Forest and Trees

Forests and trees play significant roles in the lives of Pacific Islanders, economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. In many Pacific island countries, especially on the smaller islands and atolls, agroforestry and tree crops provide most of the food, medicines, construction materials, firewood, tools and myriad of other products and services that cannot be replaced with imported substitutions. For the larger countries, forests have contributed significantly into their economic development in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment and infrastructure development. Thus, a major challenge for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) is to ensure sustainable management of their scarce and diminishing forest and tree resources, taking into account demands for economic development and the social and environmental needs of their growing populations, LRD-SPC is addressing this under its Forest & Tree programme.

SPC supports the region with forest genetic resource reports
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:25

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Land Resources Division has been working very closely with the forestry departments of several member countries that are preparing their report for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is compiling The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources (FGR).


The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Land Resources Division has been working very closely with the forestry departments of several member countries that are preparing their report for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is compiling The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources (FGR).

Some countries — Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu — have completed their draft reports; others are in the process of compiling theirs.

FAO has provided financial assistance for this exercise, as FGR reports from the Pacific region will contribute to the preparation of global report.

According to Tevita Faka’osi of Tonga’s Forestry Division, compiling this report helped to consolidate the information from various projects and activities that have been undertaken in the past, and this, in turn, indicated a way forward for the country’s forestry sector, particularly the conservation, management and utilisation of its forest genetic resources.

‘We need to take stock of what forest genetic materials we have that can be conserved and what needs to be improved, especially when we are faced with issues like climate change,’ Faka’osi said.

‘Diversity of our forest genetic resources improves our resilience and adaptation to climate change,’ said Faka’osi.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Inoke Wainiqolo of Fiji’s Department of Forests, who said that the report comes at a time when we are faced with immense pressures and challenges.

‘Due to the rapidly increasing population and other developments, there is a crucial need to conserve, manage and sustainably utilise our forest genetic materials.

‘The Convention on Biological Diversity recognises the need to do more in this regard and is fully supportive of increased scientific investigation,’ Mr Wainiqolo said.

He added that the compilation of FGR reports will also assist in access to genetic resources, with fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from it.

SPC’s Forest Genetic Resource Officer, Cenon Padolina, has been coordinating the compilation and preparation process with assistance from Vinesh Prasad – Information and Communication assistant.

[Ends]

(For further information please contact Vinesh Prasad on telephone (679)3370733, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit the SPC website: www.spc.int.)

 

We acknowledge our major donors/partners in supporting Forestry initiatives in the Pacific