Adapting in the Pacific

The New Agriculturist is out, and, among many other things, it features an interview with my old boss at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Aleki Sisifa. Aleki has some very sensible things to say about adapting to climate change. Here’s an example, but read the whole thing.

We need to help farmers stay ahead of climate change, and genetic resources are going to be crucial for that. At SPC we hold the genetic resources for the Pacific region, and as part of our climate change work we are collecting varieties that can withstand conditions such as drought, salinity and water-logging.

We are working to ensure fair use and ready access of these resources and, in June 2009, our collection was placed in the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Around the same time, agreement was made with the Global Crop Diversity Trust to safeguard our collection of taro and yam, two of our most important food crops in this region.

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