17th COGENT Steering Committee meeting

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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.

The COGENT secretariat would like to thank the institutions that contributed to the organization and the success of the 17th Steering Committee Meeting: Coconut Ministry of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Coconut Research Institute (CRI), Bioversity International, the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), the Centre for International Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), and the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC).