Any coconut-producing country can become a member. COGENT currently has 39 member countries that are divided into five sub-networks: Southeast and East Asia (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam); South Asia and Middle East (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sultanate of Oman and Sri Lanka); South Pacific (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu); Africa and the Indian Ocean (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Seychelles and Tanzania); and Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad-Tobago).
At present there is no membership fee. To apply for membership an authorized government official has to write to the Director General, Bioversity International, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00057 Maccarese (Rome), Italy. Tel: 39 0661181, Fax: 39 0661979661; E-mail: Bioversity@cgiar.org or to any member of the Steering Committee.
In order to formally become a COGENT member, individual countries should:
- Nominate a country representative from an organization that is engaged in coconut research and allow him/her to attend COGENT meetings as needed; and to coordinate COGENT-supported projects in the country;
- Commit to support the cost of the representatives’ coconut research activities in the national programme;
- Commit to exchange and/or provide information on coconut genetic resources held in the country, particularly information on diseases of unknown etiology or pest recurrences;
- Commit to provide access to its germplasm and participate in the mutual exchange of coconut germplasm either for conservation or multi-location variety trials subject to mutual agreement with other member countries and with COGENT and BIOVERSITY;
- Commit to participate actively in studying the diversity of coconut germplasm in the country, and conserve, protect and maintain the diversity at the country’s own expense, with possibilities for partial external support as components of COGENT-endorsed projects and activities.
- Access to germplasm information from other members. COGENT’s international coconut germplasm database (CGRD) contains the passport and characterization data of coconut collections of member countries. By accessing the database, breeders will be able to identify germplasm from a wide genetic base which could be used in breeding work;
- Access to coconut germplasm, subject to mutual agreement and the ability to move material safely;
- Access to new technologies;
- Opportunities for coconut researchers to attend training courses, conferences and workshops organized by COGENT;
- Opportunities to join collaborative research activities;
- Increased security of germplasm collections through collaborative conservation efforts.