Darwin Initiative "Upgrading and broadening the new South-Pacific International Coconut Genebank"

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.