Monday, 28 June 2010

Pacific Island Agroforestry documents

The Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) teamed up with a number of North American organisations to produce a series of pamphlets to promote agroforestry in the Pacific. These pamphlets take the form of species accounts and are an excellent source on information to the propagation, cultivation, uses and enemies of a number of different plant species. While the hard copy editions went out of print a while ago, PDFs are freely available online.

The species accounts include details on how to propagate species in the the mangrove genera Bruguiera and Rhizophora. With the fear of the effects of climate change on the vulnerable islands of the South Pacific, I believe that these plants should become much more widely planted to protect against shoreline erosion and seawater inundation. The accounts do make the very important recommendation to not plant these species outside of their natural range, as they can be invasive. They are however found naturally throughout the Pacific, so that should not be a problem for the most part. The plants are very easily propagated and propagules can be sourced from local trees. There may be some downsides in terms of coastal access; and they may not grow so readily on the weather coasts of atolls. However, I do think that more research and promotion of the propagation of these trees is one of the most pro-active ways that the Pacific Islands can fight the effects of climate change.

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