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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Friday, November 14, 2008
Posted 8:52 PM by Tevita
Pacific Island Countries urged to join global legal action against climate change
By Matelita Ragogo
Pacific Island nations, particularly its youth, have been urged to join a global legal action on climate change by a renowned environment lawyer whose passion led him to be a founding member of a group initiating this global legal action, Antonio Aposa.
“I think it is vital that small island states on your region actively participate,” Aposa said after a United Nations Environment Programme-organised media workshop in Bangkok.
The action which is emphasizing the participation of the people below 35 years, as recipients of whatever state of the world actions today will bequeath them, will be primarily based on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Apart from aiming to make countries honour their commitments to the Framework and actually development regional and national legislations (if they haven’t), the legal team intends to base their claim on provisions of the UN Framework and compliment it by legislations available at national-level and/or regional commitment made by collectives of heads of states, such as the Forum Leaders.
On September 24, 2007, Professors Durwood Zaelke, Nick Robinson, Richard Ottinger, Daniel Estrin, and Antonio Aposa were joined by a group of environmental law students from the Pace Law School (NY) to plot out the initial strategy.
“In my opinion, the participation of small islands, especially when one considers that they are already living the tragedies of rising sea-levels, will be a significant addition to this global action,” Aposa told Pacnews.
“In fact, if there are islands in the Pacific or say Mauritius which want to be principal partners in the action, they would be most welcome to join us.”
During his presentation to environment journalists at the workshop, Aposa expressed deep disappointment over those who promote logging (unsustainably in most cases) labeling it as ‘income’ or a gross national product. He lamented the near-total collapse of fisheries but its continuous exploitation for ‘revenue. Aposa questioned the logic of developments which were labeled ‘progress’ albeit systematically destroying the various basis of life – our environment.
Attitudes could perhaps change if people did see the environment through different lenses: that if the earth was a living unit, its vital organs would be trees and forests as its lungs; the land and soil its skin and flesh and its seas and waterways as the earth’s blood and bloodstreams. Like the human body, the earth was also 70 percent water.
Journalists were reminded of their responsibility as the Fourth Estate on how a vigorous movement of environmental journalism could, if for nothing else, at least inform members of the public of the large-scale environment degradation we are all part of and our responsibility towards the preservation of the planet.
Pacific journalists and populations should never be hoodwinked by arguments that practices in faraway countries would not affect their lives.
A bonus of course would be agitation by people that can influence or urge their policy-makers to promote environment-friendly and/or sustainable development practices. And if politicians grew backbones and have the political will to place health and livelihood issues before economic gains, the Pacific could then perhaps convince its Western counterparts than they were serious about environment preservation.
Available statistics estimate that we need nine earths to satisfy our current consumption trends. While it may be too late for some, whatever action – from personal decisions to use energy-saving bulbs to national preference for wind energy sources – it is still better than nothing at all.
Aposa spoke of a “crisis of paralysis and inaction”. He lamented the lack of pro-active leaders, labeling the current lot “useless and irrelevant and cannot provide solutions”.
“We cannot solve problems using the same mindset that created them in the first place,” he argued.
“We need to shift mindset from the economics of consumption to the economics of conservation, protection and restoration – natural capitalism; green or eco-economics; sustainable economics. It is, simply-put, about proper accounting.
“And when the young speak in union, the adults listen,” he said…….PNS (ENDS)
For more information on or to sign on as part of the global legal action, please go to http://www.thelawofnature.org/index.html
The Convention and the Protocol: Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty -- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau.
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