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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Monday, February 28, 2005
Posted 2:11 PM by Luigi
Ethnobotanist wins award for scientific cooperation
Eva Tallaksen, 18 February 2005
A leading ethnobotanist will tomorrow (19 February) receive the 2004 International Scientific Cooperation Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Michael J. Balick's research has helped transform ethnobotany — the study of indigenous people's use of plants — into an internationally recognised academic discipline. Balick is currently involved in ethnobotanical research in Micronesia.
The award citation recognises his efforts to promote scientific collaboration within the field. In particular, it stresses his research emphasis "on preserving traditional knowledge and respect for the values of local peoples, and his support for the development of scientific institutions in areas of the world where they are needed most".
Balick has worked throughout Central and South America, Asia and the Pacific. In Belize, for example, he established links between ethnobotany and economic development, and co-founded the Ix Chel Tropical Research Foundation, a centre devoted to traditional medicine and cultural preservation.
In Costa Rica, Balick helped to create a major botanical garden while in the Caribbean, he promoted research in ethnobotany and economic botany.
"Balick was a leader in opening the dialogue and debate on intellectual property rights long before it was fashion," said Sherburne Abbott, chief international officer of the AAAS. "He also worked to ensure that local people would benefit from any discoveries that were made from their plants."
He also serves as adjunct professor in four universities in New York, United States, and has published more than 14 books. Since 1980 he has been working in New York Botanical Garden, and studying traditional healing practices used by the city's ethnic communities.
Link to a profile of Michael J. Balick on New York Botanical Garden
Link to AAAS Award website
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