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
Interested in GIS?
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Posted 1:53 PM by Luigi
The Island Biodiversity Programme of Work
From Island Business. By Asterio Takesy, Director, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
An exciting new initiative for island biodiversity will be the focus of a major international gathering in Brazil later this month. The Pacific will be strongly represented at the Convention on Biological Diversity 8th Conference of the Parties (COP 8) in order to highlight the importance of progressing the Island Biodiversity Programme of Work (IBPOW). Our region is sending a message to the world that island biodiversity is special and that islands need to be managed differently.
The programme of work recognises that all islands and small islands developing states (SIDS) in particular, rely on biodiversity for sustainable development, have close links between culture and environment, have special concerns and vulnerabilities, limited land area, high levels of endemism (i.e. unique animals and plants) and high coastal and marine biodiversity. As I outlined in my last column, the Pacific's success in progressing our biodiversity priorities has again been the result of commitment, leadership and also partnerships. In getting recognition of the needs of island biodiversity, I congratulate previous Pacific representatives to COP meetings on the efforts they have made in progressing the interests of the region and conserving island biodiversity.
Specifically three individuals, as well as their countries, have made a major commitment to progressing this effort since 2004: Joel Miles of Palau, Nenenteiti Teariki-Ruatu of Kiribati and Ana Tira'a of the Cook Islands. I also thank many others who have been involved. They have been consulting and informing in their respective countries, and with other countries in the region, to reflect a true Pacific perspective. Along with many other Pacific states, they have provided input into the island biodiversity dialogue and strategically identified opportunities to progress our biodiversity issues.
Teariki-Ruatu, Tiraa and Miles represented the Pacific at the initial technical experts' group on island biodiversity that drafted the current programme of work. In terms of partnerships, SPREP and its member countries have worked closely with The Nature Conservancy, the University of the South Pacific and other members of the Roundtable for Nature Conservation in the Pacific, to get input and to start to identify how we can work together to support implementation. Much of the meeting preparation in terms of input and development of the programme of work has been made possible with New Zealand government assistance.
SPREP believes that the Island Biodiversity Programme of Work is potentially one of the most significant new sources of financial and technical support for the implementation of national biodiversity priorities and actions. It is also a platform for a stronger island voice within the Convention on Biological Diversity and related international negotiations-and it strengthens the political and partnerships between governments and civil society, as well as between small islands and countries with islands. The SPREP meeting, our governing council of all Pacific islands countries and territories and the metropolitan members, affirms that biodiversity fundamentally underpins island well-being, productive lifestyles and livelihoods; and acknowledges that the rate of loss of species in the Pacific is currently among the highest in the world.
The 2005 SPREP meeting commended the proposed new Island Biodiversity Programme of Work, recognising the contribution it will make to support the region in pursuing the goal of significantly reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity. The Island Biodiversity Programme of Work (IBPOW) is relevant to Small Islands Developing States but it is also relevant to developed countries with islands, such as New Zealand, Australia, France and Japan. In addition, it offers a way for our region to have dialogue with islands outside our normal political and geographical sphere. The overall goal of the IBPOW is to reduce island biodiversity loss by 2010 at global, regional and national levels. This is consistent with the region's goals as articulated in the Pacific Action Plan for Managing the Environment.
The programme is based around five themes critical to island biodiversity: conservation; sustainable use; addressing threats; access and benefit sharing of island genetic resources; and increasing capacity and resources to implement the programme. At COP 8 we will also be launching a two-year campaign with the theme of 'Island Life'. This will support the implementation of the IBPOW and raise the profile of biodiversity in the region. Through it, SPREP would also like to acknowledge the vision of our leaders on island biodiversity to foster the involvement of communities and particularly community champions, and to work to catalogue action on island biodiversity in our region. We hope that others will join us in this important initiative and continue to support our leaders and member countries.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.