The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) is a Belgian Federal State institution undertaking scientific research in the area of the natural sciences, mainly concerned with the study of evolution, diversity and ecosystems. In addition of being the CBD National Focal Point, the RBINS also carries out the mandates of the Focal Points for the Scientific, Technical and Technological Body (SBSTTA), the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) and the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI).
The large variety of research topics developed at the RBINS results in a great potential of expertise that can assist other scientific teams inside or outside the country, and be helpful for decision-making. The Institute is also involved in the Belgian Biodiversity Platform which is the federal science policy office’s information and communication initiative linking biodiversity science and scientific policy.
The RBINS provides professional education and training opportunities through practical training courses and short-term theoretical workshops and seminars. The RBINS has organized training sessions for the Clearing House Mechanism/Belgian Clearing House (CHM/BCH) national focal points and webmasters, mostly from African countries, since 1999.
In 2004, the RBINS started a capacity building programme in the field of taxonomy and collection management addressed to professionals—from parataxonomists to experts—from developing countries.
The RBINS provides scientific support to public and private institutions and bodies involved in the management of the natural heritage, in particular in the application of conventions and regional, federal, European, and international legislation.
The RBINS also manages and develops collections, databanks, libraries and specialized archives, constituting a resource at national and international level. It has developed a course on the management of natural history collections for technicians and curators in Belgium on an on-demand basis.
The development and promotion of the Museum of Natural Sciences, with its permanent and temporary exhibitions and various other educational activities, is a key instrument for the spreading of scientific knowledge. In this respect the RBINS is regularly involved in CEPA activities at national level. In particular the RBINS is developing a comprehensive programme of activities on the theme of biodiversity towards 2010. This programme will be implemented through a cohort of actions where awareness raising and engaging people will closely be intertwined.
Link to The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences