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
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Posted 4:25 PM by Luigi
WWF Accuses France of Turning a Blind Eye to Bushfires
New Caledonia’s WWF (World Wildlife Fund) office has condemned the French Government for turning a blind eye to the country’s bushfires.
WWF-New Caledonia coordinator Hubert Géraux says it would be ironic for France not to do anything because it will host a world biodiversity summit in Paris this week, “when in New Caledonia the house is on fire”.
Mr Géraux says France had announced a “zero percent loss” target on biodiversity by the year 2010 but has forgotten that “a unique world natural heritage, in New Caledonia, is going up in flames”.
Thousands of hectares of forest had gone up in flames between October and December 2004 after raging bushfires engulfed areas around New Caledonia’s Northern, Eastern and Southern parts of the Grande Terre and suburbs around the capital Nouméa.
Early December 2004, ten of New Caledonia’s major environmental associations and NGOs claimed despite earlier warnings and calls for fire-fighters reinforcements, New Caledonia was burning.
New Caledonia’s top ten associations and NGOs, including the local branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said New Caledonia’s natural heritage would be totally destroyed if nothing were done.
The fires have also destroyed a sanctuary for forest-dwelling animal species, including the fruit bat (commonly known as the flying fox) and wild pigeons, the NGOs warned.
“Rivers and streams are also severely affected,” they said. “We call on French authorities to trigger a natural disaster response plan known in France as plan ORSEC (relief organisation plan). This involves the French army being sent to help local fire brigades.”
The organisations also say most of the fires were of criminal origin, not only due to negligence, but also to arsonists.
In November 2004, New Caledonia’s firemen asked French authorities to send reinforcements.
They are suggesting that in order to release the necessary reinforcement, French authorities should first declare New Caledonia a disaster area, which would automatically trigger the procedure but the Nouméa fire brigade union says this is the worst situation they have faced for the past ten year.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.