A renewed outbreak of a disease is threatening a coconut gene bank in Papua New Guinea.
The only coconut gene bank in the region is a just few kilometres from an outbreak of Bogia syndrome in Madang province, the same province that has experienced the disease in the past
A manager from the Coconut Industry Corporation, Allen Aku, said to ensure certain varieties weren't lost they have been duplicating the gene bank so there is a lifeline for those who depend on coconuts for their nutrition and income.
Bogia syndrome causes palm trees to collapse and can wipe out crops within months.
"For the Pacific Islanders coconut is our livelihoods," he said.
"When everything else is gone coconuts is the one we survive on. So that's why we have to keep this diversity."
Allen Aku said research was underway to isolate the insect that is spreading the disease.
Bogia disease can also affect bananas and oil palm.