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?



    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Another Inconvenient Truth

    How biofuel policies are deepening poverty and accelerating climate change

    From : Oxfam

    Biofuels are presented in rich countries as a solution to two crises: the climate crisis and the oil crisis. But they may not be a solution to either, and instead are contributing to a third: the current food crisis.
    Meanwhile the danger is that they allow rich-country governments to avoid difficult but urgent decisions about how to reduce consumption of oil, while offering new avenues to continue expensive support to agriculture at the cost of taxpayers.
    In the meantime, the most serious costs of these policies – deepening poverty and hunger, environmental degradation, and accelerating climate change – are being ‘dumped’ on developing countries.
    Neither a solution to the climate crisis…
    Rich countries’ biofuel policies currently offer neither a safe nor an effective means to tackle climate change. By increasing aggregate demand for agricultural land, they will drive the expansion of farming into critical carbon sinks such as forests, wetlands, and grasslands, triggering the release of carbon from soils and vegetation that will take decades and in some cases centuries of biofuel production to repay, at a time when emissions need to peak and fall within the next 10 to 15 years:
    • Analysis published in the journal Science calculates that the emissions from global land-use change due to the US corn-ethanol programme will take 167 years to pay back.
    • European Union (EU) biodiesel consumption is driving spiralling demand for palm oil both for use in biodiesel, but also to replace rapeseed and other edible oils diverted into the European biofuel programme. Oxfam estimates that by 2020, the emissions resulting from land-use change in the palm-oil sector may have reached between 3.1 and 4.6 billion tonnes of CO2 – 46 to 68 times the annual saving the EU hopes to be achieving by then from biofuels.
    Even ignoring land-use change, biofuels are an overly expensive way of achieving emissions reductions from transport. Improving car efficiency is far more cost effective: while the costs of avoiding a tonne of CO2 through biofuels run into the hundreds of dollars, ambitious improvements in vehicle efficiency can yield profits, as reduced fuel costs exceed technology costs. Biomass can be used far more efficiently in static applications such as commercial boilers or combined heat and power.
    …nor a solution to the oil crisis
    Rich countries’ biofuel policies currently offer neither a safe nor an effective means to address fuel security. Consumption of oil in rich countries is so huge that for biofuels to be a significant alternative requires massive amounts of agricultural production. If the entire corn harvest of the USA was diverted to ethanol, it would only be able to replace about one gallon in every six sold in the USA. If the entire world supply of carbohydrates (starch and sugar crops) was converted to ethanol, this would only be able to replace at
    2 Another Inconvenient Truth, Oxfam Briefing Paper, June 2008
    most 40 per cent of global petrol consumption. Global oilseed production would be unable even to reach a 10 per cent share of diesel consumption.
    Moreover, the costs of using biofuels to improve fuel security are prohibitively expensive. The European Commission’s own research body has estimated that the EU’s proposed 10 per cent biofuel target will cost about $90bn from now until 2020, and will offer enhanced fuel security worth only $12bn. Policies to reduce demand for transport fuels, such as regulation to improve vehicle efficiency, are far safer and more cost effective.
    Meanwhile 30 million people are dragged into poverty
    Biofuel mandates and support measures in rich countries are driving up food prices as they divert more and more food crops and agricultural land into fuel production. Meanwhile sugarcane ethanol from Brazil, production of which has a far less significant impact on global food prices, is excluded through the use of tariffs.
    The World Bank estimates that the price of food has increased by 83 per cent in the last three years. For the world’s poor people, who may spend 50–80 per cent of their income on food, this is disastrous. Oxfam estimates that the livelihoods of at least 290 million people are immediately threatened by the food crisis, and the Bank estimates that 100 million people have already fallen into poverty as a result. Thirty per cent of price increases are attributable to biofuels, suggesting biofuels have endangered the livelihoods of nearly 100 million people and dragged over 30 million into poverty.
    The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) notes that by forcing up food prices, rich-country support for biofuels acts as a tax on food – a regressive tax felt most by poor people for whom food purchases represent a greater share of income. Last year, it is estimated that industrialised countries spent $13–15bn ‘taxing’ food, equal to the amount of funding required to assist those immediately threatened by the food crisis. These amounts will continue to spiral as rich countries increase their consumption of biofuels.
    Herein lies the true attraction of ethanol and biodiesel for rich-country governments – an avenue for continued support to agriculture.
    Oxfam calls on rich countries urgently to dismantle support and incentives for biofuels in order to avoid further deepening poverty and accelerating climate change.
    Specifically, rich countries should:
    • introduce a freeze on the implementation of further biofuel mandates, and carry out an urgent revision of existing targets that deepen poverty and accelerate climate change;
    • dismantle subsidies and tax exemptions for biofuels and reduce import tariffs;
    • tackle climate change and fuel security through safe and cost-effective measures, prioritising regulation to enforce ambitious vehicle-efficiency improvements.
    Another Inconvenient Truth, Oxfam Briefing Paper, June 2008 3
    An opportunity for developing countries?
    For poor countries that tend to have comparative advantages in the production of feedstocks, biofuels may offer some genuine development opportunities, but the potential economic, social, and environmental costs are severe.
    Oxfam recommends that developing countries move with caution and give priority to poor people in rural areas when developing their bioenergy strategies.
    Specifically, developing countries should:
    • prioritise bioenergy projects that provide clean renewable energy sources to poor men and women in rural areas – these are unlikely to be ethanol or biodiesel projects;
    • consider the costs as well as the benefits involved in biofuel strategies: the financial costs of support, the opportunity costs of alternative agriculture and poverty reduction strategies, and social and environmental costs.
    If they decide to proceed with biofuel strategies, developing-country governments should:
    • carry out their obligations under international law and conventions, including obligations to protect the right to food, to ensure decent work, and to ensure that the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of affected communities is obtained before biofuel projects commence;
    • give priority to feedstocks and production models which maximise opportunities for men and women small farmers.
    And companies and investors operating in developing countries should:
    • ensure no biofuel project takes place without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of local communities, and that men and women workers at all stages of production in their value chains enjoy decent work;
    • treat men and women smallholder farmers fairly and transparently;
    • provide smallholders in their value chains sufficient freedom of choice in their farming decisions to ensure food security for them and their families.
    4 Another Inconvenient Truth, Oxfam Briefing Paper, June 2008

