16th COGENT Steering Committee
16th COGENT Steering Committee, 8-10 July, Kochi, Kerala, India
1st May to 30th October 2012
Brazil, China, Fiji Islands, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Sultanate of Oman, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, Vanuatu
Created in 1992, the International Coconut Genetic Resources (COGENT) aims to strengthen international collaboration in conservation and use of coconut genetic resources; to promote improving coconut production on a sustainable basis, and to boost livelihoods and incomes of coconut stakeholders in developing countries. COGENT now comprises 39 country-members, representing more than 98% global coconut production.
In 2012, the first COGENT Steering Committee (SC) meeting for 5 years was held in Cochin India. As key outcomes of the meeting, the SC and participants from 18 countries produced 10 international recommendations on coconut research, and endorsed proposed improvements to the organization and operating rules of the network. The objective of the recommendations was to define research priorities for the next 10 years. Recommendations cover most research fields linked to coconut genetic resources management, including ex situ and in situ conservation, collecting gaps, in vitro culture, genomics, breeding, some phytopathological aspects, communications and geographical strategy. Upgrading COGENT’s organization was initiated in 2012 by conducting two organisational assessments and two participative meetings. The composition and the role of the Steering Committee (SC) was modified in order both to increase its stability and to allow other member-countries to fully participate in decision-making. It was agreed to hold biennial COGENT SC meetings. Other innovations are the creation of seven permanent International Thematic Action Groups (ITAGs), and the possibility of making remote decisions using two distinct processes. International recommendations and efficient network organization are crucial tools for upgrading the Global Coconut Conservation Strategy, initially published in 2008, and which will be fully revised in 2013. The two limiting factors remaining for upgrading the strategy are expertise in detailed budgeting for conservation and in legal issues linked to conservation at international level.