Supporting an international initiative to maintain the coconut genetic resources network

Coconut tree
Project code
AUD 475,624
Research program manager
Ms Irene Kernot
Project leader
Jelfina Alouw
Commissioned organisation
International Coconut Community
JAN 2020
DEC 2022
Project status
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This project aimed to support transitional arrangements for passing on the hosting of the COGENT Program from Bioversity International to ICC and establishing COGENT on a sustainable basis.

Five international coconut collections (international coconut genebanks (ICGs)) have been established in Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. These and many of the 19 national coconut collections are poorly conserved and suffering from genetic erosion. Several collecting and conservation activities have been initiated by coconut growing countries but these activities are neither coordinated nor harmonized, resulting in inadequate germplasm conservation and evaluation and inefficient germplasm utilization.

The International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) with 39 coconut-growing countries as members was established by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI- now Bioversity International). COGENT has the mandate for coordinating efforts to conserve and utilize coconut genetic resources. However, international support for COGENT is flagging. This project aims to support revitalizing COGENT, achieve an orderly transition of COGENT’s Secretariat from Bioversity International to the Jakarta-based International Coconut Community (ICC), and ensure technical support for the implementation of the recently formulated Global Strategy for Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources.

This transfer is made more appropriate by the conversion of the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) into the International Coconut Community with an expanded mandate to promote the global development of the coconut, which transformed status is endorsed by the United Nations.

Expected outcomes

  • Achieving an orderly transfer of the COGENT Secretariat from Bioversity to ICC.
  • Establishing the foundation and providing technical support for the initial implementation of the Global Strategy for Conservation and Use of Coconut Genetic Resources.
  • Conducting individual appraisals of the five ICGs and providing initial support for the long-term conservation and evaluation of the conserved germplasm and integration of the collected data into the COGENT database.
  • Fostering income-generating components and international research collaboration that will help sustain the COGENT program and the national and international collections in the longer term.



Summary of outcomes to date


  1. Transfer of COGENT Secretariat
  • New Coordinator Erlene Manohar (Outgoing Deputy Administrator, PCA) appointed, to start 4 October.
  • Workplan and budget agreed then rescheduled underspend (Covid-19 delay).
  • Monthly planning meetings held July 20 to June 21.
  • Second newsletter drafted (to be published in September)[1].
  • website migrated (key pages details update complete by Dec 2021).
  • Virtual Steering Committee (SC) meeting scheduled deferred until October 2021.
  1. Establish technical support for implementing COGENT Global Strategy
  • International Thematic Action Group (ITAGs) leaders/members meeting at least bi-monthly.
  • Lists of priority COGENT projects/ITAG reviewed and ongoing proposals pipeline.
  • Technical experts contributed to virtual meetings, capacity -building preparations, ITAGs and proposals pipeline.
  • SPC interactions gathered momentum via C. Pilotti.
  • Workshop on COGENT strategy implementation workplan & budget deferred to Nov-Dec 2021 after ICG appraisal.
  • Plans advanced for international Tissue Culture Symposium in Mexico in April 2022.
  1. ICG appraisals/capacity upgrade
  • ICG-AIO (Côte d’Ivoire) appraisal conducted Jan 21.
  • Appraisal dates scheduled for Indonesia (Nov 21); India (Dec 21), Brazil (Mar 22).
  • Planning to publish book on state of global coconut resources after appraisals complete in 2022.
  • Aiming to sign New Article 15 ICG agreements as agreed with ITPGRFA for all ICGs hosts, by December 2021.
  1. ICG and COGENT sustainability plan
  • Roadmap and sustainability plan to be redrafted.
  • 6 proposals submitted in reporting period.
  • Sustainability planning workshop to be rescheduled.

[1] ibid

Map of Global Coconut Growing Countries
Key partners
Bioversity International
International Coconut Community
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact Sheet GP/2018/193