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
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Monday, April 07, 2008
Posted 5:14 PM by Tevita
The Western Solomon Islands Conservation Programme
From : Solomon Star (Monday, 07 April 2008)
The Western Solomon Islands Conservation Program (WSCP) was previously known as the “Roviana and Vonavona Marine Resource Management and Development Programme”.
It was designed in 1999 to create, expand, and consolidate community-based marine protected areas under customary land/sea tenure in the Western Province.
The central objective, building upon 15 years of research, conservation, development, and educational activities, was to create a network of marine protected areas to conserve marine habitats.
The Western Solomon Islands is covered by a variety of habitats rich in biodiversity.
They include shallow coral reefs, outer coral reef-drops, grass beds, freshwater swamps, river estuaries, mangrove, coastal strand vegetation, and lowland rain forests.
These habitats are increasingly threatened by human activities such as logging, industrial fishing, and prospects of increasing mining activity in the region.
Overall, the programme has a three-way approach that emphasises:
(1) resource management/conservation,
(2) education/training ,
(3) rural development.
It draws funding support from donor assistance abroad.
The WSCP is headed by Shankar Aswani, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Marine Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in America.
This is through a partnership arrangement established with the Roviana Conservation Foundation, the Christian Fellowship Church and currently working to liaise with United Church and Seventh Day-Adventists.
The ‘Roviana Conservation Foundation is a ‘home grown community-based organisation. It is working with WSCP to safeguard the interest of the Roviana and Vonavona Lagoon communities in marine conservation and sustainable rural development.
The current conservation network is composed of 28 permanent and temporary Marine Protected Areas in Roviana, Vonavona, Marovo, and Rendova.
This is specifically designed to protect critical habitats and species. In particular, the prime habitats of flagship species including vulnerable or endangered bumphead parrotfish, maori wrasse, coconut crabs, green and hawksbill turtles, and dugongs among others.
The educational programme integrates urban Pacific Islands students (particularly from across the United States and its overseas territories) into research and cultural activities. For Solomon Islanders joining the yearly field school is a free educational opportunity and experience. It expands the student’s knowledge of natural and social sciences, and increases their environmental awareness.
Rural Community Development
The WSCP also promotes rural development in the Western Solomons.
It has assisted some communities with development needs, particularly in biodiversity-rich areas in which communities have been unwilling to forfeit income from fishing unless alternatives were offered.
WSCP expects that expanding the network of reserves will, beyond protecting endangered and vulnerable species, provide protection for habitats and for heavily exploited marine organisms.
This programme is expected to:
(1) enlarge, expand, and consolidate the marine protected area network;
(2) result in the first comprehensive plan for eco-regional marine biodiversity conservation in the Solomons;
(3) provide technical assistance and training in monitoring;
(4) foster scientific and environmental education at the local, national, and international levels; (5) improve the development infrastructure of many regional villages;
(6) gazette all marine protected areas and other regional coastal co-management plans;
(7) result in a comprehensive set of guidelines for implementing marine conservation initiatives in this region.
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