CoGent Network


International coconut genebank rescue plan launched in PNG

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

Brochure on new Global Strategy for Coconut Genetic Resources Conservation and Use

imagestrategy coconut 2014v2
PDF (3 Mb)

This brochure summarises the full draft version of the Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources (the Strategy): a draft summary.

It introduces the main objectives of the Strategy, and the context and status of coconut germplasm conservation and use and outlines what remains to be done.

The new version of the Strategy and its implementation and workplan will be finalized during and beyond the 2014 COGENT SC meeting in Sri Lanka, July 2014.

Please note: Use Adobe Reader to correctly view the double page layout of the brochre.   

17th COGENT Steering Committee meeting was held at the Coconut Research Institute - CRI, Sri Lanka, 13th - 16th July 2014

sri-lankaThe COGENT Secretariat organized the 17th COGENT Steering Committee meeting in Sri Lanka from the 13th to 16th July 2014.

The Sri Lankan Minister for Coconut Development, the honourable Mr Jagath Pushpakumara inaugurated the meeting. The Sri Lankan Coconut Research Institute (CRI) kindly co-hosted the meeting, directly after the APCC COCOTECH meeting in Colombo, for which we are extremely grateful.

For the meeting programme click here.

Read more ...

New interim COGENT Coordinator

Alexia PradesThe COGENT Secretariat is pleased to announce that Dr. Alexia Prades will serve as Interim COGENT Coordinator from 1st April until 31st July 2014.

Alexia is a researcher in food processing at CIRAD and will be dedicating 10% of her working time to COGENT activities (for more details about her background, please see her CV). 

The Secretariat would also like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Roland Bourdeix for assuming the dynamic coordination of COGENT over more than two years until the end of 2013, and for leading the development of the Global Strategy for Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources that will soon be published.



You are here: Home ITAGS News