    © Oxfam International June 2008
    This paper was written by Robert Bailey. Oxfam acknowledges the assistance of Sonja Vermeulen, Sophia Murphy, John Wilkinson, and Selena Herrera in its production. It is part of a series of papers written to inform public debate on development and humanitarian policy issues.
    The text may be used free of charge for the purposes of advocacy, campaigning, education, and research, provided that the source is acknowledged in full. The copyright holder requests that all such use be registered with them for impact assessment purposes. For copying in any other circumstances, or for re-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, permission must be secured and a fee may be charged. E-mail publish@oxfam.org.uk.
    For further information on the issues raised in this paper please e-mail advocacy@oxfaminternational.org.
    The information in this publication is correct at the time of going to press.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment


    October 2002

    November 2002

    December 2002

    January 2003

    February 2003

    March 2003

    April 2003

    May 2003

    June 2003

    July 2003

    August 2003

    September 2003

    October 2003

    November 2003

    December 2003

    January 2004

    February 2004

    March 2004

    April 2004

    May 2004

    June 2004

    July 2004

    August 2004

    September 2004

    October 2004

    November 2004

    December 2004

    January 2005

    February 2005

    March 2005

    April 2005

    May 2005

    June 2005

    July 2005

    August 2005

    September 2005

    October 2005

    November 2005

    December 2005

    January 2006

    February 2006

    March 2006

    April 2006

    May 2006

    June 2006

    July 2006

    August 2006

    September 2006

    October 2006

    November 2006

    December 2006

    January 2007

    February 2007

    March 2007

    April 2007

    May 2007

    June 2007

    July 2007

    August 2007

    September 2007

    October 2007

    November 2007

    December 2007

    January 2008

    February 2008

    March 2008

    April 2008

    May 2008

    June 2008

    July 2008

    August 2008

    September 2008

    October 2008

    November 2008

    December 2008

    January 2009

    February 2009

    March 2009

    April 2009

    May 2009

    June 2009

    July 2009

    August 2009

    September 2009

    October 2009

    November 2009

    January 2010

    RSS Feed
    Alternative feed
    Contact Tevita


    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


    Locations of visitors to this page