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Congo (Brazzaville): Surveys and Capacity Building

Since 2009, RBG Kew has undertaken vegetation surveys and capacity building in Congo (Brazzaville), with the partnership of CERVE - Herbier National and University Marien Ngouabi. 
Vegetation surveying in Congo (Brazzaville) with (left to right) Teva Kami, Jean-Marie Moutsambote, Saminou Odile Nkouka and Martin Cheek (Yvette Harvey)

Congo (Brazzaville) has currently the least well-known flora of any tropical African country in the forest zone.  RBG Kew began collaborative surveys with CERVE - Herbier National in the Chaillu, Mayombe and Coastal areas in 2009, thanks to the opportunities presented by a mining project.  The most specimen-intensive surveys in the history of Congo (Brazzaville) have resulted in the discovery of large numbers of new national records, and significant numbers of new species to science are also coming to light.  Protocols for the propagation of rare species are being developed at the project nursery and surveys for offset areas have begun.  To address the problems of slash and burn agriculture, which is commonly practised nationally, a trial for a new system of sustainable agriculture is underway (see African Inga).  A film was made of one survey which was shown widely on national television in 2010 for public education purposes.  A training workshop at CERVE for IUCN assessment techniques and Herbarium Management was attended by senior Congolese biologists in October 2010.  The first training visit of a Congolese botanist from the National Herbarium to Kew occurred in 2010.

Project partners and collaborators

Congo (Brazzaville)

CERVE - Herbier National: Emile Kami

University Marien Ngouabi: Jean-Marie Moutsambote

Project funders

Congo (Brazzaville)

MPD Congo S.A.

Project team

Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives

Martin Cheek, Yvette Harvey, Laura Pearce, Xander van der Burgt, Charlotte Couch, Helen Pickering, Odile Weber

Conservation, Living Collections & Estates

Nick Johnson

Science Teams: 
Project Leader: