New beginnings (1960-present)
Following the stabilization of the country, INERA has benefited from the support of external partners to relaunch research activities in Yangambi.
Since 2017, INERA, in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and other institutions, contributes to the implementation of several projects funded by the European Union and Belgium to promote local development, applied research and conservation in the Yangambi landscape.
As a result of this collaboration, more than 750,000 trees have already been planted in a large-scale effort to restore degraded land. Other activities include research on endangered flora and fauna, capacity building on agriculture techniques, development of income-generating activities as well as building new infrastructure and renovation of old buildings.
New facilities include a wood biology laboratory built by the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the company Resources & Synergies Development (R&SD). The only of its kind in Central Africa, this laboratory allows on-site analysis of wood samples. The first Eddy covariance flux tower of the Congo Basin, erected at the initiative of the University of Ghent (UGent) by partner R&SD, is another remarkable achievement. The instruments installed on this structure measure the greenhouse gas exchanges between the atmosphere and the forest.
The Yangambi herbarium was recently renovated in collaboration with the Meise Botanical Garden. Since 2007, this institution contributes to the preservation and digitization of a unique collection of more than 150,000 specimens in collaboration with INERA’s botany specialists.
The training of qualified Congolese professionals in sustainable forest management is at the core of these efforts. As such, INERA’s staff benefits from a training program coordinated by the Graduate School of Integrated Tropical Forest Planning and Management (ERAIFT).
Yangambi has become a true “open-air school” allowing Congolese and international students and researchers to conduct relevant studies for the preservation of tropical forests and the socio-economic development of the country.
This exhibit is possible thanks to the support of the Embassy of Belgium in Kinshasa and the European Union
Joelle Grandjean, Christian Besombi Afanta, Ahtziri Gonzalez, Axel Fassio, Basile Houters, Michel Lokonda.