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?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Posted 2:45 PM by Tevita
Environment: 2007 --A VOYAGE OF LEGACIES
But greatest gift: sustainable environment
From : Islands Business
As we come to the end of our voyage through 2007 and steer towards 2008, it is a time to reflect on several of the positive legacies the year brought us.
With Christmas just around the corner, from SPREP’s perspective the best gift that many of us can give our loved ones is one that will lead to a sustainable environment. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has had an environmentally prosperous year ‘hand in hand’ with our wider Pacific community. It has been our communities, government members, donors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and people who care, that have worked with us to leave these legacies.In 2007, the new developments with the Global Environment Facility Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS) saw the announcement of a total of US$100 million to go towards environmental projects in the region for the next four years. A special highlight for this year was the visit to SPREP and Samoa by the GEF CEO and Chairperson Monique Barbut, to meet with GEF country officials in the region. Having listened to Pacific concerns, the evolving GEF-PAS is the legacy to approach these concerns. It will now cover four areas of concern: biodiversity; climate change mitigation and adaptation; international waters; and cross-cutting issues integrated across sectors such as land and water management. Madame Barbut has invited us to wayfind with her on the journey ahead and commit to evolving the GEF-Pacific Alliance for sustainability. This year, Samoa staged a successful South Pacific Games. Over 6000 Pacific islanders came together and competed in good spirit on the sports field. Samoa as the host, took on board a national ‘Play it clean and green’ campaign during the games, a partnership effort between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) of the Government of Samoa, SPREP and the United Nations agencies in the Pacific. The campaign encouraged ideal environmental habits with a treeplanting venture, requests to recycle and reuse wherever possible. From this campaign a valuable inheritance was born, it has become the start of better environmental practices for Pacific sports events. The Cook Islands held a ‘Keep it clean and green’ campaign during their Vaka Eiva canoeing festival in November. Over 500 canoe enthusiasts came together from throughout the Pacific to compete in Rarotonga waters under a ‘Keep it clean and green’ campaign teaching the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle philosophy. SPREP can only hope this campaign grows to become parallel with all Pacific sporting events in the future.The 18th SPREP Meeting in Samoa saw the endorsement of the Marine Species Programme Framework for 2008 - 2012. Our marine life is an important integral part of our biodiversity that was also stressed during the Pacific’s biggest biodiversity conference held this year. Held every five years, the 8th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity had over 400 stakeholders in Pacific biodiversity who met to discuss a way forward for the next five years. Papua New Guinea (PNG), as host of the event, also launched its national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP). It is estimated that PNG hosts five to seven percent of the world’s terrestrial species and also has the world’s third largest block of unbroken tropical rainforest. Act now for tomorrowIt seemed fitting that this biodiversity hotspot was home to the Nature Conservation Conference, a memorable event that had strong conservation community presence and the site of the 10th anniversary for the Roundtable for Nature Conservation. In five years time, the Marshall Islands will host the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in coordination with the Roundtable for Nature Conservation and with support from SPREP.Chairperson of the roundtable, Taholo Kami ended the conference with the challenge for us to act now for tomorrow. He encourages us to choose a path of sustainability to live in peace with each other and in harmony with our environment so conservation will be an achievable outcome. I urge us all to rise to this challenge so we can sustain our natural resources together, for our Pacific people in the future. The Pacific has started its work towards alleviating climate change by embarking on removing the barriers to renewable energy technology. The Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP) held its inception workshop for 11 Pacific nations this year. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Samoa Multi-Country Office funds the project. SPREP is its executing agency. The more we use renewable energy the less fossil fuel is burnt forming carbon dioxide (CO2). It is this gas which accounts for 75% of all greenhouse gas emissions around the world. There is value in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a major factor of climate change. Working together to bring about more renewable energy projects in the Pacific is a positive legacy, both for our environment and our economy. Samoa currently generates approximately 45% of its electricity from hydropower. The nation launched its energy policy this year which highlights the priority of renewable energy. Flame of renewableThis is just one member of our Pacific family that has helped light the flame of renewable energy and PIGGAREP will work towards spreading this light in our region. 2007 is a special year for phasing out the ozone depleting substances in the Pacific. SPREP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the government of Australia have partnered together to implement the Pacific strategy of the Montreal Protocol, which is the global effort to help restore our ozone layer. This year, Niue has passed its own ozone protection legislation that will help those at border patrol to stop ozone depleting substances from entering the nation. The Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati are working towards developing a similar legislation.Waste management has invested in the future of our Pacific nations with capacity building workshops held in-country and awareness work at all levels. Marine pollution, chemicals management, landfill use and waste management in general are just some of the issues that we have worked on to ensure positive legacies are in place for our future generations. The ‘Rubbish is a Resource’ kit was also launched to help spread awareness. It’s not easy working against the challenges of waste management that development brings our way, but SPREP is helping in this area to address these challenges. For 2007, one of the biggest focuses has been with empowering our pacific people with the knowledge to better manage their waste. Kiribati remains in the forefront as an example of how this legacy is at work in our region with their ‘cash back’ recycling scheme that encourages recycling and provides an income for those involved. At Christmas time many of us celebrate our families and memories that the year brought us. As a Pacific Islander first and foremost, I ask that this month, amongst the many different family traditions you have, to start a new one. Begin to strengthen your recycling habits, plant a tree together, or use less fossil fuel, as every effort made by us all brings greater environment awareness and leads us one-step closer to a sustainable environment for our Pacific communities. Have a safe and blessed Christmas this year.
• Asterio Takesy is the director of SPREP, based in Apia, Samoa.
* Comments:Post a Comment
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.