Wednesday 29 August 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Land Resources Division has been working very closely with the forestry departments of several member countries that are preparing their report for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is compiling The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources (FGR).
Some countries — Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu — have completed their draft reports; others are in the process of compiling theirs.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has provided financial assistance for this exercise, as FGR reports from the Pacific region will contribute to the preparation of global report.
According to Tevita Faka’osi of Tonga’s Forestry Division, compiling this report helped to consolidate the information from various projects and activities that have been undertaken in the past, and this, in turn, indicated a way forward for the country’s forestry sector, particularly the conservation, management and utilisation of its forest genetic resources.
‘We need to take stock of what forest genetic materials we have that can be conserved and what needs to be improved, especially when we are faced with issues like climate change,’ Faka’osi said.
‘Diversity of our forest genetic resources improves our resilience and adaptation to climate change,’ said Faka’osi.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Inoke Wainiqolo of Fiji’s Department of Forests, who said that the report comes at a time when we are faced with immense pressures and challenges.
‘Due to the rapidly increasing population and other developments, there is a crucial need to conserve, manage and sustainably utilise our forest genetic materials.
‘The Convention on Biological Diversity recognises the need to do more in this regard and is fully supportive of increased scientific investigation,’ Mr Wainiqolo said.
He added that the compilation of FGR reports will also assist in access to genetic resources, with fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from it.
SPC’s Forest Genetic Resource Officer, Cenon Padolina, has been coordinating the compilation and preparation process with assistance from Vinesh Prasad – Information and Communication assistant.
SPC has organised another consultation for its members in Fiji this week from 4th -6th September, 2012.
For further information please contact Vinesh Prasad on telephone (679)3370733, email LRD Help Desk on email
or visit the SPC website: www.spc.int.
Photo caption: Participants from 11 countries at FGR workshop.