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?



    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    First draft of ITPGRFA's MTA negotiated

    Meeting of the Contact Group for the Drafting of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement for the Multilateral System under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Hammamet, Tunisia. 18-22 July.

    The Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) is the key tool of the Multilateral System (MS) for exchange of germplasm under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). There is general agreement that the SMTA must be as clear and easy to understand and use as possible, but with the necessary safeguards against non-compliance.

    The Secretariat of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources, acting as Interim Secretariat to the ITPGRFA, established an Expert Group which put together a draft SMTA setting out various options. This meeting in Tunisia brought together representatives of all FAO Regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and SW Pacific) to negotiate (by consensus) a final SMTA. FAO’s SW Pacific region includes Australia, New Zealand and the PICTs. The participation of developing countries was funded by the US Government.

    The result of the meeting was a “First Draft SMTA prepared by the Contact Group.” Much text remains in square brackets (i.e. not agreed by all), but the basic structure has been agreed:
    1. Preamble. Places the SMTA in the context of the ITPGRFA.
    2. Parties to the SMTA. Provider and Recipient of the material, not the same as Parties to the ITPGRFA.
    3. Definitions. Key ones include:
      - Product
      - Commercialize
      - Incorporate
      - Available without restriction
    4. Subject matter. Essentially the genetic material to which the SMTA gives access, and associated data.
    5. General provisions. May be the place to define the role of the Governing Body in relation to the SMTA.
    6. Rights and obligations of the Provider. Access to germplasm will be granted expeditiously and along with all available data.
    7. Rights and obligations of the Recipient. Mandatory benefit sharing obligations.
    8. Applicable law/interpretation. May not be needed.
    9. Dispute resolution. Essentially a process of mediation and arbitration.
    10. Additional items
      - Warranty
      - Duration of agreement
      - Voluntary payments
      - Termination
    11. Signature. Possibly with an option to provide germplasm shrink-wrapped, the breaking of the seal signifying agreement to the terms of the SMTA (i.e. no signature necessary).

    Appendix 1. List of material provided under the SMTA and associated data. (i.e. the subject matter of the SMTA).

    Appendix 2. Payment of benefit sharing. Essentially banking instructions.

    However, some key points remain to be sorted out:

    1. The role of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA in overseeing the MTA (e.g., making sure that use of the material is according to the ITPGRFA, that benefit sharing obligations are met etc.). The African Region in particular was keen for the Governing Body to have a role. This may be difficult legally as the GB has no legal personality but other options are possible, including FAO taking on some kind of role on behalf of an aggrieved MTA Party as a “third party beneficiary.”
    2. The method of dispute resolution, e.g. whether arbitration will be compulsory/mutually agreed and binding/non-binding.
    3. Threshold for incorporation of material from the MS to trigger payment on commercialization. The North America Region tabled the idea of limiting payments into the MS to the situation where a commercialized product contains more than a 25% (presumably negotiable) contribution by parentage from material accessed via the MTA, or if it contains an identifiable trait from that material. In contrast, an African proposal suggested that companies breeding Annex 1 crops would have the option of paying a %age (presumably much lower than otherwise) of earnings on ANY variety of such crops they commercialize (rather than only the ones derived from material accessed via the SMTA) and then have access to the MS without the need for further contribution. This is an interesting idea which the North American and European delegations did not seem to like very much but which needs further exploration, in particular with the private sector: it would be a sort of pre-payment for life membership.
    4. Formula for payment. What %age of net/gross sales/income would be paid into the MS?

    These will be the main items on the agenda of a proposed further meeting of the Contact Group, probably in late 2005 or early 2006.

    * Comments:

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