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?
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Posted 6:37 PM by Tevita
Environment: FUTURE LEADERS SPEARHEAD CHANGE
From: Asterio Takesy
For generations, Pacific islanders have carved their traditions, culture and living from the natural resources of land and sea. The Pacific way, our island life, is built on a foundation of respect for the environment and the natural systems that sustain our livelihoods.
Within the current global climate of change, there is an urgent need to work with communities to learn to adapt the onset of changes in order to protect Pacific history, culture and traditions.
Throughout the region, considerable resources are invested in areas that will help communities and governments prepare for change. There is a critical urgency to invest in people—to build the social capital of the Pacific islands; to ensure that the future leaders are equipped with the skills, knowledge, outlook and commitment to use the limited natural resources with the least impact on the fabric of Pacific identity.
To help them make decisions that meet the needs of the present, without compromising the needs of the future, and with respect for the past. That’s what this article is about.From April 2-4, SPREP and UNEP brought together more than 30 young people: current and aspiring professionals, working or studying in the environment field, to attend the Pacific Future Environment Leaders Forum in Apia, Samoa.
Representing 14 Pacific countries and territories, the Forum explored the notions of global and regional leadership, whilst providing sessions in practical skills pivotal to strong environmental management including project management, proposal writing, and negotiation skills. The participants included a large contingent of students from USP in Suva, who came with smiles, a guitar, energy and a desire to learn and share their knowledge and experiences.
While there are many philosophical discussions on what constitutes a ‘good’ leader, there is common agreement about what comprises leadership. Some key statements at the meeting: “We can say that leadership is courage and spirit. Leadership is about growing people. Leadership is about getting the job done. Leadership is about knowing the issues. Leadership is about looking to the future and having a vision.”
The Forum allowed the young people to look forward to the future, to envision the impact of issues such as climate change. In one of the sessions, the participants learnt about the effects of climate change on their communities, such as drought, sea level rise, effects on agriculture and biodiversity loss. Within these scenarios, the participants then developed possible community-based adaptation measures.
The ideas, vision and creativity that emerged from this session highlighted the incredible talent of this region’s future leaders. Not only did the young people identify similar adaptive measures highlighted through extensive national consultations, they approached the task with passion, commitment and teamwork, and an overarching ethos that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
This Youth Forum was the first regional capacity building workshop, facilitated by SPREP, which was aimed directly at young people promoting environmental sustainability in the region. The Forum is part of an ongoing programme for future leaders in the environment sector as part of SPREP’s commitment to build capacity of Pacific islanders for strengthening environmental management. The Forum complemented the work undertaken by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), to support young people in the region; it was a privilege to have the presence and participation of a key SPC representatives throughout.
Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment provided support in an ongoing partnership with SPREP.Amidst the uncertainty of the future, there is a growing recognition of the critical need for strong voices from the region. Voices that will share with the rest of the world the needs, the complexities, and the right solutions for the more than 8 million people living in the Pacific. Voices that will take the messages from the people of the vast Pacific islands region to a global platform.
The forum provided an opportunity to strengthen the Pacific Youth Environmental Network (PYEN), established by UNEP to act as a vehicle to unite the growing numbers of young Pacific Islanders who are concerned about protecting the Pacific environment.The challenge now for young people is to embody the change they wish to see in this region: to have the courage to embrace the principles, spirit and integrity to continue to strive for the change that needs to happen in the Pacific; to become the Pacific’s future environment leaders; and to ensure that the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of the Pacific islands are protected for future generations.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.