CoGent Network


The Global Strategy for Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources (2018 - 2028)

This Global Strategy for Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources has been compiled by Dr Roland Bourdeix and Dr Alexia Prades of CIRAD, (formal launch at the APCC 48th COCOTECH meeting in Bangkok 20-24 August 2018). An implementation plan will be discussed at a COGENT side-meeting 25-26 August. COGENT embraces 39 coconut-producing member-countries, representing more than 98% global production. COGENT aims to strengthen international collaboration in conservation and use of coconut genetic resources; promote improving coconut production, and boost linked livelihoods.

This Strategy is the product of consulting with more than 90 key-experts receiving more than 400 contributions over seven years. It has been supported by Bioversity International, CIRAD, the CGIAR research program Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), and ACIAR/DFAT, and aims to support optimizing the conservation and use of as much representative diversity as possible.

It is hoped that, as an evolving document, this Strategy will provide the benchmark for effectively implementing the comprehensive conservation and research agenda proposed by the international coconut research community, as a route to the enhanced wellbeing of the millions of coconut smallholders across the globe.

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New ad-Interim COGENT Coordinator


The COGENT Secretariat is pleased to retrospectively announce that Mr Vincent Johnson will serve as ad-Interim COGENT Coordinator from 4th November 2017 as agreed by the Steering Committee during the 18th SC meeting in Fiji.

Vincent works as a project and grant-support officer, and science editor at Bioversity International and will be dedicating 10% of his working time to COGENT activities, until a new arrangement is in place (for more details please see his bio here). 

The Secretariat would also like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Alexia Prades for assuming the dynamic coordination of COGENT over more than two years until the end of 2017, and for leading the finalization of the Global Strategy for Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources.

During the 18th SC meeting, the SC agreed that the hosting arrangement for the COGENT Secretariat will be transferred to the Asia Pacific Coconut Community (APCC- soon to be renamed according to new global status) by mid-2018.

Saving Pacific Coconuts: Darwin Initiative workshop in Samoa Nov 2017

Government representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa met at the Millennium Hotel in Apia, Samoa 6-10 Nov 2017 with other Asia-Pacific and international stakeholders to discuss progress within a mission to help protect Asia-Pacific coconut diversity and associated livelihoods from climate change and other threats.The meeting was inaugurated by His Excellency, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, the Prime Minister of Samoa


 Bioversity International held the mid-term project workshop between 6 and 10 November, at the Millennium Hotel I Apia, Samoa, in conjunction with the Samoan Government.  Along with main project partners and other stakeholders (see below) the workshop discussed progress within the Bioversity project Upgrading and broadening the new South-Pacific International Coconut Genebank that began on 1st June 2016.  The workshop also trained particpants in skills needed to identify, map, collect and conserve the threatened coconut diversity. These genetic resources urgently need conserving for current and future wellbeing.

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Bogia disease advanced level

In May 2013, COGENT launched a bilingual video alerting viewers to a new lethal plant disease called Bogia coconut syndrome (BCS) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This devastating bacterial disease (caused by a phytoplasma) is still spreading (by vectors or via infected planting material) and killing more and more coconut palms, palms of other species like Betel nut, and plants of certain susceptible banana cultivars. Earning PNG around US$740 million a year, the oil palm industry  is also keen to know if or how it may be affected.

Aside from the other plant species, at least ten million farmers and their families cultivate coconut palms worldwide on an estimated 12 million hectares, and tens of millions more people own a few coconut palms which contribute to their livelihoods. BCS, which could trigger harsh social and biological consequences, has been identified in Madang province, PNG within 15 km of an important International Coconut Genebank (ICG). Around 70 per cent of the Madang population of nearly half a million depends on coconut for food and livelihoods. The ICG conserves coconut varieties for the whole Pacific region, and is managed by the PNG Cocoa Coconut Institute Limited (CCI) at the Stewart Research Station in Madang. It holds 55 accessions acquired mainly from PNG with 6 exotic varieties, under an agreement with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Bioversity International as host to COGENT.

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Eight recommendations arising from the 17th COGENT Steering Committee meeting (CRI, Sri Lanka, 13th - 16th July 2014)

 Click on the pictures to have more COGENT photos

In conjunction with the Sri Lankan Coconut Research Institute (CRI, Dr Lalith Perera), Bioversity International organized the 17th Steering Committee Meeting of the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) from 13th to 16th July 2014, in Lunuwila, Sri Lanka. The meeting was funded by the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

As a key outcome of the meeting, the Steering Committee and participants from nine countries (Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania), including official COGENT representatives, have endorsed eight major international recommendations  to finalise and begin implementing the Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources, which spans the coming decade. The list below is not yet ranked in order of priority:

1. Strengthening support for COGENT especially with regard to its Secretariat, funding, human resources, collaborations and networking in a more integrated context

2. Strengthening COGENT’s link with the Asia Pacific Coconut Community (APCC)

3. Reviewing roles and responsibilities of International Coconut Genebanks (ICGs)

4. Prioritising the 10 recommendations of the Strategy

5. Prioritising the 10 recommendations of 2012 Steering Committee Meeting

6. Endorsing the new Global Strategy for more effective conservation and use of coconut genetic resources

7. Coconut germplasm certification/quality control

8. Coconut germplasm safe movement (with intracellular pathogens)

The recommendations were officially endorsed by Dr Alexia PRADES (CIRAD, France), interim COGENT Coordinator, and Dr George THOMAS, (CPCRI, India), the outgoing COGENT chair.

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