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, July 07, 2008
Posted 5:31 PM by Tevita
Are you on the Frontlines of Climate Change?
A Forum for Indigenous Peoples, Small Islands and Vulnerable Communities
From : On the Frontlines of Climate Change
Changing Climate – Shifting Seasons
The first posting on the Frontlines of Climate Change Forum asked people to send in their observations of climate change impacts. One theme raised by several contributors is how seasons are changing and becoming increasingly unpredictable. Below are highlights from this discussion:
I am very concerned about climate change, since I live on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean called Praslin, reports Michael Jean-Louis of the Seychelles. With the current climate change, what we have suffered from the most is the El Nino phenomenon. It has destroyed a large percentage of reef structures due to coral bleaching, which in turn affects tourism and the fish population. The reef structure acts as a barrier whereby waves crash on it and dissipate most of their energy. After the great El Nino of 1998, this coral barrier has been structurally weakened and in some instances has collapsed. The barrier is lower and less effective at wave breaking. So now more water with more energy is coming into the lagoon and this is creating, to a certain degree, coastal erosion.
Climate change has had adverse affects on water availability in parts of India, notes S.K. Sharma. Famed as the world’s wettest point because of its abundant rainfall, Cheerapunji remained unusually dry during 2006. The glaciers in Ladakh, which account for 13% of Kashmir’s land area, are now fast receding. The impacts of these changes, including on agriculture, are already visible in India.
During the last few decades, the hurricane season has become more extreme, writes Solangel Gonzalez from the Dominican Republic (Caribbean). Last year, the Dominican Republic was struck by two tropical storms during October and November, with precipitation in some parts of the country exceeding regular monthly levels by as much as 300%. The storm Olga happened out of season - during December. Precipitation patterns are changing. During a normal year, the highest rainfall occurs in May, but this year May was dry.
The rains that once fell between March and September have now been reduced to only thrice or four times a year, writes Nataan Lomorukai from western Kenya. Subject to drought and famine for the last two decades, the vast and arid Turkana District - once a savannah - is now a no-go zone. The water table is sinking and pastoralists have to trek up to 70 kms in search of water. Climate change is worsening problems already created by human activity. Irrigation and hydropower schemes have reduced the flows of the Omo and Turkwell rivers and contributed to the decline of Lake Turkana. This has resulted in the dying of indigenous trees and plants along the river where the Turkana people live. Even tree pods which enabled the livestock to live are no more. Animals are dying from the severe drought. Furthermore, the famous Ferguson Gulf in Lake Turkana – once a breeding ground for tilapia fish - has disappeared. The fisherfolk in the area now have nothing to eat. The area once occupied by the Gulf has been invaded by foreign plants called acacia prosophis. When local donkeys eat them, they become toothless after some months and die. Inhabitants have opted to move to urban areas to work as labourers, while others have resorted to making charcoal from the dying trees to supply refugee camps in Kakuma and urban areas. Turkanas are now dependant on emergency relief aid from the international community through the World Food Programme as a result of this catastrophe.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.