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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Thursday, January 05, 2006
Posted 1:02 PM by Luigi
Forest Fires Ravage Rare Species in New Caledonia
January 04, 2006 — By Associated Press
Fires whipping through rainforests in New Caledonia are wiping out rare plant species and overwhelming firefighters, and environmental groups and local leaders appealed Tuesday for help. The fires, which have been blazing for nearly two weeks, have engulfed more than 4,000 hectares (11,000 acres) in southern Noumea, the main island on the French Pacific Ocean territory, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
"Several rare plant species are being wiped from the planet," said Regis Dick of WWF. Some unusual plants that thrive in the cobalt- and nickel-rich soil of Noumea are disappearing, and a species of palm exclusive to New Caledonia is also under threat, he said in a telephone interview. The damage to the rainforests and forests also endangers the animals they house, including local parrot species and the cagou, a bird native to New Caledonia that features on the national emblem, he said. The small local firefighting force quickly appealed for help. France's government sent a military plane over the weekend loaded with equipment and 82 people, but local leaders said Tuesday that it was not enough.
"We need human action on these sites, with shovels and material on the ground to get to the root of it," Hamel-Francis Mekachera, a New Caledonia official, told France's LCI television. Mekachera said helicopters dousing water on the site could not sufficiently soak the charred soil. Dry, hot weather and strong winds have hampered firefighting efforts and spread the blaze. "But fires are only lit by humans," Dick said.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.