COGENT has (re-)established four International
Thematic Action Groups (ITAGs) to lead in the identification and coordination
of priority projects for germplasm conservation and use, linked to implementing
COGENT’s Global Strategy for the
Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources.
During the 2012 SC meeting, participants from 18 countries recognized the need to create six International Thematic Action Groups (ITAGs), aiming to promote and coordinate international theme-specific research related to coconut genetic resources. The terms of reference for these ITAGs were discussed during the SC meeting. ITAGs are not decision-making bodies. Their objectives are to:
· Assemble a group of the best thematic specialists
· Strengthen communications between researchers working in different countries but in the same thematic field.
· Provide useful recommendations to COGENT’s SC, (the decision-making body) and secretariat.
· Proovide new research ideas to spearhead the implementation of the Global Strategy in the relevant thematic area, and develop funding proposals (see below for list of current priority projects).
· Help to protect the specific research interests of COGENT member countries
The 2012 recommended 6 ITAGs were:
i) Ex situ conservation;
iv) Phytopathology & germplasm movement;
v) Ethnobiology & Socioeconomics
vi) In vitro culture.
During the funding hiatus little was further developed until the ACIAR/DFAT proposal development. In 2018 the SC recommended the addition of one new ITAG and slight changes to ITAGs 5 and 6 as follows:
v) Farmers’ Participatory Research, Ethnobiology & Socioeconomics, and
vi) In vitro culture and cryopreservation, and the new group
vii) dedicated to value-chain research.
In 2019, ACIAR/DFAT endorsed the proposal to support revitalizing COGENT, as a programme within ICC (see section 6), with a caveat that the ITAGs be rationalized to 3-4 in number. Also, since COGENT is now an ICC programme, the socioeconomic and value-chain work can be housed in other ICC programmes. The 4 proposed ITAGs are:
i) Ex- & in-situ conservation
ii) Genomics & breeding
iii) Phytopathology, entomology & germplasm movement
iv) In vitro culture & cryo-preservation