Polymotu and the Global Coconut Conservation Strategy

COGENT (the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network) had conducted several consultations on the conservation and use of coconut diversity to assist coconut growing countries to develop a progressive conservation strategy.

The Global Coconut Conservation Strategy is now available on line. This strategy was reviewed during a meeting gathering genebank managers, international experts and the COGENT Steering Committee in December 2007. The strategy aims to optimize the conservation of as much representative diversity as possible in the most cost-effective manner for the short, medium and long term.

The Polymotu approach was included in the global coconut strategy, as shown in the following extracts:

Page 16:

"A new conservation strategy, which involves planting of single coconut varieties on small islands, serves both conservation and breeding purposes. The geographical remoteness of the islets will ensure isolated reproductive systems that are needed for true-to-type breeding, avoiding the use of the costly technique of controlled pollination. This strategy includes both in situ and ex situ conservation – an Indonesian Islet, for instance, could be planted either with a local variety or a Polynesian variety."

Page 20:

"Promoting conservation through use by supporting national coconut breeding efforts in a globally coordinated breeding programme; testing new approaches to conservation such as the use of islets for in situ conservation as well as for breeding and seed nut production; linking with research activities to serve as platform for the utilization of conserved diversity; and developing catalogues of conserved germplasm and farmers’ varieties, high-value products and coconut food recipes, and other public awareness materials to increase coconut consumption.