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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Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Posted 2:41 PM by Luigi
The EU and Biodiversity in the Pacific
Alex Rheeney, PACIFIC Magazine, June 5, 2006
The European Commission (EC) has submitted a proposal to the European Council and the European Parliament to save the Pacific region’s rapidly depleting biodiversity.
Tropical forests and marine resources in the region are being targeted by mainly foreign-owned fishing vessels and logging companies.
EC director-general for development Stefano Manservisi told the African Caribbean Pacific-European Commission (ACP-EC) Joint Ministerial Council summit in Port Moresby that the European Union (EU) needed to act to save the region’s biodiversity.
“You have immense and irreplaceable biodiversity in the Pacific Ocean and in your forests. They are truly global public goods because they are of global importance. However, a combination of greedy owners of fishing vessels and ruthless industrial logging companies – mostly foreign – and weak regulation and enforcement means that we are faced with a tragedy now. Your region is losing biodiversity at a very high rate. Important parts of the creation are being destroyed and lost forever. The whole of humanity is getting poorer in the process and sadly your children and grandchildren will be affected most directly by this destruction,” Manservisi said.
Manservisi’s conversation-oriented proposal that is now being submitted to the European Council and the European Parliament calls for strengthened partnership with the Pacific Islands due to the region’s immense biodiversity and its possession of the only fishery resource in the world yet to be heavily over-fished including the world’s largest tuna stocks.
Papua New Guinea’s tropical forests, which is reportedly being chopped at a rate of 120,000 hectares a year through commercial selective logging, is highlighted in the proposal as being of global significance due to its biodiversity and impact on climate change.
The Pacific is not alone in the race against time to save the region’s biodiversity; Manservisi said and indicated that “sustainable management of natural resources” should be the central theme for the region’s next co-operation program with the EU.
“We shall also continue to discuss it with you, especially in the context of the ongoing programming of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). I know the blue-green theme will appeal to the people in Europe, especially the young people. Just as they will not allow Europe to stand aside when your islands are threatened by climate change and rising seas, they will not accept continued loss of biodiversity. It is a fact that the prosperity and the future of your region depends on sound management and protection of the environment – and our co-operation has to reflect this reality.”
While environmental groups will welcome this latest attempt by the EU to crack down on the rampant trade of illegal logging and fishery with the Pacific, the region’s 14 ACP states are now being put on notice that access to the recently approved €22 billion ($US28.4 billion) aid package under the 10th EDF for the period 2008-2013 could be tied to individual state’s performance in conserving its biodiversity.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.