Belgian Partners



The institute is involved in a number of beneficial Belgian partnerships with public authorities, research institutes, museums, and non-profit associations and NGOs working in the fields of education and science. These partnerships concern, for example, research projects, major museum restoration works, management of the Belgica ocean research vessel, and touring exhibitions. Below is an overview of our Belgian partners. 


Public Institutions
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.



National Lottery

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 Mankind 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’.



Walloon Region

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. 



Flemish Region

In 2010, the Year of Biodiversity, the Flemish Region financed the project BioGeoSafari, and since 2008 it has financed the website (I have a question), which was founded by the RBINS in collaboration with other universities and research institutions.



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 EvolutionBiodiverCITY 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.


Research Institutes
Royal Museum for Central Africa  

The RMCA manages all scientific heritage related to Africa. The enormous collections contain more than 17 million animal specimens, minerals, pictures, films, ethnographic objects and documents. There are always temporary exhibitions being held in the museum , with the aim of informing the general public about the wealth of African culture. Moreover, as a scientific institution, the RMCA is an important international player in terms of African expertise. The museum's scientists produce more than 300 publications every year.

The RMCA also works with the RBINS on a number of scientific projects. The Congo Biodiversity Initiative was established in conjunction with the RMCA and other organisations to protect and develop the rich biodiversity of the Congo basin.



Botanic Garden Meise

The Botanic Garden Meise has a rich collection of living and non-living plants, as well as a seed bank which includes seeds from endangered indigenous plant species. The botanic gardens also have an extensive library.


Museums' Associations

All our Belgian partner museums belong to these associations:

Brussels Museums Council

The Brussels Museums Council (BMC) is the umbrella organisation for the museums of Brussels. The BMC organises numerous activities centred around the museums of Brussels, such as the Brussels Museums Nocturnes and Museum Night Fever. The RBINS is a member of the Brussels Museums Council and therefore regularly participates in its activities.



ICOM Flanders and ICOM Belgium Wallonia/Brussels 

These associations of museums and museum workers aim to be knowledge hubs where new information and knowledge about this specialist field is circulated.

Websites: and


PROBIO is the association of biology teachers in the French and German speaking communities of Belgium. The association aims to revalue the profession, unite biology teachers, especially teachers of different education levels and school networks, and to increase their audience outside the school gates. PROBIO also organises the biology olympiad (, a yearly competition for 3rd year secondary school students.




The VOB is the Association for Teaching Biology, the Environment and Health. This non-profit association promotes the study of biology, the environment and health. It is responsible, for example, for the selection tests for the Flemish Biology Olympiad. The yearly Flemish Congress for science teachers is organised under the auspices of the VOB and VeLeWE. The registered office of the VOB is in the RBINS. 



Association pour la Diffusion de l'information archéologique (ADIA)

The ADIA is a non-profit association that was established in 1985, and is located in the RBINS. Its aim is to improve the dissemination of the public of knowledge of prehistory and archaeology. To achieve this, ADIA has created educational workshops for schoolchildren, and produced booklets for teachers.

RBINS and the ADIA have worked together on projects such as a brochure about the Ishango bone, which you can find here (in French).




BE-TAF stands for ‘BElgian Taxonomic Access Facilities’ and is made up of the three major institutions that conduct taxonomic research: the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the Botanic Garden Meise.
SYNTHESYS, a European science project that arose from CETAF, enables access to 337,204,000 specimens that are conservated and managed at the major European Institutes of Natural Sciences. 

Website: BE-TAF / All CETAF-members



King Leopold III Fund for Nature Exploration and Conservation

The King Leopold III Fund aims to promote the study and conservation of nature. On a practical level, the King Leopold III Fund contributes primarily to financing expeditions outside Europe. These explorations are designed to study extant biodiversity, as well as people who are intensely related to nature. The registered office of the association is located in the RBINS.




ARABEL (ARAchnologia BELgica) was established on the 27th of October 1976 during a meeting at the RBINS in Brussels. Initially it was just a working group without a clear structure, whose members exchanged ideas and data, helped each other with difficult identifications and sometimes organised excursions. In 1986 ARABEL became a non-profit organisation with a formal statute, chair, etc. The current chair is the RBINS scientist and arachnologist Léon Baert.

At present, ARABEL is involved in developing the Belgian Arachnofauna Database.



Royal Belgian Entomological Society

The Royal Belgian Entomological Society is a non-profit organisation that was established on the 9th of April 1855 and based in the RBINS. It aims to stimulate the study of insects through events, publications and pedagogical activities. The Royal Belgian Association for Entomology publishes the journals Bulletin of the Royal Belgian Association for Entomology and the Journal of Entomology




Geologica Belgica

Geologica Belgica is a Belgian bilingual non-profit association established in Brussels, whose aim is to contribute to the development of earth sciences and related areas, and to facilitate the exchanging of knowledge and scientific research. The RBINS is represented in its board, as are all the major universities and other institutes involved in earth sciences in Belgium.



Belgian Group for Underwater Scientific Research

The GBRS was established in 1955 as a scientific diving association. The members of the GBRS actively contribute to underwater scientific research by organising training courses and expeditions. The association is active in Louvain-la-Neuve and Brussels.



Royal Belgian Society for Zoology

The Royal Belgian Zoological Society is a non-profit organisation that aims to stimulate zoological research in Belgium. Every year it organises the 'Benelux Congress of Zoology' and the 'Biology Master Day', a free event intended to encourage final year students to choose further study in biology. In collaboration with the RBINS it also publishes the Belgian Journal of Zoology, which covers a broad range of zoological disciplines. The organisation is based in the RBINS.



Royal Belgian Society of Anthropology and Prehistory

The Royal Belgian Society of Anthropology and Prehistory brings both Belgian and foreign, professional and non-professional researchers together, who specialise in prehistoric archaeology, physical anthropology, genetic anthropology and human palaeontology.



The Belgium-Luxembourg Union of Geologists

The BLUG is a professional association that represents professional geologists and geology students from Belgium and Luxembourg in the various government authorities. The BLUG also aims to promote the study of geology among the general public. The RBINS is represented in the BLUG Board.



European Federation of Geologists

The European Federation of Geologists is an NGO that was established in 1981. It is a professional organisation that aims to contribute to safer and more sustainable use of our natural environment, by informing the public and promoting more responsible use of natural resources.  The EFG is based in the Belgian Geological Service, one of the departments of the RBINS.



BeWiSe - Belgian Women in Science

BeWiSe promotes equal participation for women in all scientific disciplines and at all levels in Belgium. Its members belong to various scientific Belgian institutions, including the RBINS. Among the members working at the RBINS are: Frida Decraemer (biologist), Mietje Germonpré (palaeontologist), Justine Jacquemin (biologist), Carole Paleco (international relations and current Vice-President), Marianne Schlesser (biologist) and Isa Schön (biologist, BeWiSe first president and one of the founding members).



Studia Praehistorica Belgica

Studia Praehistorica Belgica is an association that has been publishing the journal Notae Praehistoricae and monographs, among which Studia Praehistorica Belgica (hence the name of the association). Historically, its activities are focused on the transregional contact group ‘Prehistory’ of the Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS). Notae Praehistoricae reports on recent studies in archaeology and prehistory in Belgium and neighbouring European countries. Studia Praehistorica Belgica discusses specific themes, often as a result of colloquia. Both publications are edited at the RBINS.

Website: Studia Praehistorica Belgica

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