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?



    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Biodiversity Hotspots Identify Conservation Priorities

    A new look at global biodiversity hotspot finds a number of new ones, including one in the Pacific, the East Melanesian Islands, which joins Southwest Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Polynesia-Micronesia (includes Hawaii) on the Oceania list.

    The new book Hotspots Revisited identifies 34 regions worldwide where 75 percent of the planet’s most threatened mammals, birds, and amphibians survive within habitat covering just 2.3 percent of the Earth’s surface (roughly equivalent to the combined areas of the five largest U.S. states). This habitat originally covered 15.7 percent of the Earth’s surface, an area equivalent in size to Russia and Australia combined. The new analysis shows that an estimated 50 percent of all vascular plants and 42 percent of terrestrial vertebrates exist only in these 34 hotspots.

    The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, a rugged, mountainous area stretching from Mexico to the Southwestern United States, is one of nine newly identified hotspots. Three other hotspots that extend into U.S. states or territories - the California Floristic Province, the Caribbean Islands, and Polynesia-Micronesia - remain under severe threat.

    Hotspots Revisited (CEMEX, 2004) contains the results of an in-depth reanalysis of global hotspots, a widely used prioritization strategy for allocating conservation dollars to areas where they can do the most good.

    “The biodiversity hotspots are the environmental emergency rooms of our planet. This latest assessment underscores the value of the hotspots concept for defining urgent conservation priorities,” said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International (CI) and co-editor of the new book. "We must now act decisively to avoid losing these irreplaceable storehouses of Earth’s life forms."

    Nearly 400 specialists contributed to the four-year-long hotspots reappraisal. Their analysis has resulted in an increase in the number of hotspots from 25 to 34. The East Melanesian Islands Hotspot was added because it had degraded dramatically over the last five years; the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, Japan, Horn of Africa, Irano-Anatolian, Mountains of Central Asia, and Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany (in southern Africa) were added because of newly available data showing they qualify for hotspot status; and the Himalaya and Eastern Afromontane regions have been identified as distinct hotspots in their own right.

    The scientists delved beyond species to identify genera and families that are unique to the hotspots, concluding that hotspots also hold a disproportionately high degree of unique evolutionary history. Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands Hotspot, for example, has 24 plant and vertebrate families that are found nowhere else on Earth. "We now know that by concentrating on the hotspots, we are not only protecting species, but deep lineages of evolutionary history," Mittermeier said. "These areas capture the uniqueness of life on Earth."

    The hotspots concept was pioneered in 1988 by British ecologist Norman Myers, who recognized that hotspot ecosystems (most often in tropical forest areas) cover a small total land area yet account for a very high percentage of global biodiversity. The concept was subsequently refined by Myers and CI, most recently in 2000.

    “This new analysis has benefited greatly from increased collaboration among countries and organizations, as well as from scientists’ ever-increasing knowledge of species and their habitats,” said Gustavo A.B. da Fonseca, executive vice president of CI.

    Two factors determine which areas qualify as hotspots: number of endemic species (those found nowhere else) and degree of threat. Plants are used as a measure of endemism, and each of the hotspots holds at least half a percent of the total diversity of vascular plants as endemics; this translates to 1,500 species of vascular plants found exclusively within its boundaries. Degree of threat is determined by the percentage of remaining habitat, with each hotspot having lost at least 70 percent of its original natural habitat. Some of the hotspots have less than 10 percent of their original natural habitat.


    • Tropical Andes
    • Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena (Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru)
    • Atlantic Forest (Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina)
    • Cerrado (Brazil)
    • Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests
    • Mesoamerica (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico)
    • Caribbean Islands
    • California Floristic Province
    • Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands (Mexico, U.S.) (NEW)

    • Guinean Forests of West Africa
    • Cape Floristic Region (South Africa)
    • Succulent Karoo (South Africa, Namibia)
    • Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands
    • Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa
    • Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany (South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique) (NEW)
    • Horn of Africa (NEW)

    • Mediterranean Basin

    • Caucasus
    • Western Ghats and Sri Lanka (India, Sri Lanka)
    • Mountains of Southwest China
    • Sundaland (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei)
    • Wallacea (Indonesia)
    • Philippines
    • Himalaya (NEWLY DISTINCT)
    • Indo-Burma
    • Irano-Anatolian (NEW)
    • Mountains of Central Asia (NEW)
    • Japan (NEW)

    • Southwest Australia
    • New Caledonia
    • New Zealand
    • Polynesia-Micronesia (includes Hawaii)
    • East Melanesian Islands (NEW)

    The threats to the hotspots include: habitat destruction; invasive species; direct human exploitation of species for food, medicine, and the pet trade; and climate change, which magnifies the effects of habitat destruction and fragmentation.

    The latest analysis offers mixed news about existing hotspots. On one hand, some hotspots have deteriorated significantly: a notable example is Southeast Asia’s Sundaland, whose forest loss has been driven largely by extensive commercial logging and agricultural projects. On the other hand, relatively little forest has been lost in the Atlantic Forest, and Madagascar looks set to hold steady following President Marc Ravalomanana’s recent pledge to triple the size of his nation’s protected area network.

    “The new hotspots analysis ensures that we will continue to direct conservation funds to the areas where we can have the greatest possible impact,” said Peter Seligmann, CEO and chairman of the board of CI. “It also points out the need for additional resources to address the new priority areas that have been identified.”

    CI already works in most of the existing hotspots and plans to expand its programs into some of the new hotspots, including the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands. “We have already begun looking seriously at the U.S.-Mexico border area,” Mittermeier said. “We are trying to identify the best ways to leverage scientific knowledge and the expertise of partner organizations to conserve this region for the benefit of not only its plant and animal species, but also for the millions of people whose well-being is tied to its ecological health.”

    The Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands hotspot is a 178,095-square-mile area encompassing Mexico’s main mountain chains, some isolated mountaintops in Baja California, and a few scattered patches in the southern United States (represented by the Madrean Sky Islands, a series of about 40 mountain-tops in southern Arizona and New Mexico, and other mountaintops in Texas, including part of Big Bend National Park).

    This hotspot is home to about 5,300 flowering plant species (of which almost 4,000 are endemics), about a third of the world’s oak and pine tree species, and over 1,500 vertebrate species (including 134 endemic species). Among many charismatic flagship species in the region is the volcano rabbit or zacatuche (Romerolagus diazi), one of the world’s smallest rabbits, which is found only in the mountains surrounding Mexico City. The hotspot is also home to up to 200 species of butterfly, of which 45 are endemic, and plays host to one of the world’s most famous wildlife spectacles, the over wintering mass of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in the pine forests of Michoacan. Threats to the hotspot include logging and intentional burning to clear land for livestock or agriculture.

    Hotspots Revisited was produced by CEMEX, one of the world’s largest cement manufacturers, in collaboration with Conservation International, Agrupación Sierra Madre, and the University of Virginia. It was edited by Russell Mittermeier, Gustavo A.B. da Fonseca, Michael Hoffmann, John Pilgrim, Thomas Brooks, Patricio Robles Gil, Cristina G. Mittermeier, and John Lamoreux. The book, which features nearly 300 photographs, also includes contributions from 197 of the specialists who participated in the hotspots reanalysis. The book can be purchased from www.conservation.org.

    Maps, photographs, and detailed information about individual hotspots are available upon request from: Luba Vangelova, (202) 912-1294; L.Vangelova@conservation.org

    Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org.

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