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

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Saturday, July 28, 2007

    Preserving paradise: Hawaii’s national botanical garden saves islands’ natural beauty

    From: Boston Herald

    KALAHEO, Hawaii - The National Tropical Botanical Garden offers plenty of beautiful flowers, with three sites on Kauai, Hawaii’s “Garden Isle.” Here visitors can get off the beach and learn more about local flora.

    But one aspect of what takes place at the National Tropical Botanical Garden goes well beyond aesthetics. Resident scientists face the challenge of snatching the Pacific islands’ quickly disappearing plants from the brink of extinction.

    “Most of our visitors to Hawaii look at this beautiful, lush landscape and they just think, ‘It’s paradise,’ ” said garden director Charles R. “Chipper” Wichman, gesturing to the verdant valley stretching out below his office window on Kauai. “They have no idea that what they are viewing is a war zone between our native plants that are trying to hold on to a space and all these invasive plants and animals that are trying to take it away from them.”
    The Hawaiian islands have a wealth of conservation needs and are known among botanists as the nation’s “extinction capital.” About 180 plant species in Hawaii have 50 or fewer survivors living in the wild, Wichman said.
    Conservation at the garden involves locating and identifying endangered plants, raising them in greenhouses and then reintroducing them in the gardens and elsewhere to reconstruct native plant environments and bolster the health of the islands’ many other troubled species.

    At the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s headquarters on Kauai’s South Shore, the public can visit display gardens for free, or buy tickets and hop a tram for tours of the McBryde or Allerton gardens in a valley a couple miles away.

    The McBryde Garden nurtures plants from throughout the tropics, some of which are extinct in the wild. Next door, the formal Allerton Garden was begun by Hawaii’s Queen Emma in the late 1800s and transformed into its current design by a scion of a wealthy Chicago family who purchased the land in the late 1930s.

    The third site, the Limahuli Garden on the lush North Shore, features many native species and stunning 700-year-old terraces for growing taro, known as lo’i kalo.

    In addition to these three gardens on Kauai, the national tropical garden has two other botanical gardens and three preserves, all but one of which - the Kampong in southern Florida - are located in Hawaii.

    Though created by an act of Congress in 1964, the garden does not get annual government funds, depending instead on private donations and grants from public and private foundations.

    Among the garden’s conservation and research triumphs is the alula, on display at both the McBryde and Limahuli gardens on Kauai. Similar in appearance to a cabbage on a stick, the cute, stocky little plant has been grown by the hundreds in the garden. But only one known alula remains in the wild, tucked away on a cliff on Kauai.
    Not all the garden’s tales are so simple or triumphant as the alula’s. The world’s only known wild kanaloa, a humble-looking member of the pea family first scientifically described in 1994, lives on a sea stack off Kahoolawe, an uninhabited Hawaiian island still sprinkled with unexploded bombs after being used for target practice by the military for five decades.

    Guided across the small island by people trained in ordnance detection, two of the garden’s collectors spotted two of the unique plants on a tiny lump of offshore land topped by a piece of native vegetation that had been isolated for centuries from the human-introduced ravages of rats, grazing sheep, farming and bombs.
    The collectors were able to gather samples of the plant after perilously lowering themselves down on ropes. Subsequent visits to the spot have been made by helicopter.

    A lone example of this shrub grown from a seed is rooted in a tub, cordoned off from the public at the spot where the McBryde Garden and Allerton Garden meet. But so far researchers haven’t found a way to produce any more of the enigmatic plant that ancient pollen records suggest was one of the dominant species here for a couple thousand years until the mid-1500s.

    In all, the garden has had a hand in the discovery of 30 new species endemic to Hawaii and the rediscovery of about another 30 thought to be extinct.

    But the garden has more in its sights on the research front than reproduction. It also has an Institute for Ethnomedicine, through which the garden discovered, with the help of traditional Samoan healers, a potential anti-HIV drug currently in clinical trials.

    If the drug proves to be marketable, the Samoan government as well as the village where it was found and the family of the healer who helped find it will get a good portion of the royalties, Wichman said.

    “Our goal is to really try and set the standard for how to work with indigenous people and honor their intellectual property rights,” he said.

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