CoGent Network

COGENT International Thematic Action Groups

During the 16th COGENT Steering Committee Meeting held in Kochi, India in July 2012, participants decided to create thematic action groups, aiming to boost international activities in the fields of research related to coconut genetic resources.

Priorities for creating ITAG were addressed during the COGENT SC meeting. It was decided to create seven ITAGs.
The names of leaders were suggested by consensus for 5 of the 7 future ITAGs. 

The International Thematic Action Groups of the COGENT Network:

 Ex situ Coconut conservation and related methodologies

 Coconut genomics

 Coconut breeding

 Phytopathology and coconut germplasm movements


 Ethnobiology and socioeconomy

 Coconut In vitro culture

The creation of an ITAG on Coconut germplasm information systems was also envisioned, but the decision was not yet made. It appears that such a group could be more efficient if including several crops. Such a group could be implemented at a higher level that COGENT, which is devoted “only” to coconut genetic resources.


ITAGs are not decision-making bodies. Their objectives are to:

  • Gather the best specialists in order to strengthen communications between researchers working in different countries but in the same thematic field.
  • Provide useful recommendations to the COGENT SC, (the decision-making body and to the COGENT secretariat).
  • To provide new research ideas.
  • To help to protect the specific research interests of COGENT member countries



The ITAGs are created by following 3 successive phases:

1) Designation of a leader;

2) Extension to 5 members;

3) Extension up to 12 official members plus up to 10 students as “junior” members.

The process will be the following:

  • The ITAG leader will be designated by a consensus or a voting process (during SC meeting or at distance) according to the proposals of country members.
  • The ITAG leader will designate 4 researchers all belonging to institutions and countries from the COGENT network.
  • Then the team of 5 researchers will start to designate new ITAG members by consensus or voting process. The maximum size of the ITAGs will be 20 researchers, as acting members, and 10 junior non-voting members (students). As soon a researcher is involved as acting member, he can participate to the selection of next ITAG members.
  • Researchers from countries which are not members of COGENT countries are welcome in ITAGs, as far their number does not overcome half of the number of researchers from COGENT member-countries.

The initial mandate of the ITAG leader will be for 2 years. Then the ITAG will have to choose his leader by a consensus or voting process. The ITAGs leaders and members should preferably not be members of the SC, but other researchers from the same countries. The ITAGs will be renewed each 2 years on proposals of the ITAGs Leaders or on proposal of the COGENT secretariat after consultation with the ITAG members.
Within the ITAG, most of recommendations will be produced by consensus, or as in cases not achieved by voting, at the request of the TAG leader or of the COGENT secretariat. If the official TAG leaders are not carrying out their roles, the COGENT secretariat will have the right to request the TAG to shift the leadership to another researcher from the TAG by using a vote process. A small annual fee will be allocated to each thematic group leader for communication purposes from Bioversity’s budget.



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