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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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Posted 3:01 PM by Tevita
Call for adapting to climate change in PNG
From : Didinet
Papua New Guinea requires a multi-pronged strategy to adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts on agriculture and food security in the country. NARI Director-General Dr Raghunath Ghodake says PNG must look after its own interests against the backup of global uncertainty and financial recession now that the world is going through global climate change along with food shortages and the worldwide economic crisis.
Speaking at the 19th National Agriculture Council meeting in Madang on March 24, 2009, Dr Ghodake said the phenomenon of climate change is a definite process and is a fact of life with a complex manifestation in terms of its impacts on agriculture and food security and PNG has to prepare and adopt a multidimensional strategy.
“The country requires a multi-pronged strategy in the areas of agricultural research for development, policy and resource support, and strategic and effective implementation.”
He therefore called on the public sector and donor agencies to participate and help support the development and implementation of medium to long term efforts in this area.
In his joint paper with Dr John Bailey on ‘Challenges of Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Security and Strategies to Reduce Impacts in Papua New Guinea’, Dr Ghodake said PNG, situated on the western rim of the tropical pacific, is already suffering from the effects of rising sea levels, which have eroded land and contaminated water supplies, to the extent that some small island communities have already had to evacuate. He said the country is also vulnerable to extremes in rainfall intensities linked to La Nina Southern Oscillation events.
“The most widespread food shortage in PNG has resulted from drought conditions brought on by El Nino events; the event of 1997 triggering the worst drought in living memory. Scientific evidence suggests that this event in the strongest on a series of ever strengthening El Ninos that are now recurring every 10-15 years with another major event being likely around 2012.”
He said warmer and moister conditions, which climate models predict for the humid tropics, are likely to increase threats to food and cash crop production posed by pests and diseases. Already there appears to be an intensification of pest and disease problems in PNG, including those caused by late blight on potato and leaf scab on sweet potato, said Dr Ghodake.
“Warmer temperatures are also causing increased incidences of malaria in the PNG highlands”.
Dr Ghodake also highlighted that in response to the threat of climate change, a series of projects are being jointly implemented and/or developed by various Australian and PNG institutions and NARI. He said the strategy associated with the projects has five main parts which tackle different aspects of the climate change problem in PNG. They include early warning system, crop and genotype diversification, biotechnology targeting of pests and disease, dissemination and adaptation of drought-coping strategies, and sustainable water supply.
Dr Ghodake said PNG must take the initiative and urgently address the imminent impacts of climate change on the nation’s food and water security, and in particular the need to put in place sustainable water supply facilities for vulnerable rural communities. He also stressed that PNG must make a strategic investment by accepting and implementing agriculture as a development agenda for the well-being of the people and prosperity of the nation.
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