SPC to Collaborate with Caribbean on Conservation of Genetic Resources

SPC16 April 2012: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT), which aims to assist Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) in the conservation of the region's genetic resources by keeping collections of many plants, has announced it will collaborate with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to share experience and expertise.

CARDI aims to establish its own gene bank in the Caribbean region using some of the CePaCT climate-ready varieties, and tapping into SPC's expertise. According to SPC, strengthening local food production and consumption can enhance climate change resilience, through both increasing the diversity in farmers' fields and improving the nutritional status of Pacific communities.

According to SPC, the CePaCT climate-ready collection is a dynamic collection that relies on receiving information from countries on plants that have been trialled. CePaCT also relies on receiving plant materials from countries to add to the collection. SPC aims to ensure that crops and varieties evaluated as part of climate change-focused projects that show good climate resilience are transferred to CePaCT, where they are virus-tested and then shared with other PICTs. [SPC Press Release]