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Coconut-producing countries and international organizations meeting in Sri Lanka from 13-16 July 2014 to discuss the future of coconut genetic resources conservation

PRESS RELEASE

The Steering Committee of the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) will meet at the Sri Lankan Coconut Research Institute (CRI), Lunuwila, Sri Lanka from the 13th to 16th July 2014, to finalize a new Global Strategy for the better conservation and use of coconut genetic resources.

Apart from its obvious importance to Sri Lanka, coconut is grown in around 100 tropical countries, on more than 12 million hectares and by countless homesteads, and is culturally and economically important to millions of smallholder households. The future of coconut production and associated livelihoods critically depends on its broad genetic diversity. Further investment is needed to build coconut stakeholders’ capacity and resources across the value-chain, particularly for genetic resources conservation. The Global Strategy for coconut conservation and use marks a route to enhanced wellbeing for millions of coconut smallholders across the globe.

The Sri Lankan Minister for Coconut Development, the honourable Mr Jagath Pushpakumara will inaugurate the meeting. The Sri Lankan Coconut Research Institute is co-hosting the meeting, directly after the Asia Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) biennial COCOTECH meeting in Colombo. The COGENT Steering Committee meeting theme is directly complementary to the COCOTECH theme of Policies, Programmes and Technologies Towards a Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Sector, where coconut stakeholders will have exchanged ideas on new technologies, processes, products, market trends and prospects.

The 18 meeting participants will represent eight coconut growing countries (Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, India, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Tanzania) and international organizations APCC (PNG/ Indonesia), Bioversity International/ CGIAR (France), and CIRAD (France). Sri Lanka will be represented by Dr Lalith Perera, Head of the Genetics and Plant Breeding Division of the Sri Lankan Coconut Research Institute (CRI).

COGENT was created in 1992 by Bioversity International and the CGIAR. The network gathers 39 coconut-producing countries representing more than 98% of the 60 million tonne global coconut production.

Venue: Coconut Research Institute, Bandirippuwa Estate Lunuwila, 61150 Sri Lanka
Date: 13 - 16 July 2014
Tel: (+94-31) 2255300/ 2255890
To know more contact: cogent.secretary@cgiar.org

Websites:  

APCC

Bioversity International

CGIAR

CIRAD

COGENT

CRI

http://www.apccsec.org/cocotech-2014.html

http://www.bioversityinternational.org/

http://www.cgiar.org/

http://www.cirad.fr/

http://www.cogentnetwork.org/

http://www.cri.gov.lk/web/index.php?lang=en

 

A NEW LETHAL DISEASE IS THREATENING COCONUT PALMS AND BANANAS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Ms Marcia Petraglia
(+33) 467 61 13 02
m.petraglia@cgiar.org

A NEW LETHAL DISEASE IS THREATENING COCONUT PALMS AND BANANAS

Papua New Guinea, May 2013 - The International Coconut Resources Network (COGENT) has launched a new warning video that alerts viewers to a new lethal plant disease called Bogia syndrome in Papua New Guinea. This devastating disease is spreading and killing more and more coconut palms, other palms species like Betel nut and some banana varieties.

Around ten million farmers and their families cultivate coconut palms worldwide on about 12 million hectares, and many more people own a few coconut palms which contribute to their livelihoods. Bogia syndrome, which could trigger harsh social consequences, was recently identified in Madang province, Papua New Guinea less than 15 km from an important International Coconut Collection. This genebank conserves coconut varieties for the whole Pacific region.

We need to relocate the collection within PNG but also transfer it to another Pacific country”, says the COGENT coordinator. With support from Bioversity International and CGIAR, COGENT is mobilizing researchers and other stakeholders to fight this disease and re-locate this international genebank. This action will be a component of the Global Strategy for Coconut Genetic Resources Conservation and Use, to be published by COGENT at the end of 2013.

For more information, watch the video on the COGENT website here

About COGENT
COGENT is a scientific research network which embraces 39 coconut-producing member countries, representing around 98% global production. COGENT aims to strengthen international collaboration in conservation and use of coconut genetic resources, to improve coconut production on a sustainable basis and to enhance livelihoods and incomes of coconut stakeholders in developing countries.

The Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) aims to promote national, regional and global collaboration among coconut-producing countries and
partner institutions in the conservation and use of coconut genetic resources for enhanced livelihoods.

The COGENT website is maintained by Bioversity International - Montpellier office.

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