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 29, 2007
Posted 7:32 AM by Luigi
Turning bamboo into wealth
From the Fiji Times, Wednesday, March 07, 2007
FOURTEEN young men from a Taievu village are learning the art of designing and making furniture out of local bamboo.
The Indonesian Embassy, which organised the workshop, is impressed with the quality of local bamboo and is helping a local businessman Usaia Korodrau look for markets locally, for the products.
The workshop started in November last year after Mr Korodrau approached the Ministry of Forests and the Indonesian Embassy with the idea of using bamboo to make furniture.
"In 2000, I went to China to attend a workshop on how to design and use bamboo and last year the Indonesian Embassy facilitated a workshop where I learnt the art of creating designs and the actual manufacture of the items," he said.
The Embassy's Second Secretary, Robert Sitorus said according to experts from Indonesia, Fijian bamboo was of the strongest quality and furniture made from it would be durable.
He said the workshop participants, aged 19-25, were looking at blending designs from Indonesia and Fiji.
Mr Korodrau said the youths worked with him at the workshop at his home in Vusuya Village, Nausori.
"These youths were unemployed but they have a lot of talent for the work and after attending the workshop by the Indonesian Embassy, their talents have been enhanced," he said.
Items made by the team include trays, sofa sets, coffee tables, a double bed, chairs, lamp shades, baskets and mirror holders.
Mr Korodrau said he hoped to get the products into the market by the end of April. He said once the products were launched in the market, he would be able to employ the youths.
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Monday, March 12, 2007
Posted 10:45 PM by Luigi
New book on traditional medicine
From Island Business.
TRADITIONAL MEDICINE OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS: THE WOMEN, THE PLANTS, THE TREATMENTS By Irene J. Taafaki, Maria Kabua Fowler & Randolph R. Thaman
by Prof. Bill Aalbersberg
This lavishly illustrated and beautifully presented book is the result of a collaboration between nine expert Marshallese healers, members of clans who possess their own special medicines, and numerous others familiar with folk or general remedies, facilitated by the University of the South Pacific.
As in most countries in the Pacific, traditional knowledge of the Marshallese—including traditional medicinal knowledge—has often been considered a secret, taught only to carefully selected people and passed on by word of mouth.
But the impact of the outside world on the countries of the Pacific threatens the preservation of such knowledge and puts at risk the biodiversity on which the knowledge is based.
The release of Traditional Medicine of the Marshall Islands will ensure that much of that traditional knowledge will survive and that ecosystems are protected for future generations.
This book provides a valuable insight into the remarkable cultural knowledge and living heritage of the Marshallese people, exploring an aspect of the skills of this fascinating small island country struggling to survive in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.
It provides a unique opportunity to learn from the people who have shared generations of learning in order that their knowledge will not be lost.
Importantly, as the authors explain, this book is not an attempt to exploit traditional wisdom for commercial benefit or the titillation of ‘outsiders’.
This was an initial concern of the healers.
It was only after Hawai’ian traditional healers Auntie Alapa’i Aka’apo Ahuko’oohumukini and Roland Bula Ahi Logan met with Marshallese healers and related how Hawai’ians had lost much of their traditional medicinal knowledge—in part due to the secrecy associated with traditional medicine—that the Marshallese unanimously agreed to become active players in the recording, preservation and application of Marshallese medicinal knowledge for the benefit of future generations.
Traditional Medicine describes more than 270 traditional medicinal treatments, with a particular focus on the use of traditional medicine for the treatment of women.
Such knowledge supports the growing worldwide trend to incorporate time-tested traditional medicinal practices into modern health systems.
Published by IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific, Suva, 2006., 318 pp; $45.95 Available in many bookshops, or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ipsbooks.usp.ac.fj
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.