Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD)
The DGD promotes Belgian development cooperation and humanitarian aid and falls under the jurisdiction of the Minister for Development Cooperation. Since 1999 the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) has been supporting the DGD in implementing the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, Rio 1992) in developing countries.
An in-depth knowledge of how to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity, can contribute to reducing poverty and increasing (economic) development. Our biodiversity experts advise and assist the DGD on biodiversity issues related to development cooperation.
A new field of activity within this collaboration is access to genetic sources and the fair sharing of benefits arising from their exploitation.
Directorate-General for the Environment (DG5 of SPF Public Health)
The DG Environment is a federal DG that strives to achieve sustainable development in order to ensure a high quality environment for everyone. In Belgium the regions are responsible for most environmental matters. The federal government, however, and DG Environment, in particular in this case, retains important prerogatives.
The DG Environment focuses its activities on, among others, the coordination of international environmental policies, the reduction of greenhouse gases, the execution of the commitments made under the Kyoto Protocol, the recording and monitoring of the transport of waste, and the protection of the North Sea.
There is active collaboration with the various departments of the RBINS for knowledge transfer and monitoring of the North Sea, such as the National Focal Point to the Convention on Biological Diversity (NFP-CBD) and the Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM).
Belgian Armed Forces
The Belgian Armed Forces work with various scientific knowledge centres such as the RBINS, but also with organisations like the Research Institute for Nature and Forests and the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, to map military activities in and around the North Sea. For this purpose, researchers of the Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM) have produced an overview of military activities at sea and on the coast (shooting and mine exercises, military aviation, dumping of ammunition, etc.), and are investigating the negative impact of the military presence on protected species and habitat types. This is because not only chemical contamination but also noise pollution, for example, can disrupt the often fragile marine biodiversity. All activity is thoroughly analysed, then several lines of approach are put forward so that measures can be taken.
The National Lottery is a structural partner of the RBINS and, in addition to financial support, also provides funds for purchasing scientific equipment, for example.
Of the three main RBINS buildings, the Janlet Wing in the Leopold Park is probably the best known. This majestic building houses the Dinosaur Gallery, with its exceptionally valuable collection of iguanodons, and the Gallery of Evolution. In order to modernise and restore this architectural treasure to its former glory, Beliris funded the structural and interior workmanship on the Museum for Natural Sciences’ Janlet Wing. Beliris also contributed to the creation of our permanent exhibition BiodiverCITY and is was a partner in the final phase of the construction of the Gallery of Mankind.
Public Buildings Agency
The buildings in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences are the property of the Belgian state. In the history of our institute, the Public Buildings Agency has regularly acted as the developer for renovation and expansion works. For example, between 2003 and 2009 the Public Buildings Agency completely restored the Janlet Wing, which is dominated by the Dinosaur Gallery.
This historic building also houses the ‘Gradin Room’, which is now the Gallery of Evolution. For years this room was closed to the public because it was a fire hazard. Partly as a result of the renovations conducted between 2007 and 2009 by the Public Buildings Agency, this wonderful room is once again part of the museum trail. The Public Buildings Agency also contributed to the creation of the ‘biodiversity wing’, of which the BiodiverCITY hall is a first step. In addition, today the Public Buildings Agency is a partner in the last phase of the construction that will result in the Gallery of Humankind in 2015.
Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment (IBGE/BIM)
The Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment supports numerous organisations in their environmental education activities. For over twenty years, the Museum of Natural Sciences has offered its expertise when creating new exhibitions, including the travelling exhibitions offered by the Brussels Nature Education Centre (BNEC). The BIM has also financially contributed to the creation of our BiodiverCITY permanent exhibition.
The French Community Commission
The French Community Commission (Cocof) surveys the authorities in the Brussels Region which belong to the French Community in the south of Belgium. In practice this mainly involves culture, education, health and social well-being. Cocof has financially supported projects like ‘Falcons for everyone’ and ‘BioGeoSafari’.
A lot of our institute's research programmes were developed after a call for projects in the Walloon Region, or took place in collaboration with them. The Walloon Region often finances specific projects, such as the publication of information brochures about biodiversity.
Region of Brussels-capital
The Region of Brussels-Capital validates research, science, education and tourism. The region regularly finances projects of our institute in these domains. The ‘Views of Brussels from the region’ department financially supports long-term projects like ‘Falcons for everyone’ or the development of temporary or permanent exhibitions such as the Dinosaur Gallery, the Gallery of Evolution, BiodiverCITY or the Mosasaur Hall.
The Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders (FWO) supports fundamental research, amongst others, by funding researchers and research projects after evaluation by experts in Belgium and abroad. On an international level the FWO stimulates cooperation and supports the researchers’ mobility.
The Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) – the French Belgian counterpart of the FWO – supports fundamental science by funding individual researchers at Walloon or Brussels universities, and by funding research programmes. Many researchers at the RBINS have been financially supported by FNRS.