energy source particularly in Vanuatu, the Pacific archipelago inhabited by 217,000 people that spends about 20 percent of its annual budget on imported petroleum.

    "It's a huge cost for a small economy like us," Vanuatu's Environment Minister Russell Nari told AFP on the sidelines of the island conference in Mauritius.

    "If we have enough funds to produce coconut oil and if we don't have to fight against the oil lobby, islands may reduce seriously their dependency," he said.

    Coconut oil was first used as fuel in the Pacific during World War II when a fuel shortage gripped the Philippines, forcing residents to look for alternatives, according to Espen Ronneberg of the Marshall Islands who serves as a regional advisor to small developing islands.

    "Some clever people discovered that you can mix diesel and coconut oil to run the engine," he said.

    The concept was abandoned with the end of the war but restarted several years ago as the price of oil began to skyrocket, Ronneberg said.

    Last June, the idea got a boost when energy ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) urged that more priority be given to renewable energy sources, including coconut and palm oil.

    Today, residents of Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands and their fellow Pacific nations, Samoa and the Cook Islands, all use coconut oil as fuel for diesel engines but still on a relatively small scale. About 100 private buses in Vanuatu's capital of Port Vila are powered at least in part by coconut oil as are similar vehicles in the Marshall Islands, officials said.

    In addition to reducing dependency on foreign petroleum, coconut oil offers several additional advantages, they said.

    It does not pollute, and better yet, it has a "beautiful smell," said Vanuatu's Nari.

    It is also cheap, costing about 80 cents per liter, compared with one dollar seventeen cents for the same amout of diesel, officials said.

    And if it catches on as a fuel source, it could rescue Pacific island economies that have been hard hit by plummeting prices for coconut oil, one of their chief exports.

    "It's a disaster because entire families depend on coconuts," Nari said.

    "This could bring about a new life for the coconut," he said, adding that about 20 people in Port Vila now work in factories where coconut oil is used as a base to produce fuel.

    It takes about five coconuts to make about a liter of fuel and the process is similar to that used to produce massage oil, although it requires more purification, Nari said.

    And the fuel can be used to power all diesel engines without any technical modifications. "If you are running out of fuel, you can just stop at the next petrol station and fill up your car with diesel," Nari said.

    Despite high hopes for coconut oil to become a leading fuel source in the Pacific islands, its use would be problematic in the developed world, according to Ronneberg.

    Coconut oil's lone drawback appears to be that it can be used as fuel only at a minimum ambient temperature of 17 degrees Celsius (62 degrees Fahrenheit), he said.

    But if industrialized countries are interested, perhaps they could find a way to heat the oil, he suggested.

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    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


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