SPC’s CePaCT wins award for innovative island research

SPC's Programme Leader for Genetic Resources Logotonu Meleisea Waqainabete in the CePaCT lab. Picture: SUPPLIED/SPC

The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) has won the 2022 Island Innovation award for Innovative Island Research.

The award – given by Island Innovation, a global network that connects island stakeholders through digital communication and events – was presented to CePaCT in a ceremony held in April.

CePaCT is managed under SPC’s Land Resources Division Genetic Resources program.

In her acceptance speech, Programme Leader for Genetic Resources Logotonu Meleisea Waqainabete said CePaCT’s work was now more important than ever, considering the impact of disruptions such as COVID-19, as well as Pacific islands nations and peoples’ ongoing challenges through being on the frontlines of climate change.

Ms Waqainabete said the Innovative Island Research honour would give CePaCT the momentum to ensure genetic diversity and strengthen the resiliency of food systems so that livelihoods were secure and Pacific peoples were fed food that was safe and nutritious.

She said the award would continue to advance CePaCT’s work as SPC partners with Pacific communities to face climate change and build a food-secure future for the region.

According to the SPC, CePaCT – as the Pacific’s main genebank – works to ensure efficient long-term conservation of a broad range of genetic diversity of key crops and tree species of the Pacific region, and facilitates their effective utilisation through the safe distribution of plant material across borders.

CePaCT’s research provides critical support for the two SPC flagship programs of climate change resilience and food systems transformation, the SPC stated.

The Island Innovation Awards partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to recognise individuals, organisations and projects driving positive change for remote and island communities globally.

There were 12 award categories judged by a Jury, with the focus of the awards on sharing the how of success from the winners, so other communities may benefit.

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