CIFOR : Protecting Congo’s botanical treasures

 

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Nestled within Africa’s biggest rainforest lies what was once the world’s largest tropical agriculture research center.

 

 

Situated along the banks of the Congo River, the Yangambi Research Station was in its heyday a booming scientific hub, revered for its invaluable work in the Congo Basin throughout the midcentury.

 

 

It wasn’t to last. War, political instability and budget cuts were to hamper the center’s survival after DRC gained independence from its colonial ruler, Belgium, in 1960. The following decades would see skilled staff numbers dwindle, the jungle reclaim its buildings, and the center’s science work come to a stop.

 

 

But inside these crumbling walls lay a botanical treasure-trove. Yangambi’s herbarium holds Central Africa’s largest collection of dried plants. In fact, 15% of its 150,000 specimens are so rare, that they can only be found here.

 

 

Efforts from the Congolese Institute for Agronomy Research (INERA) could not keep the center running alone. When the Belgian Meise Botanic Garden started working here over ten years ago, they were faced with broken windows, no electricity, outdated equipment and terrible road access.

 

 

“When we began our collaboration with the INERA in Yangambi, we were surprised that despite the lack of external assistance and the poor infrastructure, the collection was very well preserved,” explains Francesca Lanata, coordinator of the Meise Botanic Garden’s cooperation program in DRC. “Some of the employees have dedicated their entire lives to protect this knowledge, the least we could do was to commit to sustained support and to improve their working conditions,” she added.

 

Read more...

Go back

CBFP News

UN-International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September

"For over three decades, the Montreal Protocol has done much more than shrink the ozone hole; it has shown us how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability. I call for that same spirit of common cause and, especially, greater leadership as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and mobilize the ambitious climate action we so urgently need at this time." UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Read more …

6th edition of the Africa Agri Forum: Confirm your registration!

The 6th edition of the Africa Agri Forum will be taking place for the second year in a row in Libreville, from 24 to 25 October to cement Gabon’s central place as an emerging hub of agriculture in the region.

Read more …

sep2d-International symposium “Plant biodiversity and sustainable development”

The international symposium is open to the entire scientific community (especially promoters of SED2D-backed projects) and actors in the management and valuing of plant biodiversity, subject to prior mandatory registration (free) and depending on the symposium’s seating capacity . Those who wish  to make a presentation must sign up for one of the thematic sessions listed below. Presentations can be either take the form of an oral presentation or a poster (A0 format) which can be presented in plenary along with a 2 min pitch

Read more …

Ministry of Environment, Water and Fisheries, Chad: Wildlife rangers of the Forest and Wildlife Guard come under attack - Seven (07) elephant carcasses found

Dozens of heavily armed poachers on horseback attacked wildlife rangers of the Forest and Fauna Guard (GFF) stationed in the Binder-Lere Wildlife reserve. Seven (07) elephant carcasses were found throughout the reserve by GFF wildlife rangers tracking the poachers. The poachers came from Cameroon.

 

Read more …

Law enforcement officials brush up on African wildlife crime investigating skills

Brazzaville-Republic of Congo, 28 July- 1st August 2019. Two multi-institutional capacity building workshops on investigations into wildlife crimes were held for law enforcement officers at the Mikhael’s Hotel.

Read more …

OCFSA and Lusaka Agreement close ranks to fight wildlife crime in Central Africa

Signing of MoU (Collaboration Agreement) OCFSA- Luska Agreement on the sidelines of two multi-institutional capacity building workshops for law enforcement officials on wildlife crime investigation held from 28 July to  01 August 2019 in Brazzaville (Congo).

Read more …

JIPA 2019: REPALEAC promotes linguistic and cultural diversity among DRC’s indigenous pygmy populations

On the sidelines of the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (JIPA 2019), the Indigenous Peoples’ Network for Forest Ecosystem Management (REPALEF) held a press briefing on 9 August 2019 in the Arche Room in Kinshasa, Gombe The main item on the agenda was the launch of the month’s activities focusing on indigenous peoples’ across the DRC.

Read more …

COMIFAC Guidelines on monitoring forest-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): document drafting underway

Douala, Cameroon, 24-25 July 2019: The sub-region’s experts met to review the content and form of the COMIFAC Guide on monitoring forest-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive

2019

GEF Newsletter | June 2019
The Cafi Dialogues
Forest Watch April 2019
Forest Watch March 2019