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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Thursday, September 11, 2008
Posted 2:19 PM by Tevita
Second Regional conference of Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Communiqué
From : PAC News
11 SEPTEMBER 2008 APIA (Pacnews) ----- The Second Regional Conference of Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Services was held in Apia, Samoa on 8-9 September 2008 on the theme of ‘Food security, nutritional balance and sustainable management of natural resources’.
Participants attended from the member countries and territories of the Pacific Community, development partners, regional and international organisations and public and private sector bodies. The meeting was chaired by Samoa.
Ministers welcome the outline of key challenges expressed in the opening address by Samoa’s Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and commend his continuing promotion of the contribution by the agriculture and forestry sectors to social and economic development.
The Ministers reaffirm that they will continue to provide leadership in working with their communities and development partners to address food security. They will seek a higher priority in national budgets and regional programmes towards developing agriculture and forestry.
The generous support of development partners and key regional and international institutions is gratefully acknowledged, and the Ministers look forward to a continuing collaboration for the benefit of Pacific communities.
Long-term success will rely on the ability of member countries and territories to access the financial and human capacity necessary to respond to changing needs. In this regard, the Ministers endorse the LRD Strategic Plan 2009-2012 that will guide the delivery of services by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and other partners, and acknowledge the importance of integration between the different sectors within Pacific island countries and territories.
Ministers recognise the potential benefits of greater involvement of Pacific youth and women in the agriculture sector, and endorse the development and implementation of a Pacific Youth Strategy to support this engagement.
Ministers welcome the decision of the Forum Leaders to prioritise action on food security in the Pacific Plan, and fully support the SPC paper that identifies measures to help improve food and nutritional security. The Ministers recognize the contribution that trade makes to food security. The increasing fuel and food prices results in differing impacts on food security because of the diversity within the region. For some of the larger countries, this presents opportunities, yet for others, such as the countries with limited land and reliance on imported foods, significant challenges exist. Support from SPC and other agencies must reflect this, with a wide range of responses, from targeted investment and strengthened public-private sector partnerships. The importance of agro-biodiversity, traditional crops and production systems must also be acknowledged especially in the small Pacific Island Countries and Territories and in the rural areas. Customary food security mechanisms should be acknowledged for their important contribution to food security.
Ministers acknowledge the opportunities identified for setting directions and growing trade in Pacific island agricultural and forestry products. Ministers recommend that SPC expand the support it currently provides for growing trade in agricultural and forestry products, including promoting the Pacific Organic Standards
Ministers endorse the Niue Declaration on Climate Change by Forum Leaders and endorse the strengthened focus on climate-change-related activities within LRD as reflected in the LRD Strategic Plan 2009–2012. Ministers endorse the strengthened partnership and cooperation between SPC and other relevant international and regional agencies in increasing the capacity of PICTs to achieve the goals outlined in the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change. The reliance on marine resources for food security and income generation, and the impact that climate change will have on this valuable resource, was highlighted. It was proposed that SPC and partners work to integrate all the sectors, such as the joint paper being presented at Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations of the Pacific Community (CRGA), which will include agriculture, marine and social issues, affected by climate change.
Ministers voiced their concern as to how climate change is seriously impacting the region, especially on the smaller countries. This concern should be voiced strongly at international fora, and donors should acknowledge that in order to respond to climate change, funding assistance to SPC and other regional agencies needs to be increased.
Ministers commended the launch by the Prime Minister of Samoa of the Pacific Regional Organic Standards at their meeting. It is the third organic standard in the world, following similar initiatives in EU and East Africa. The standard was formally adopted at the recent Pacific Forum Leaders meeting in Niue. Ministers agreed that the Pacific should be proud of this development and use it to launch Pacific products in the international market.
The meeting welcomed the statements by Ministers and heads of delegation, which are summarised in Annex 2 and the four key note presentations from SPC and partner organisations.
The Ministers adopted the Recommendations of their meeting, as well as those proposed by the Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services attached as Annex 1.
The Minister welcomed the invitations by Tonga to host the HOAFS meeting in 2010, and by Papua New Guinea to host the next HOAFS and MOAFS meetings in 2012.
The Ministers expressed their gratitude to the Government of Samoa for their hospitality and excellent meeting arrangements. The Government of Samoa thanked the Ministers and delegations for their valuable contributions to the successful outcomes of the meeting……..PNS (ENDS)
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