The joint Belgian-Congolese expedition "Fleuve Congo 2010" which studied and catalogued the fauna and flora along 1,000 kilometers of the Congo river is a rousing success! Dozens of new species were discovered and 67 Belgian and Congolese scientists participated and developed mechanisms for continued collaborations. Click here for the (nifty) website and info on the photographic expositions taking place at the National Botanical Gardens, the Central African Museum and the Natural History Museum in Brussels and on the new Biodiversity Center opening in October in Kisangani.
"It will be in the laboratory that the new centre will fulfil one of its main tasks: the education and training of zoologists and botanists specialising in Congo’s biodiversity, and of experts in the sustainable development of forests. However, within the international network that examines Congo’s biodiversity, scientists will cooperate on a broader, multidisciplinary context: among other things, this includes drawing up a checklist of the species that have been observed in the Congo Basin and regularly presenting these findings. The centre will also be home to the equipment needed to carry out its fieldwork: motorboats, tents, kitchen utensils, mattresses and sleeping bags, mopeds...And to get around, it will also have an all-terrain vehicle at its disposal and the 30m-long boat that was built for the 2010 expedition. Meanwhile, the ‘guesthouse’ means that students, interns and scientific observers will have a place to stay."
Additionally, the expedition studied the languages spoken along the 1,000 kilometer stretch of the river and they found that Lingala (the language of the Kinshasa area) is gradually displacing le local languages such as Wembe, Mboso and Kisoko.