Collaborations between the Department F.-A. Forel for environmental and aquatic sciences and South Universities

"Management and treatment of water" and "Contaminated sites and bio- remediation"

After a first action in the year 2014, teaching staff from the Institute Forel has once more joined the National Pedagogic University (UPN) and the University of Kinshasa ( UNIKIN ) in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a two weeks seminar (6 to 17 June 2016) on theoretical and practical environmental science; the teaching was primarily meant for  students of the 3rd cycle and 2nd degree in environmental sciences, chemistry and biology. Furthermore, other people benefited from these teachings, namely Master and PHD students working under supervision of the Geneva University, staff members of the water authority, as well as other offices of the city of Kinshasa.

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 Lixiviate sampling at the waste dump of Celembao (Kinshasa)

What a pleasure to teach so many committed students, keen on knowledge and know-how on environmental issues! In two phases of one week each, John Poté , Walter Wildi and Amandine Laffite taught ex-cathedra lectures and group exercises, conducted experiments on surveying and collecting of water, waste water and soil, laboratory analysis and presentation of the results. The professors Joshua Mubedi, Crispin Mulaji and Pius Mpiana were in charge of the organization.

Teaching is particularly successful when field observation and the physic-chemical and bacteriological laboratory evidence validate a theoretical course. After two weeks, the diagnosis has become clear: the establishment and maintenance of a healthy environment in large African cities is impossible without a strict management of the waste stream and without the establishment and monitoring of a drinking water network.

The educational collaboration and research conducted as part of a formal agreement between the three universities and funded by the National Fund is currently a success. Education and environmental science research has taken off: At the University of Geneva as well as at the Universities of Kinshasa, competent teams are in place and collaborate with enthusiasm, as highlighted by  a considerable number of scientific publications. The action will be financed until 2018. Furthermore, beyond the purely academic work, a development project through a remediation action is being considered with the support of the Swiss Embassy in Kinshasa.

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Ambiance: studying a waste dump in Kinshasa

Two Congolese PhD students at the Institute F.-A. Forel

Two PhD students Ms. Pitchouna Kilunga Isaka and Mr. John Kayembe Mputu from two Universities of Congo (UNIKIN and UPN) are at the Institute F.A. Forel from February, 6th to March, 6th, 2016 within framework of the collaborative programme between the University of Geneva and two Universities of Congo (UNIKIN and UPN). The research stay is financed by the Institute F.-A. Forel and Swiss National Science Foundation and aims the capacity building for water and environmental science research.

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Welcomed by the director of Institute F.-A. Forel Prof. Vera Slaveykova, Dr. John Poté and other collaborators, both Congolese researchers will learn new ecotoxicological, physicochemical and microbiological analysis relative to their PhD research topics.

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Ms. Pitchouna Kilunga was also received by Professors Patrycja Paruch and Marie Besse, from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Geneva. They discussed the possibilities for capacity building and opportunities for integration of female researchers in the Faculty of Sciences of UNIKIN.


Collaborations between Institute F.-A. Forel and South Universities

A teaching module on waste management and protection of water in urban areas, and a congress on environmental communication organized in June 2014 at Kinshasa, DRC, with funding of Swiss National Foundation, UNEP and Swiss embassy in Congo DR

Since 2011, the Institute F.-A. Forel at University of Geneva advances in the interuniversity collaboration with the South countries, especially with the Democratic Republic of Congo (University of Kinshasa / UNIKIN and the National Pedagogical University / UPN), and India (Jamal Mohamed College / Bharathidasan University).

Workshop performed in Geneva in September 2014 for the evaluation of the activities of collaboration,
presided by Prof. Vera Slaveykova (Director of the Institute F.A. Forel)

This collaboration aims to strengthen the capacities in academic teaching and research in environmental science, with potential research projects to address major environmental issues affecting the developing countries. Our collaborations further explore issues pertaining to the management and protection of fresh water ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. We also provide education on the climatic change aspects to the community to strengthen social and public welfare. Interaction with our collaborators from South countries has created a broad range of programs, including joint reciprocal visits of faculty members, exchange programs for students and trainees, jointly organised courses and research projects with support of Swiss Confederation.

In this context, a teaching module on waste management and protection of water in urban areas, and a congress on environmental communication were organized in June 2014 at Kinshasa, DRC (UNIKIN and UPN).


Institute F.-A. Forel, Université de Genève: John Poté, Vera Slaveykova & Walter Wildi

Université de Kinshasa: Pius Mpiana & Vicky Elongo

Université Pédagogique Nationale du Congo: Josué Mubedi

Jamal Mohamed College India: Kandasamy Prabakar