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?
Friday, June 30, 2006
Posted 6:25 PM by Luigi
Cook Islands and the ITPGRFA
From Charles Pitt, the Cook Islands Herald Weekly.
When it comes to agriculture, the Cook Islands is among the thick of it
The Cook Islands delegation has just returned from attending the first session of the Governing Body on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture which was held in Madrid, Spain from 12-16 June 2006.
Arthur Taripo, CEO to the Minister for Agriculture attended in place of Minister Aunty Mau and he was accompanied by Mr Avaiki Mataio Aperau a Field Service Supervisor with the Ministry.
The Cook Islands attendance comes on the back of some good work done by William Wigmore and Agriculture Secretary Nga Mataio at an earlier workshop held in May 2006 in Fiji. That workshop was driven by the Australians to foster discussions with Pacific nations on plant genetic resources activities ahead of the Spain meeting. The Solomons, PNG, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, NZ, Guam, Palau, Kiribas and the Cook Islands. Oddly enough, of these nations, only Australia, Kiribas, Samoa and the Cook Islands have ratified the treaty. These four went to Spain where Taripo said Australia took the lead. Like the Cook Islands, the Australian Minister of Agriculture did not attend. Taripo says most of the work was done by officials anyway although separate meetings were organized for Ministers.
According to Taripo, the Cook Islands ratified the treaty because the country imported plant genetic resources. The treaty covers a variety of crops including apples, taro,bananas, beans, cabbages, breadfruit, carrots, citrus fruit, cocnuts, egg plants, corn, peas, potatoes, rice, strawberries, sunflowers, kumeras, wheat and yam. A number of crops are not included for example soybeans, garlic, tomatoes and peanuts.
For a country implementing the treaty, it means ensuring the continued availability of the plant genetic resources that a country needs to feed its people. These resources need to be conserved so that future generations can have access to the genetic diversity that is essential for food and agriculture.
There are a number of benefits for countries that ratify the treaty. Among them is access to information, research and development. Members can share in global decision-making on plant genetic resources. Members can also share the monetary benefits from the commercial use of genetic resources. There is also access to financial support.
Naturally, member countries have responsibilities which include; monitoring, promoting participatory plant breeding, broadening the genetic base of crops and promoting the use of a diversity of varieties.
Taripo says this was an important meeting attended by over 200 delegates from many nations.
The treaty, which is a global treaty for food security and sustainable agriculture, was originally adopted by the 31st session of the conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations on 3 November 2001.
And for those interested in internet connection speeds, Taripo says that his Hotel in Madrid offered free internet access with the wifi and broadband speed being 700 kilobytes per second compared with the 30 kps for wifi and 5 kps for dial up in the Cook Islands. Read that and weep Cook Islanders!
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