Probably about 1 million plant specimens from Central Africa are kept in herbaria worldwide. Important sets of collections can be found in the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, the Free University of Brussels and The University of Poznan. And also in the region itself many collections are kept, but most of these Central-African herbaria have been dormant for several decades because of the numerous problems within the region. Since 2007, however, several herbaria have been partially rehabilitated and do have electricity and internet. In June 2009, 23 young botanists from eleven institutes have been trained in the framework of the EU program REAFOR, which included a 14-days workshop in herbarium management co-organized by the National Botanic Garden of Belgium.

As a result, research activities are restarting and a network of Congolese herbaria (Réseau des Herbiers de la RDC) has been created with the scientific support of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium. This network, together with the national herbarium from Burundi joined the African Plant Initiative in order to digitize the nomenclatural types and representative specimens of species endemic to the region stored in the Central African herbaria.  As a result of all these efforts, the herbaria listed here are now fully operational again.

Contact: Réseau des Herbier de la RDC
Chairman: Elasi RAMAZANI (Yangambi)
Secretary: Paulin MPUNGI (UNIKIN)