QF member’s partnership paves way for future discussions on use of indigenous plants

More than 800 researchers and industry experts from around the world attended the first ‘International Conference on Frankincense and Medicinal Plants: Recent Developments in Scientific Research and Industry’, co-organized by the Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG) – a member of Qatar Foundation – in Oman recently.
The recently-held conference, attended by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Hinai, State Advisor, Sultanate of Oman, was a joint effort between Sultan Qaboos University, University of Nizwa, the Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Center, and QBG.

Mrs. Fatima Saleh Al-Khulaifi, Project Manager, QBG, welcomed participants, along with Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al-Mahrooqi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, Sultan Qaboos University, General Supervisor of the Conference, and Professor Ahmed Al-Harrasi, Vice Chancellor for Research, Graduate Studies and External Relations, University of Nizwa, Conference Chair.

Mrs. Al-Khulaifi said, “We are delighted to have been a part of the first ‘International Conference on Frankincense and Medicinal Plants.’ Countries need to achieve optimal usage of their natural resources, including natural medicinal flora, which is an important challenge facing not only the region, but also the world. Organizing this conference is a huge step towards addressing this.”

During the conference, more than 55 scientific papers discussing the chemical compositions, scientific studies, and industrial opportunities of using medicinal plants were presented. In addition, 15 national and international authorities showcased their efforts to preserve and make use of frankincense and medicinal plants.

An addition to the conference, there was an exhibition held on the sidelines of the event, which brought in over 1,000 visitors – including school children from Oman – as well as organized sight visits to the Oman Botanic Garden and the University of Nizwa.

The aim of ICFMP 2018 was to identify uses for medicinal plants in a number of industries, including economic, medical, food, and heritage documentation. It also served as a platform for producers and consumers to network, while strengthening the historical connections between Qatar and Oman.

Additionally, the conference provided QBG with the opportunity to network with a range of entities related to medicinal plants, training, seeds, and propagation, opening up future collaborations and possible agreements.

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