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, August 09, 2005

    Ecological invasions

    Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion by Alan Burdick
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005

    A review by Laurence A. Marschall

    STANDING IN A LUSH FOREST on the Pacific island of Guam, science writer Alan Burdick is haunted by an eerie silence. Not a single warble, tweet, or chirp can be heard—nothing but the faint buzz of insects, the passing hum of a distant airplane, and the hushed rustle of the wind.

    Guam’s songbirds have all vanished, victims of the brown tree snake. An exotic predator native to Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands in the eastern Pacific, the snake arrived unannounced in a military vessel sometime around 1949. Such birds as the bridled white-eye, the Guam flycatcher, and the Mariana fruit dove, once widespread on the island, now exist only as stuffed museum specimens or illustrations in birders’ guidebooks. Even some nonavian natives—the Mariana fruit bat, for instance—are rapidly disappearing under the attack of the resourceful reptile.

    Guam may be an extreme case of a habitat devastated by a hungry immigrant. But it is not uniquely vulnerable just because it is a small, isolated island. In 1988 the zebra mussel, once confined to the lakes and rivers of Europe, hitched a ride to Lake Erie, presumably in the ballast tanks of a visiting freighter. Today zebra mussels flourish throughout the Great Lakes, and can be found in the Mississippi River and its tributaries, as far south as New Orleans. Native clam populations in the Great Lakes have been decimated, and other species that compete for food with the mussels are in sharp decline. Accumulations of zebra mussels clog municipal water systems, and have even been known to sink navigational buoys by their combined weight alone.

    Burdick points out that nowhere on the planet does nature survive in an Edenic state, unaffected by nonnative invasions: American gray squirrels now live in the British Isles; Asian longhorned beetles, which infested New York City maple trees in Brooklyn in the mid-1990s, now threaten the trees of Central Park; visitors to Hawai’i who marvel at the variety of flowers in the tropical island paradise are likely to be admiring plants that are visitors there, too: most species of lowland flora in Hawai’i were introduced by settlers in the past few centuries.

    Burdick implies that even the “pure” Edenic state is a human invention. Would we know one if we saw it? And if we did, would returning to it be environmentally sound? Invasion is a process inherent in global ecology. Siberian woolly mammoths made their way over the Bering land bridge to the New World long before mercantile ships made the journey. Insects and worms hitchhike the ocean on bits of flotsam, coming ashore wherever the winds and currents take them. The capacity of plant and animal life to spread over the globe is what made it possible for newly emerging landmasses to develop their own indigenous forms of flora and fauna in the first place. Without invasive species, volcanic islands would have remained as barren as they were when they emerged, millions of years ago, from the floor of the sea.

    What’s more, people are hardly latecomers to this process. The Polynesian settlers of Hawai’i brought the first pigs to the islands; centuries later, British soldiers carried the first cattle there. Settlers in the New World were diligent both in exporting American indigenous plants back across the Atlantic, and in bringing the plants and animals of their European homelands to American soil. Modern air and ocean transportation has only accelerated the process.

    Burdick began this book, I sense, in an attempt to uncover nature at its “purest.” He found that it was difficult, perhaps impossible, to define ecological purity at all. In most cases, the leakage of species from one habitat to another has been going on for so long that ecologists have no way of knowing what an “indigenous” ecosystem might look like. Moreover, whether an invasion is benign or clearly devastating, such as that of Guam’s brown tree snake, it may be impossible to reverse. One lesson of Burdick’s odyssey is that there is no such thing as a “state” of nature—only a continuous dynamism that challenges our ability to understand, preserve, and manage.

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

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