The International Coconut Genetic Resources Network, coordinated by Bioversity International, brings to light different palm climbing techniques through a new series of videos from 11 countries.
Climbing coconut palms is by no means an easy feat. A long-term and important tradition practiced in many countries, palm climbing is an important skill used for: harvesting the fruit itself, for harvesting 'toddy' (the sweet sap used to produce sugar, vinegar, wine and spirits), and also for making controlled pollinations for research and conservation purposes.
Climbing techniques however, vary widely around the world, from centuries-old limbs-only techniques, to modern methods using modern equipment.
In order to spread awareness on different palm-climbing approaches, the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT), coordinated by Bioversity International, recently launched an amazing set of 20 videos illustrating different techniques used in 11 countries. This series is part of an international effort by COGENT to ensure the safety of coconut workers and to encourage the true-to-type conservation of coconut varieties during successive regenerations.
The project is also trying to increase the interval between coconut regenerations that genebanks conduct to conserve the species' genetic resources. Every regeneration costs more than US$ 600,000 to carry out, and currently needs to be done every 25 years. Different techniques may have the potential to extend these intervals up to 50 years, a strong financial implication for conservation.
For more information and to watch the videos, visit the COGENT website