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?
Monday, April 03, 2006
Posted 7:41 PM by Luigi
Using Technology for Conservation and Sustainable Development
From Dr Gilianne Brodie, PACINET Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A three-day regional workshop focusing on the learning of a specialised software program to assist in identifying plants (including plant varieties or cultivars) and animals was recently held in the Pacific Island region, at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji.
Organised by PACINET, a regional co-operative program between the University of the South Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Program (SPREP) and the Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum (PBIF), the workshop was aimed at tapping into existing regional knowledge in areas such as crop management, pest species, plant genetic resources and environmental biodiversity so that expertise can be put into a form that is simple and effective for use by others. Regional participants attended the workshop from a wide range of backgrounds. They included postgraduate research students, quarantine officers, agricultural scientists, taxonomists, conservation ecologists, geneticists and information systems specialists.
The workshop focused on learning to use a specialised software program called LUCID which is designed by the University of Queensland’s Centre of Biological Information Technology (CBIT) and allows the knowledge of a particular plant or animal group to be easily transferred to others who need the information.
In opening the workshop, Dr Randolph Thaman, Professor of Pacific Island Biogeography and chairperson of PACINET highlighted the importance of having qualified taxonomists to identify species that could be endangered or extinct in the Pacific and having software like LUCID that would allow the local and international knowledge of a particular plant or animal group to be merged and then communicated effectively to other users.
“I know too far well how important it is to have a good taxonomists, parataxonomists or vernacular scientist nearby who can correctly identify the incredible diversity of taxa (species) that comprises our unique, limited and highly threatened Pacific Island biodiversity inheritance,” said Professor Dr Thaman.
Dr Thaman also said that it was important for students to “keep a foot at a village level, spend time with older men and women, the true indigenous or traditional taxonomists and parataxonomists, the foresters, agro-foresters, farmers, medical practitioner, builder and boat makers and fishers, the endangered taxonomists who often hold the real “keys” for community based biodiversity conservation, terrestrial, freshwater and marine, in our island environment.” He highlighted that the workshop sessions are aimed at tapping into existing regional knowledge and problem solving in areas such as crop management, pest species and environmental biodiversity so that local expertise can be put into a form that is simple and effective for use by others.
LUCID is designed to develop user-focused picture-based multimedia identification keys that allow effective identification and problem solving for Pacific Island agriculturalists, farmers and natural resource managers.
After the three-day workshop PACINET and CBIT will continue to work with participants to produce publishable CDs and outputs that can be used in a range of Pacific Island Countries. Funding is now being sought-after to run a similar workshop, with a quarantine theme, in Samoa.
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